200 VVN – Bruce DeYoung – Marine Recon Tells His Story

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Bruce DeYoung

Bruce DeYoung Marine Recon in Vietnam

In this 200th episode of Vietnam Veteran News Marine Recon team member, Bruce DeYoung of St George, Utah tells his story of duty in Vietnam with the Marines and later with the US Army Special Forces. He also touches on the personal demons he had to deal with after the war.

His story reminds us of the greatness of the Vietnam War generation.

 

199 VVN – Vietnam Vet Edwin Franklin Tubbs Remembered

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Private Edwin Franklin Tubbs

Members of the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Motorcycle Club presented a flag and plaque to the family of Private Edwin F. Tubbs during a ceremony to name the West Chestnut Street Bridge in Coudersport in his honor.

In this episode you will hear the story of how a Pennsylvania community is paying tribute to one of its citizens who died in the Vietnam War. Private Edwin Franklin Tubbs, a native of Coudersport, was killed in action during a fire fight as he bravely helped three wounded companions get to safety.

The West Chestnut Street Bridge in Coudersport, PA was dedicated to his memory at a recent ceremony attended by sixty people that included family, friends and many local and state officials.

Tubbs’ family was presented a flag and plaque by members of the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Motorcycle Club, whose members stated they ride for those who could not ride with them due to being killed in action or taken prisoner in Vietnam.

Tubbs is located on Panel 35W, Line 79 on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. The Wall of Faces is can be viewed at the website www.vvmf.org.

198 VVN – VA Reforms Opinion

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VAIn this episode we will look in on the VA Health Care situation via an opinion piece by Rick Christie who writes for the Palm Beach Post. He reviewed what has happened with the VA over the last six months starting with the revelations about the abuses occurring at the Phoenix VA hospital. It is alleged by some that paper work shenanigans practiced by hospital management resulted in the death of 40 veterans awaiting care.

The new VA Chief Robert McDonald is on a mission to whip the 300,000 VA employees of the into shape. Congress reacted to the VA flap by throwing a few billion more dollars into the pot but what Rick Christie says needs to be done is more oversight by Congress on the actions of the VA and their insistence on better results.

That means we have to stay on Congress to insist they do their job to insure proper health care for our veterans.

197 VVN – Vietnam-Era Soldiers Eligible For Discharge Upgrades

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Vietnam Vets

The secretary of the Army has ordered liberal consideration be given to Vietnam-era soldiers who received downgraded discharges even though they may have been suffering from post-traumatic stress.(Photo: Sgt. 1st Class James K.F. Dung/Army)

Recent directives from the big octagonal building now make it possible for Vietnam Era Vets to appeal less than honorable discharges from the service. The basis for appeals to upgrade discharges is PTSD. Back in the Vietnam War days PTSD was not a recognized defense for less than honorable discharges.

Review boards are now instructed to take into account PTSD when service members submit appeals to upgrade discharges.

If you are interested in submitting an upgrade appeal mail applications for the various boards of the Army Review Board Agency to 251 18th Street South, Suite 385, Arlington, VA 22202-3531.

For online applications, access http://arba.army.pentagon.mil/.

196 VVN – Vietnam Vet John Chambers Still Fighting For His Home

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Melody Unger and John Chambers

John Chambers, right, talks with Melody Unger at his apartment, in Marietta on Saturday. Unger is a real estate agent with Keller Williams in Smyrna who has been leading the effort to raise money for Chambers.
Staff-C.B. Schmelter

Back in episode 004 I shared the story of Vietnam Veteran John Chambers of Marietta, Georgia. Because of a snafu with Well Fargo his house was put into foreclosure and he was evicted. For a year he lived in a travel trailer as he and his lawyers fought to get his house back.

With help from his community he has been able to move into a senior living facility and he has secured a job with the City as a process server. Despite this he is still determined to recover the deed to his house he lived in for eighteen years.

When his story was first publicized, local citizens began to make donations toward the $52,000 it would take to buy his house back from the bank. To date about half the amount needed has been raised.

Please consider making a donation like I did and help this Vietnam Veteran get back into his home. To make a donation, contact Unger at (770) 596-6352 or by email at melodyunger@hotmail.com. Checks may be sent to the JRC Home Fund and mailed to 196 Freyer Drive NE, Marietta, GA 30060.

195 VVN – Tony LittleHawk, Native American Vietnam Vet

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Tony Littlehawk

Tony LittleHawk, an Army Vietnam veteran, Cherokee tribe member and sun dancer, performs a spiritual cleansing. DoD photo by Marvin Lynchard

Tony Littlehawk is a Vietnam Veteran who helps verify my contention the Vietnam Generation is as great as any. He joined the Army and became an airborne infantry medic. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division when they went into the Dominican Republic and then he volunteered for duty in Vietnam.

His offer was accepted and the Army shipped him to Vietnam and assigned him to the 173rd Airborne Brigade. He immediately signed up for the long range reconnaissance patrol and spent a year going on patrols and taking care of both military and civilian sick and wounded.

After his time in the military he has become a spiritual advisor and spends his remaining days helping his fellow Native Americans. Tony Littlehawk is a tribute to his country and his people.

194 VVN – The Tet Offensive as seen by Mack Payne

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Tet Offensive of 1968

Wanton destruction caused by the North Vietnamese during the Tet Offensive.

In previous episodes we have looked at the major battles of the Vietnam War. In this episode I am going to talk about the mother of all battles in Vietnam – the Tet Offensive of 1968. As with Operation Lam Son 719, I witnessed the Tet Offensive from start to finish from a viewpoint “slap – dab” in the middle of the thing.

The Tet Offensive left an impression on me that has lasted a lifetime. I still think about of the lesson it demonstrated and it is critical that we all should be aware of the lesson and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Listen to the episode and discover that important lesson.

193 VVN – Retired Marine and Vietnam Vet Prentiss Waltman Still Serves

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Prentiss Waltman

Connie Kinney, director of DAV in Cold Springs, Kentucky, stands with Prentiss Waltman, a veteran who now volunteers to drive other veterans to medical appointments.

Vietnam Veterans are a great generation and proof of that is the example being set by Printiss Waltman. He is a Vietnam Vet and an ex-Marine who after retiring from a career in the automotive industry is now serving in the DAV by driving veterans to their appointments at several VA Medical facilities.

Prentiss says the only pay he receives is the good feelings he receives in his heart by helping veterans get to their appointments on time. In many cases he is the only reason some veterans get to see medical personnel.

Prentiss Waltman is a great American and deserves a Vietnam Veteran News Podcast salute and I have delivered it to him.

 

192 VVN – Operation Lam Son 719, Part 5

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NVA Soldier

 North Vietnamese Army Officer Rallies His Men During Operation Lam Son 719.

This episode is the final part of our examination of Operation Lam Son 719. We will see how the North Vietnamese reacted with a vengeance against the incursion into the Kingdom of Laos by of the South Vietnamese. The South Vietnamese were beaten badly primarily due to a lack of capable and wise leadership at all levels.

We also look at the aftermath of this operation where both sides declare victory. Sadly, it was the cause of much loss of men and material for dubious victory claims.

 

191 VVN – Operation Lam Son 719, Part 4

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Cobra Gunships over Laos

A section of AH-1G Cobras over Laos during Lam Son 719. Note – they are not 101st Abn Div gunships. They are from down south on TDY to Khe Sanh for Operation Lam Son 719.

In this episode we will take a difficult look at what happened to the South Vietnamese forces when they ventured into Laos to disrupt NVA logistical supplies. The North Vietnamese were a little slow to react but when they did it was “Katy bar the doors.” The Southern forces were beaten badly.

It is the opinion of this writer the big difference in the conflict was leadership. The North had very capable leaders with a maniacal determination to succeed and no reluctance to spill the blood of their fighters where the Southern forces had weak leadership more worried about politics than fighting battles.

In the next episode we will look at the retreat of the Southern forces and maybe the aftermath. Don’t miss it.