I placed this here to show the reality of war.
Fear being one and it has led to men being killed.
In what is termed 'friendly fire'.
It's far from friendly.
Over time, men will get over their fear.
But than they start to view all as the enemy.
After your time in a combat area.
You will never be the same.
Here a link to a video that I'm part of;
Its titled Through The Cracks
When the troops are all home from Afghanistan, we should thank them for their service.
By looking to their health care mental and physical.
Many now are making use of the new GI Bill to gain a degree or skill.
But many still are homeless and seeking employment.
This should be a high priority.
But with the talk of balancing the budget.
A lot might not get to those that have carried the load for the 99%.
That never felt what war does to men and women.
With that I'll get off wherever I'm standing
Looking at that video again, almost at the end there's photos of a few Marines.
The first one was Recon platoon commander in Bravo 3rd Recon.
1st Lt. Frank Stanley Reasoner USMC Medal of Honor posthumously in 1965
The second one was a Marine, I first met on the internet, later at MCRD Parris Island.
PFC Raymond 'Mike' Clausen Jr. USMC Medal of Honor recipient.
Yes, he was Private First Class, in fact he was the lowest rank to receive that medal.
Once in an E-Mail Mike said 'what happen that day was an insanity'.
To that I replied, once maybe six or more time had to be more than an insanity.
That is how many trips Mike made into a mine-field to get injured Marines.
I feel blessed in having known or served with four Marines that were awarded the Medal of Honor.
Lt. Colonel Archie Van Winkle USMC Medal of Honor in Korea as a Staff Sergeant.
My Battalion Commander 3rd Battalion 4th Marines.
1st. Lt. Frank Stanley Reasoner USMC Medal of Honor posthumously
Sgt. Jimmie Howard USMC Medal of Honor recipient in Vietnam 1966
PFC Raymond 'Mike" Clausen USMC Medal of Honor recipient in Vietnam 1970
All of these men are now guarding Heaven's gates, May God grant them eternal peace.
When I knew them, they were men of high caliber or honor.
How I became part of that video; when I was living back in Hammond, Indiana.
The town of Munster, Indiana open a Memorial Park with the help of the Community Hospital.
It name than was 'The Community Memorial Park.
It had different sections for all our wars; starting with World War I to Desert Storm or the Gulf War.
Munster Indiana is a few miles from Hammond, Indiana, so for exercise.
I would ride my mountain bike to the Memorial Park and take some photos of any thing that had been added.
I had some web pages on the web for each part of the Memorial Park.
One day, I was at the Vietnam War part, and I saw these young women.
I had these card with the address of my web site.
I offer them one, that how I met Lorrie and Eden the producers of that video.
They in turn asked me if I was a veteran.
My reply, where we now are standing.
They next asked if I would like to be part of a video they had plans to make.
I signed some forms and they told me to come there on a certain date.
That day, I was the only veteran there, one would ask me a question.
The other was using a video camera.
Later they told me that I would be the only veteran they would use.
And that video had came out better than they had planned.
About a year later I moved to Altoona, Pennsylvania with my son and his family.
There's been a lot done and they have changed the name;
The Edward P. Robertson
Community Veterans Memorial
Below is a link to a web site about that Memorial Park
If you ever get up around northwest Indiana and Highway 41.
It might be worth a trip to see that Memorial Park
The statues, and the sound system describing what you're looking at will make you proud.
I was part of the early group of Marines into Vietnam in 1965.
Later I would return back to Vietnam.
Because there was a need for Non-Commission- Officers.
In the Marine Corps in Vietnam.
I left Vietnam behind bodily in late 1967.
Eight years later came the end of South Vietnam.
Lately, I seen video's and photos of where some our bases/camps.
Were located, NOTHING is there now.
As if the Vietnamese wanted to erase that we were ever there.
Your photo and story about Bui Doi - The Dust of Life.
And many being born with birth defects.
The cause is what most term 'agent orange'.
But there was several Herbicides used in Vietnam.
The most infamous herbicide used was called Agent Orange.
The steel drums in which the herbicide was transported were color-coded with an orange stripe.
Other colors such as Blue, White, Purple and Pink.
Were used to designate different herbicide formulations.
Are all signs that the American armed forces were in Vietnam.
A dear friend and Fellow Marine wrote;
"We fought for democracy and for a dream.
That was obtainable by the people of Vietnam.
We felt honored to have served our country,
To have been given the opportunity in life.
To be more than a witness to history.
If we failed,
It was not because we did not do our duty,
It was because others entrusted,
With higher responsibilities,
Failed to do theirs."
- R. M. 'Cook' Barela USMC
India Company 3rd Battalion 7th Marines
No! 'Cook' we did not fail.
We did our duty and than some.
A little more information; in 1967 Lance Corporal R. M. 'Cook' Barela USMC.
Was with India Company 3rd Battalion 7th Marines.
I was in Golf Company 2nd Battalion 1st Marines.
About or no more than ten miles from 'Cookie'.
I was stationed at Bravo Arty Battery 11th Marines.
Just off Hill 55, at that time he was on another Hill close to Hill 55.
I was a Staff Sergeant at that time.
Years later, I met 'Cookie' on the internet.
It was than we found out, how close we were back than.
Cook wrote a book about his time there in Vietnam.
Titled 'DREAMS OF GLORY:FIELDS OF FIRE'
I had no dreams of GLORY, in fact looking for GLORY.
Might get you killed and some other folks.
It might also make folks angry.
Because you're endangering their LIVES!
From 1965 moving forward to 1967 in Vietnam.
We did most of our work at night.
The belief back than was the daylight belong to us.
The night was when our enemies were active.
That was logic of operating at night.
To catch them on the move.
One day, we found this paper written in Vietnamese.
We had one Marine working along-side a South Vietnamese soldier.
They would question any that we caught or they would translate.
On that paper the Vietnamese had written that we were 'beau coup dinky dau'.
Or crazy to the max, because we were out there when we should have been sleeping.
Than there was things that we were doing.
That was telling our enemy we were coming.
Test firing our weapons for one.
Another thing were doing; riding on top of these amtrac's.
They would drop us off and return empty.
So someway, the Vietnamese got the word that we were out.
One day, we had some ride on top and some inside.
That day the amtrac's did a few stops.
On one of those stops, they lower-ed the back hatch.
And we slipped into the vegetation on both sides of this trail.
Than the amtrac's went back to where they had pick us up.
Sometime later one of the Marines motioned that one Vietnamese youth.
Was coming down that trail.
He was the lead scout for a larger unit.
Or one that was expendable.
If he did not return or signal.
They knew we had that man.
I signal to snatch him.
He sure was surprised.
I figured that he was no more than fifteen years old.
So we radio-ed that we were coming back.
The South Vietnamese and the Marine, that did the interrogation.
Took him back to DaNang to the South Vietnamese Headquarters.
Never heard what happen to that youth.
In some photos of that time, it shows these Marines.
Walking on the rice paddy dikes or small dirt walls.
Around the rice paddy to hold in the water.
Wrong thing to be doing.
Our enemies would place a mine.
For some service member to find.
The easy way; was the wrong way.
As we found out the hard way.
Later in 1965, my Recon Platoon Commander 1st Lt. Frank S. Reasoner USMC at K-Bay Hawaii would get killed.
Trying to protect and save his radioman, resulting in the awarding of the Medal of Honor (posthumously).
In the year 2000, a dear friend and a Captain in the Marine Corps, made a call to my house.
He wanted to know if I could get to Midway Airport in Chicago, Illinois.
There would be a plane ticket from Chicago to a airport in Virginia close to Washington DC.
On arriving the Captain was there to pick up another Marine, veteran of World War II and myself.
The captain took us to his house as we would be there about five days.
One of those days, he took us to Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia.
Its home to the training and making of Marine officers, there's Officers Candidate School (OCS) and the Basic School.
Where those that make it through OCS go to train to be Marine officers.
He took us to a reception hall; who title was Reasoner Hall.
I could almost see my Recon Platoon Commander.
A little more about 1st Lt. Frank S. Reasoner USMC.
He was an enlisted Marine before he went to West Point as an Army cadet.
On graduating he took a commission in the Marine Corps.
I was not aware that my Recon platoon was his first assignment in the Marine Corps.
Some of our other Recon officers were graduates of the Naval Academy.
During the day of the Army vs Navy game, the graduates of the Naval Academy.
Would have their units chant 'GO NAVY, BEAT ARMY!'
Lt. Reasoner would look back at us behind him, and saying 'Don't you dare join in that chant."
Of all the Marine officers that I had served under, Lt. Reasoner alone stands in my memory.
Not because of the Medal of Honor, but more for the quality of the man himself.