Monday, May 10, 2010

I'll never forget, ever...

How this country betrayed those South Vietnamese for whom I and my Marine brothers, along with many others of course, fought for their freedom.

April 30th was the 35th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. Here are some pictures to commemorate the occasion. Though still, I see bias and ignorance in the captions and the picture collection too, really... in the very first sentence for a start. All these many years later.

My first fire fight was on May 1st of 68. Can you believe it, 42 damn years ago. I'd do it all again if given the chance.

Yes, I too looked that young, and green, once.


  1. Forgive me my nostalgia. I just finished 'Last of the Old Breed' and am almost finished with 'A Helmet for my Pillow'.

    We Marines kick fucking ass.

    I'm so goddamn glad I had that experience. If only I had known then what I know now... I'd of been a lifer instead of a four and out. Ah hell, impetuous and ignorant youth.

  2. I hear ya. One of the most formidable times of my life was the 4 years I gave to the Marines, and would do it again in a heartbeat.

    Semper fi brother.

  3. Thanks for posting this, Luther.

    The photographs are haunting, and still powerful enough to make me gasp. 35 years fall away, and all the emotions of that time come flooding back.

    I need to go to Washington some day and visit The Wall. Even thinking about it brings tears, but it's something I HAVE to do, to pay my respects and say thank you to all the fresh-faced marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen who made the long trip home in a box. Touch the names. Hard to explain. I can't, really.

    A small gesture by an appreciative mom and grandma.

    {{Luther, Old Iron, and Aridog}}

  4. Jaysus.

    Those pictures bring the trauma of those times right back. Hard to believe it's been 35 years.

    I honor your service, Luther, Aridog and Old Iron.

  5. The photographs are haunting. One can only imagine what the world might be like today if cameras had been around for the last few thousand years. Different for sure.

    I haven't seen the Wall either Lady Red. Though like you it's been on my list to do for who knows how many years. I did see the miniature traveling version here in Tucson 5 or so years ago. That in itself was pretty traumatic I'll admit. No telling what the real Wall would do to me. A cathartic experience it was though, even the traveling wall, when I realized that I had mixed up two Marines names. First name right but last names crossed.

    There's no way to explain it, I don't think, your need and mine, to touch the names. Though I suppose it places some sort of finality, or gratitude even, on the sacrifices those folks made, not only for the living but for the dead as well.

    You're right about the trauma Florrie. And in my opinion this country is still living with that trauma in so many ways. But our present service men and women are doing much to ease that trauma, showing themselves to be professionals who love their country and who are willing to die to bring freedom to others. That's the bottom line for me, to give others a chance of enjoying the freedom that so many here take for granted.

    And Semper Fi to you, too, Old Iron. We're a fortunate few, those who were allowed to serve.

    Again, forgive me weeping in my beer, my language, and my vanity at having been a Marine. But the older I get the more I realize it was and will be the nadir of my existence on this good earth.

  6. I'm in tears here. Luther, you are very eloquent...

  7. I'm a sap, Lady Red. But thank you.

  8. In the spirit of this thread, here is one of the best unit history sites out there.

    It is compelling in its simplicity, yet is comprehensive of a year in the life of a 1st Cav Air Mobile trooper. It really speaks for all the years of all the Marines and Soldiers who served there.

    If you look at the photos you will see ordinary young men, very young in most cases, who served in that unit in that year, in very ordinary settings for the extraordinary time and that ugly war peaked at 11,000+ KIA/year for it and the next 2 years.

    It is a remarkable compilation. It wasn't a unit I was attached to, but I can smell the place, even taste it, just looking at the photos.

  9. That is an interesting site, Ari. I especially like how they have so much background information on some of the more arcane subjects, i.e. C-Rations, etc. That's good for the layman.

    I'll have to read up on the history of that unit, they may have been of of the units to have started the transition from 3rdMarDiv to 1stAirCav up in northern I-Corp. I left a couple of months after that started. I have a few stories about that transition, it wasn't all that smooth really.

    Not nearly as comprehensive or nice but here is my old units webpage. Mike 3-9