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FDP Forum / Moe's Tavern (_8^(I) / The Vietnam War

Previous 20 Messages  
Contributing Member

Maplewood, MN

Sep 20th, 2017 10:19 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Lots of incredible posts here--notably Gato's.

Thanks, Chris for allowing this political topic to remain up on the board.


New York City

Sep 20th, 2017 11:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Getting back to the series itself. The first episode has been the most informative to me. It provides a time line for the region starting with 1800's and colonialism. It follows the chain of events through WW1 and WW2 that led to the conflicts of the 1960's. So incredibly complicated. That early part of it I never really knew. I'm sure it's compressed to fit that much time into one episode but it explains things better than I ever understood before (assuming it's accurate).

The episodes that follow are not easy to watch. Don't know if I'll make it through the whole series. I was against the war and was of age but lucky enough to draw a high lottery number. Reading the other posts here, it was such a grim time. I have nothing but the utmost respect for those who did serve.

Charlie Macon
Contributing Member

Austin, Texas

Sep 20th, 2017 03:40 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I may have mentioned this in a past thread here before, but I can still recall a threshold moment of shock when I was about 7 years old (1970), and opened up a Mad Magazine Super Special edition, that had a photo inside of a post-battle Vietnam scene, showing a soldier blown to bits. That was maybe my first realization that "my gosh, war is awful!"

Contributing Member

Ch'town, PEI, Canada

He said he was a wit. He was half right.
Sep 20th, 2017 05:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Has any reputable source ever come up with the dollar cost of the US involvement in the Vietnam War? I remember seeing it somewhere and it was an astronomical figure.

Contributing Member

Northern VA

The Fine Line Between Clever & Stupid
Sep 20th, 2017 06:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My Grandfather served under Westmoreland when he first saw combat in WW2, prior to Westmoreland moving up the ranks...and loved the man. He couldn't have had more respect for the man if he'd been a family member and they stay friends for decades afterwards. That said, he told me point-blank and bluntly "Your ass would have been living with your grandmother's family in Canada before I'd have let you get drafted into that...." well then the language got unquotable.
Civilians weren't the only ones to treat the returning Vietnam vets poorly...other vets could as well. My Grandfather served in the 9th Inf. Div. during WW2, and saw a lot of combat. After the war he lived in the Boston area, as did a number of other 9th Inf. vets. They had a social organization for the Division so they could keep in touch with each other, as did a lot of other outfits. The 9th also fought in Vietnam and some of those returning Vets wanted to join, and more than a few of the WW2 vets in my Grandfather's local organization were adamantly against it because they "lost". According to him it mostly fell along the lines of those who were in the front lines, they welcomed them in, to those that weren't in the front lines and were against it.
My Grandfather saw a lot during his service...from the Battle of the Bugle to the Hurtgen Forest to transporting Dachau survivors out of the camp after he was transferred to another unit...but you could tell that this disturbed him just as much as anything he saw in Europe. I can only assume, because he wouldn't go into much detail, it's because he knew what actual combat was and win or "lose" the ground troops who did the actual fighting deserved same the respect regardless of what war they fought in.
Long rambling story aside...I've really liked the series so far. I'm three episodes in. I'm also an enormous history buff and was curious about how the overall historical content would be presented. IMO the 1st two episodes did an excellent job of relating, and balancing, how confusing and complex Vietnamese history leading into the war was...as was the French history in the region and our own history at that stage of the Cold War. I generally really like Ken Burns' work, but honestly I didn't like his WW2 series. I was worried this would be a similar experience for me...thankfully so far I've been wrong.

(This message was last edited by daveg at 08:07 PM, Sep 20th, 2017)


Hawaii, USA

Perfect is the enemy of good enough
Sep 20th, 2017 06:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I guess I was one of the fortunate few to never suffer the abuse of my fellow citizens upon return.

I was in the San Fran airport, silence, LA, silence, Phoenix, silence, Dallas, silence.. I guess by that time in 1972 after separation, the weariness was setting in on all sides that just wanted done with it.

I guess the only "horrors of war" that sunk in was seeing someone right next to me en-jested into the maw of a full tilt A-7 Corsair on the catapult, killing him instantly. At that point reality really struck. Also, that old saying.. "better you than me", was guiltily thought by myself... I had a smaller does earlier on while on Oriskany. Being assigned as everyone was to being a temp mess cook for three months, I was asleep in the compartment at about 10 pm when an F-8 Crusader hit the round down at the back of the flight deck, splitting in two and losing the pilot over the side. That night the chaplain prayed for the lost airman and I realized that this was real and real life going on.

(This message was last edited by jay1vinton at 08:17 PM, Sep 20th, 2017)


Sebastian, FL

Outta the rat race
Sep 20th, 2017 08:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sometimes good stuff happened. I was flying Delta from Charleston AFB to Spokane WA for survival school/pow training and they sat two of us in first class cause we were in uniform and there were seats open.

Contributing Member

West Chester PA

Wait, what?
Sep 21st, 2017 07:48 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Has any reputable source ever come up with the dollar cost of the US involvement in the Vietnam War?"

I don't think it's a straight forward question really. Where to begin?

Contributing Member

South Florida

Sep 21st, 2017 08:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Fair question. It depends upon what you consider to be a 'cost'.

According to Wiki..

If you mean the cost to the US.. approximately $100B as a direct cost which translates to $1 Trillion in modern numbers.

However the actual cost is much higher as we have been paying billions in war related VA benefits for almost 40 years.

Then there is the human cost of 58,000 dead which cannot be calculated.


Contributing Member

West Chester PA

Wait, what?
Sep 21st, 2017 06:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I figure most of those killed would otherwise have been a net asset to the economy over their lifetimes. You could quantify that. I see this as an example where you would have to set definitions around answering the question. Setting definitions can be hard in itself.

Just one example.

Contributing Member

West Chester PA

Wait, what?
Sep 21st, 2017 06:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The CEO at work stopped me in the hall today:

CEO: Hey Jake, watching that Vietnam special on TV?

Jake: Yeah, some of it. How about the music in that? (CEO is known music enthusiast ) Songs from the time and Trent Reznor writing the score music?

CEO Yeah Trent Reznor

Jake Yeah, and those music parts are low key, just what works, and all.

CEO Yeah!

Contributing Member

West Chester PA

Wait, what?
Sep 21st, 2017 06:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

CEO then had to get to the conference room. :)

Contributing Member


Live clean, let your works be seen.
Sep 22nd, 2017 06:07 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

There was a Charlie Rose interview yesterday with Ken Burns and the woman who filmed the series. (Sorry, I don’t know her name.) I believe Ken Burns was also on Fresh Air with Terri Gross yesterday.

I caught the Charlie Rose interview and found it fascinating. Apparently, the Documentary is being shown in Viet Nam right now and the people over there are having a similar reaction. A sense of loss, nostalgia and a desire to reconcile.

Contributing Member

West Chester PA

Wait, what?
Sep 22nd, 2017 06:13 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Last night's episode, saw just some of it, but seeing John McCain in on the cot in his cell was nearly disturbing. I pretty much forgot what he was saying, the visual was intense and haunting.

Contributing Member


"toxic masculinity personified"
Sep 22nd, 2017 09:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The assertion that has most struck a chord with me so far in the series...

...is this one:

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Sep 22nd, 2017 09:50 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Your ass would have been living with your grandmother's family in Canada before I'd have let you get drafted into that...."

Dad was a lieutenant colonel in the O.S.I. Air Force, he was Army Air Core in WWII. He told me he would of sent me to Canada if I was drafted. I got a high lottery number and didn't enlist. He told me this a few years later.

I grew up in the Air Force. We were in Wiesbaden Germany from 1964 to late 1967. The morning the U,S,S, United States pulled into New York Harbor, the day we came home from three years in Wiesbaden, Dad came into our room and told us cousin Tim was killed in Viêt Nam. We were close. Dad was as upset as I was, we attended Tim's funeral. Tim was a hero, he was killed in an ambush while trying to save his men, this occured on his third tour over there. That he believed in it, for what ever reason, to stay and fight was enough for me.

I had the long hair, and wanted to see us out of that war, only because of the horror the soldiers and thier families had to endure. My brother used to and still does call me a hippy but I never was. I really wouldn't tolerate any disparaging language aimed at the soldiers.

All I can say is if you are going to unleash the dogs of war, stay out their way and let them do thier job.

I may watch this series but some scars never quite heal. A lot of my friends were over there, some still are, even among those that did come home.

Contributing Member

Santa Barbara, CA

Je Suis Charlie
Sep 23rd, 2017 12:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm watching the series with tears in my eyes. First, thank you guys who served. You guys are heroes. There is no doubt about that. We owe you big time. Kennedy, McNamara, Johnson, Nixon...well i'll reserve my comment for the restroom.

(This message was last edited by clf at 02:56 AM, Sep 23rd, 2017)

Contributing Member


Sep 23rd, 2017 06:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I used to work with a lot of guys who were in Nam. They collectively were a tad more verbose about their experiences than the WWII vets I used to work with, but not a great deal more. It took a long time for that stigma to wear off. The one I was closest to shared some harrowing chopper experiences, like sitting on his helmet.

Ironically Rick made it through that war but succumbed to a random bullet to the head getting out of a cab in Atlanta.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Moe's Tavern (_8^(I) / The Vietnam War

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