Was the treatment of Vietnam soldiers returning home somewhat mythical? - Page 8 - TigerDroppings.com

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Gray Tiger
LSU Fan
Prairieville, LA
Member since Jan 2004
22200 posts

re: Was the treatment of Vietnam soldiers returning home somewhat mythical?


quote:

Any Vietnam vets have any experiences they would like to share?

Was spat on and cursed at in the San Francisco airport while wearing my uniform.






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NHTIGER
LSU Fan
Central New Hampshire
Member since Nov 2003
9021 posts

re: Was the treatment of Vietnam soldiers returning home somewhat mythical?


quote:

It would be hard to know who was coming home. You got on a plane in SE Asia, you probably landed at Travis AFB and within a few hours you were out of the service and on a bus to the airport in SF, and catching a flight for your final destination probably in your class A or B's possibly in civilian clothes.




Did indeed return from Nam via Travis AFB, where half the guys literally kissed the ground upon returning to The World. Did indeed process out at Oakland Army Base in about 16 hours, including time for the traditional steak dinner served 24/7 to Vietnam returnees. (While awaiting my name being placed on a manifest to RVN exactly one year earlier, I had actually served a night of KP at that same mess that served these steak dinners, and recalled seeing the looks on the faces of the guys who had returned from Nam just hours before and telling myself that all would work out okay for me and that just one year from then I'd be on the other side of that serving line - and with God's grace, I was.)

Then dressed in required Class A's, myself and four other guys, none of whom I knew, shared a cab ride from Oakland to the San Francisco Airport. One of the guys had a potential flight he could make if we got down there to the airport ASAP. The cab driver ignored the speed limit and the concept of complete stops at red lights, and not surprisingly was stopped by a cop. While awaiting the anticipated ticket, the five of us told the driver we would gladly pay the cost of his ticket because he was trying to help us out. When the cop looked into the cab and saw five soldiers (half buried under duffel bags and suitcases that wouldn't fit into the trunk), he looked at us and asked "back from Vietnam?", received several nods, and told the cab driver not to kill anybody and to get the hell to the airport and get these guys home.

Every word true, exactly as it happened.

I had about a 4-hour wait at the San Francisco airport, saw many people and was seen by many people, and never got one negative word, stare or look of scorn directed at me, (or at least that I was aware of). Likewise, I landed at the airport of another leading anti-war city, Boston's Logan Airport, spent about an hour and a half there waiting for family to come pick me up, and once again, everyone treated me like just another guy, neither acknowledging my uniform positively nor negatively.

I have met many, many hundreds of Vietnam vets (real ones, and a real one can tell another real one) in the 40+ years since, and have still yet to meet one that was spit on, or knew someone who was spit on, or who saw someone spit on.

I'm sure it happened, but I'll bet most guys who claim this happened to them are those fake frickers who lie about being Nam vets just to get sympathy and a handout from society.

By the way, I was hired for a pretty decent job just two days after I arrived home, and I was well-received by the members of my community, including those who were anti-war. Which did not surprise me one bit.

Why was I not surprised? Because I had been one of those anti-war protestors myself just a few years earlier - and neither I, nor those I associated with, ever once had an issue with the guys who served there. It was political, on all sides.

My 365 days in RVN got me a VA loan on my first house, a BS and an MBA using the GI BIll, and a lifetime of friends and good will from others, whether I deserved it or not.

As another poster pointed out, though, a good number of "Vietnam Vets" out there who do the most talking never set foot on Vietnamese soil, or flew in an aircraft above it, or was on a ship off the coast. THOSE are the guys who really have pissed me off over the years, not the "public" in general.







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USMCTiger03
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2007
62305 posts

re: Was the treatment of Vietnam soldiers returning home somewhat mythical?


quote:

The war started on a false premise and a large amount of our soldiers represented our country very poorly. Of course people weren't going to receive them kindly, I'm glad.
What is a "large amount" exactly?






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CarrolltonTiger
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Aug 2005
46281 posts

re: Was the treatment of Vietnam soldiers returning home somewhat mythical?


2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. Approximately 70% of those killed in Vietnam were volunteers.

86% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasians, 12.5% were black, 1.2% were other races. Sociologists Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler, in their recently published book "All That We Can Be," said they analyzed the claim that blacks were used like cannon fodder during Vietnam "and can report definitely that this charge is untrue. Black fatalities amounted to 12 percent of all Americans killed in Southeast Asia, a figure proportional to the number of blacks in the U.S. population at the time and slightly lower than the proportion of blacks in the Army at the close of the war."



Servicemen who went to Vietnam from well-to-do areas had a slightly elevated risk of dying because they were more likely to be pilots or infantry officers. Vietnam Veterans were the best educated forces our nation had ever sent into combat. 79% had a high school education or better.






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Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Ball, LA - Home, Sweet Home
Member since Dec 2006
28503 posts
 Online 

re: Was the treatment of Vietnam soldiers returning home somewhat mythical?


quote:

Was spat on and cursed at in the San Francisco airport while wearing my uniform.



That can't be GT - that's all a myth - something that Reagan and Stallone made up. Must be a flashback from all the drugs you guys did.

In all seriousness - you guys got the short end of the short stick, with $hit somebody else stirred up still on it. I love you guys, though.







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Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Ball, LA - Home, Sweet Home
Member since Dec 2006
28503 posts
 Online 

re: Was the treatment of Vietnam soldiers returning home somewhat mythical?


quote:

Every word true, exactly as it happened.


I believe you brother.

quote:

I'm sure it happened


I am, too.

quote:

but I'll bet most guys who claim this happened to them are those fake frickers who lie about being Nam vets just to get sympathy and a handout from society.


Easy now - that's drifting into Kerry territory. You had a good post-Vietnam experience. I bet that was the majority, but I cannot pretend, knowing America and how it was during that time, that the literal and figurative spitting did not happen all the time. I caught crap elsewhere on the Rant when I was in Iraq. The fact that cowards were probably too scared to get in your face unless they had a significant advantage in numbers probably defused a number of other potential incidents.

quote:

My 365 days in RVN got me a VA loan on my first house, a BS and an MBA using the GI BIll, and a lifetime of friends and good will from others, whether I deserved it or not.



When I was in law school, among the other perks, we got to actually visit with Supreme Court justices - both Rehnquist and Scalia visited LSU while I was a student. Rehnquist said one of the great blessings in his life was service in the US military - without it, he said, he probably would have gone to work in a factory, in a sales position or something like that. With the GI Bill he finished college and went to Stanford law school (where he was a classmate of, and dated briefly, Sandra Day O'Connor) - and if he had not gone to law school, as he put it, "I certainly wouldn't have been named to the United States Supreme Court."

I pretty much feel the same way. Without the service, albeit much of my time was in the reserve component, I wouldn't have seen a good bit of the world or gotten to where I am today.



This post was edited on 11/26 at 7:41 pm


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germandawg
Member since Sep 2012
2718 posts

re: Was the treatment of Vietnam soldiers returning home somewhat mythical?


quote:

Was spat on and cursed at in the San Francisco airport while wearing my uniform.


And you didn't react by whipping the spitters ass? WOW, what restraint. It is a shame you didn't because you would be the wealthiest spat on person ever because the Right would pay millios for proof of this, which by the way never happened...






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germandawg
Member since Sep 2012
2718 posts

re: Was the treatment of Vietnam soldiers returning home somewhat mythical?


quote:

Dear know-nothing/contribute-nothing, For a fact, my father was spit on while shaving in a men's room in San Francisco on his return home via Tan Son Nhut in 1970. The coward did it on the way out of the men's room and ran like hell. Dad went after him but he had disappeared into the other smelly, worthless a-holes by the time he got to the entrance. They had to change into their civies on the DC-8 before they landed there to keep it to a minimum but obviously, in 1970 if you didn't stink and had a short haircut, you were probably a vet or at least supportive of the troops. In short, Shut the frick Up on issues you know nothing about.


Dam shame that he wasn't able to catch the fricker...nor was anyone else who was spit on. It is uncanny that so many people were running around spitting of folks and nothing ever came of it...amazing really...almost unbeleivable. But of course if some guy on the interenet says his fatehr was spit in the it had to happen, despite the mountain of hard evidence supporting just the opposite....by the way, your father was never spit on either. It never happened,,.,






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germandawg
Member since Sep 2012
2718 posts

re: Was the treatment of Vietnam soldiers returning home somewhat mythical?


quote:

I have worked side-by-side with Vietnam combat veterans and have also worked to help other combat soldiers from this era. One of my all-time favorite veterans was actually a "tunnel rat" while in Vietnam. He was all of 5 feet tall. One of the most patriotic and good people I have ever known. He was spit on and had a bag of shite thrown at him after his first tour of duty in Vietnam by some hippie protesters.


Again I am calling bull shite. I have a near and dear friend who was a Tunnell rat also...about 5' tall and weighs aboout 200 pounds now...and is still hard as a fricking rock at 70 and would whup the crap out of 90% of the posters on this board. James is the man who has convinced me that this simply did not happen. I will guarantee you that if a person tried to spit on him today he would be jail for fighting...when he was 20 he would have killed the bastard....this man has so many stab wounds on his body from fighting Vietnamese in tunnels that it is amazing he is still alive, and a men like this, men that only a few people on earth can emulate, are supposed to have stood idly by and allowed someone to spit on them without reacting? Bull shite....spreading this myth is an insult to soldiers of all ages. You coulcn't spit in the face of 5 UGA fans at a UGA football game and not get your arse whipped at least once and we are supposed to beleieve that men who had just endured Vietnam allowed it to happen withou a single recorded instance of retaliation? Ya'll are doing more harm to the memory of these guys than the war and all the protests did by spreading the rumor that they were pussies when they came home. STop it. It never happened or only happened on extremely rare occasions, like PowerBall winning rare....






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Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Ball, LA - Home, Sweet Home
Member since Dec 2006
28503 posts
 Online 

re: Was the treatment of Vietnam soldiers returning home somewhat mythical?


quote:

Again I am calling bull shite. I have a near and dear friend who was a Tunnell rat also...about 5' tall and weighs aboout 200 pounds now...and is still hard as a fricking rock at 70 and would whup the crap out of 90% of the posters on this board. James is the man who has convinced me that this simply did not happen. I will guarantee you that if a person tried to spit on him today he would be jail for fighting...when he was 20 he would have killed the bastard....this man has so many stab wounds on his body from fighting Vietnamese in tunnels that it is amazing he is still alive, and a men like this, men that only a few people on earth can emulate, are supposed to have stood idly by and allowed someone to spit on them without reacting? Bull shite....spreading this myth is an insult to soldiers of all ages.


Seriously, dawg, you're using anecdotal evidence to combat anecdotal evidence.

Maybe this legend has a life of its own - I'll concede that. But to say it didn't happen when many, many guys say it happened is just disingenuous. I bet when guys got home to Baton Rouge, Athens, Houston, wherever, it was more like WWII - "Hey, Bobby's home! Let's go over and see him." But, New York, Boston, etc. (despite having some strong middle class families), there was probably a greater incidence of hippies or hippie-influenced people saying, "How did it feel to kill innocent people, man?" - which was a figurative spitting at a minimum. Again, probably didn't happen to a majority - maybe it didn't happen thousands of times, but "Powerball-rare"? Come on - spitting probably happened dozens if not hundreds of times, perhaps several hundred.

2 GIs traveling home in uniform, 6 or 8 hippies screaming "Baby killers!" at them, 1 or more spit, then security steps in - no ass-whipping and probably no detailed report. Airports weren't quite as locked down as they are now. You're saying definitively that didn't happen?

Well, there are bunch of Vietnam Vets that are conspiring to perpetuate that lie, then (and I don't believe that for a second).




This post was edited on 11/27 at 8:12 am


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Newbomb Turk
Navy Fan
perfectanschlagen
Member since May 2008
9961 posts

re: Was the treatment of Vietnam soldiers returning home somewhat mythical?


quote:

they were called baby killers, etc.


By their "own" cowards who served a sum total of 3 months before high-tailing his arse out of there with 3 bogus band-aid Purple Hearts.









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Paluka
LSU Fan
One State Over
Member since Dec 2010
3899 posts

re: Was the treatment of Vietnam soldiers returning home somewhat mythical?


I am offering my friend's experience as it was told to me. I would suggest that there was some serious culture shock going on. These guys returned from combat to a country that was different than the year they just spent in Vietnam. This in itself was difficult to say the least. When you add something like a protester or someone harrassing them to the mix is it so unlikely that the combat soldier would not respond?

I've treated many combat veterans for PTSD. I do not believe that this type of thing happened to everyone who returned but I do believe it happened to quite a few. The actions of protesters or whomever does not do damage to brave men.






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Tesla
LSU Fan
the Laurentian Abyss
Member since Dec 2011
587 posts

re: Was the treatment of Vietnam soldiers returning home somewhat mythical?


.
quote:

But of course if some guy on the interenet says his fatehr was spit in the it had to happen, despite the mountain of hard evidence supporting just the opposite....by the way, your father was never spit on either. It never happened


Mountain of hard evidence?

I don't care what you believe. Because you don't matter. Really. I actually pity you. You will never, ever, ever fill that dark hole in the center of your person no matter how much bitterness or petty pot-shotting you spew forth. I suspect that service and valor are a mirror to your own perceived cowardice. Good luck with that.






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