50th Anniversary of Vietnam War

I was raised in Tucson but I grew up in Vietnam.  We say funny things about war to temper its reality.  Most all of us grunts like to say that we are graduates of the University of South Vietnam. Not even the most searing literature can speak to the loss of innocence that this war gifted us.
50th Anniversary of the
Vietnam War
“No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.”
Richard Nixon, New York Times, March 28, 1985

Press Release

*DOD Announces Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration Program*
January 14, 2011

The Department of Defense announced today its program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The program will:

  • Thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action, for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.
  • Highlight the service of the armed forces during the Vietnam War and the contributions of federal agencies and governmental and non-governmental organizations that served with, or in support of, the armed forces.
  • Pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by the people of the United States during the Vietnam War.
  • Highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine related to the military research conducted during the Vietnam War.
  • Recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the allies of the United States during the Vietnam War.

DoD representatives will coordinate with other federal agencies, veteran groups, state, local government and non-government organizations for their input in Vietnam War commemoration activities. For more information call 877-387-9951 or visit the official website at http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/.

The United States of America
Vietnam War Commemoration
2521 S. Clark St., Suite 650, Arlington, VA 22202    |     Phone 877-387-9951    |     Email: vnwar50th@wso.whs.mil |     Privacy & Security

Vietnam War Anniversary Links

This media release is provided by our pal, Col. Joe Abodely. Platoon Commander in Vietnam of First Air Cavalry. Joe is also the organizer of the annual Base Camp event in Maricopa ,Arizona. See previous posting.

The times–they are a changing!  This email is being sent to people who served in the Viet Nam War and to whom I think appreciate those who served.  Please check out the following link to see this new project and join with us who will help with the efforts.


The City of Phoenix has a program called Cool in Your Zip highlighting places of interest.  They did an excellent piece on the Arizona Military Museum.

To view, click on the this link:  Cool In Your Zip: Military Museum (If the link becomes inactive for whatever reason, you can copy and paste the URL shown below, in your web browser and it will take you directly to the story.
I sent this to many of you before, but the video was too large for your computers–so here are the links.  If you received this before, I apologize for the redundancy.


Vietnam Veteran Statistics

A request to post by Frank Giroux.

Not long ago comments made by General Giap, NVA…were passed around concerning the American 5th column; our friends in the “press”. The following numbers are an update to that which I have used for several years; to set the record straight while educating our youth through high school junior ROTC programs.
The percentage of those who “volunteered” in my/our little war put to shame that of the greater gen in their great patriotic effort!
Stand Tall!
Stay Well and Noble!
Pancho el Partisan Artisan

This is interesting
In case you haven’t been paying attention these past few decades after you returned from Vietnam, the clock has been ticking.
The following are some statistics that are at once depressing yet, in a larger sense, should give you a HUGE SENSE OF PRIDE.

“Of the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam, less than 850,000 are estimated to be alive today, with the youngest American Vietnam veteran’s age approximated to be 54 years old.”

So, if you’re alive and reading this, how does it feel to be among the last 1/3rd of all the U.S. vets who served in Vietnam?
I don’t know about you guys, but kinda gives me the chills, considering this is the kind of information I’m used to reading about WWII and Korean War vets.

So, the last 14 years, we are dying too fast, only a few will survive by 2015, if any. If true, 390 VN vets die a day. So, in 2190 days from today, if you’re a live Vietnam veteran, you are lucky… in only 6 years.

These statistics were taken from a variety of sources to include: The VFW Magazine, the Public Information Office, and the HQ CP Forward Observer – 1st Recon April 12, 1997.


* 9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam Era (August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975).

* 8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug 5, 1964-March 28,1973).

* 2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam, this number represents 9.7% of their generation.

* 3,403,100 (Including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the broader Southeast Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based in Thailand, and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).

* 2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan. 1,1965 – March 28, 1973). Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964.

* Of the 2.6 million, between 1-1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack.

* 7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam.

* Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1968).


The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1958. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.

Hostile deaths: 47,378

Non-hostile deaths: 10,800

Total: 58,202 (Includes men formerly classified as MIA and Mayaguez casualties). Men who have subsequently died of wounds account for the changing total.

8 nurses died — 1 was KIA.

61% of the men killed were 21 or younger.

11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.

Of those killed, 17,539 were married.

Average age of men killed: 23.1 years

Total Deaths: 23.11 years

Enlisted: 50,274 – 22.37 years

Officers: 6,598 – 28.43 years

Warrants: 1,276 – 24.73 years

E1: 525 – 20.34 years

11B MOS: 18,465 – 22.55 years

Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.

The oldest man killed was 62 years old.

Highest state death rate: West Virginia – 84.1% (national average 58.9% for every 100,000 males in 1970).

Wounded: 303,704 — 153,329 hospitalized + 150,375 injured requiring no hospital care.

Severely disabled: 75,000, — 23,214: 100% disabled; 5,283 lost limbs; 1,081 sustained multiple amputations.

Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WWII and 70% higher than Korea.

Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WWII.

Missing in Action: 2,338

POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity)

As of January 15, 2004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.


25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees. (66% of U.S. armed forces members were drafted during WWII).

Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam.

Reservists killed: 5,977

National Guard: 6,140 served: 101 died.

Total draftees (1965 – 73): 1,728,344.

Actually served in Vietnam: 38% Marine Corps Draft: 42,633.

Last man drafted: June 30, 1973.


88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian; 10.6% (275,000) were black; 1% belonged to other races.

86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (includes Hispanics).

12.5% (7,241) were black; 1.2% belonged to other races.

170,000 Hispanics served in Vietnam; 3,070 (5.2% of total) died there.

70% of enlisted men killed were of northwest European descent.

86.8% of the men who were killed as a result of hostile action were Caucasian; 12.1% (5,711) were black; 1.1% belonged to other races.

14.6% (1,530) of non-combat deaths were among blacks.

34% of blacks who enlisted volunteered for the combat arms.

Overall, blacks suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the percentage of blacks of military age was 13.5% of the total population.

Religion of Dead: Protestant — 64.4%; Catholic — 28.9%; other/none — 6.7%

Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups.

Vietnam veterans’ personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.

76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/working class backgrounds.

Three-fourths had family incomes above the poverty level; 50% were from middle income backgrounds.

Some 23% of Vietnam vets had fathers with professional, managerial or technical occupations.

79% of the men who served in Vietnam had a high school education or better when they entered the military service.

63% of Korean War vets and only 45% of WWII vets had completed high school upon separation.

Deaths by region per 100,000 of population: South — 31%, West –29.9%; Midwest — 28.4%; Northeast — 23.5%.


There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam veterans and non-Vietnam veterans of the same age group.
(Source: Veterans Administration Study)

Vietnam veterans are less likely to be in prison – only one-half of one percent of Vietnam veterans have been jailed for crimes.

85% of Vietnam veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.


82% of veterans who saw heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost because of lack of political will.

Nearly 75% of the public agrees it was a failure of political will, not of arms.


97% of Vietnam-era veterans were honorably discharged.

91% of actual Vietnam War veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served their country.

74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.

87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem.


1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of August,1995 (census figures).

During that same Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country was: 9,492,958.

As of the current Census taken during August, 2000, the surviving U.S. Vietnam veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly 711,000 between ’95 and ’00. That’s 390 per day.

During this Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country is: 13,853,027. By this census, FOUR OUT OF FIVE WHO CLAIM TO BE Vietnam vets are not.

The Department of Defense Vietnam War Service Index officially provided by The War Library originally reported with errors that 2,709,918 U.S. military personnel as having served in-country. Corrections and confirmations to this erred index resulted in the addition of 358 U.S. military personnel confirmed to have served in Vietnam but not originally listed by the Department of Defense. (All names are currently on file and accessible 24/7/365).

Isolated atrocities committed by American soldiers produced torrents of outrage from anti-war critics and the news media while communist atrocities were so common that they received hardly any media mention at all. The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on civilians while North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece of its strategy. Americans who deliberately killed civilians received prison sentences while communists who did so received commendations.

From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725 Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on leaders at the village level and on anyone who improved the lives of the peasants such as medical personnel, social workers, and school teachers. – Nixon Presidential Papers.

Any man or woman who may be asked in this century what they did to make
life worthwhile in their lifetime….can respond with a great deal of pride and
satisfaction, “I served a career in the United States Military”

Sam Reinert
545th Military Police Company Association
626 1/2 South 9th Street
Richmond, Indiana   47374  USA
(765) 962 4627 phone & FAX

1 Attached Images

Veterans Forum At Himmel Park Library

I am pleased to see that Susanne Parker of the Himmel Park Library branch is continuing to hold these Forums that we started a year ago.  A caring community is the best welcome home a veteran can have. Keep up the good work.

VA Service Connected Disability and Compensation
Cathi Starr, Southern Arizona Regional Manager of the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, will present a Q&A for veterans who were injured or incurred a chronic illness while on active duty. Information on ALS, Agent Orange, the Gulf War, radiation and asbestos disabilities, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder will also be provided.
Where:  Himmel Park Branch Library, 1035 North Treat Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85716.  Large meeting room.  Phone:  520-594-5305, Ext. 3
When:  Monday, February 28, 2011 from 6:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.





How Many Jobs Could Disabled Veterans Create In America?

Imagine every city in the nation offering some inducement to vets,who often have a skill set gained from military training, to open small retail and industrial operations. A little free rent, a couple tax abatement’s like most of corporate America bags, and some good publicity. Who knows we may even see a day when our grandchildren will see products that say,”Made in America.”

Disabled Marines open cell phone store in Oceanside

Posted on: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 22:27:10 EST

OCEANSIDE, Feb 11, 2011 (North County Times – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) –Troy Rhoads and Frank Jordan, two service-disabled veterans of the Marine Corps, have opened a cell phone and bill payment store targeted to the needs of their military brethren.

Global Mobile, at 127 S. Coast Hwy., is an authorized Verizon Wireless store and also sells prepaid cell phones from a number of carriers

In addition, customers can pay their bills for SDG&E, cable, wireless carriers and utilities not just in San Diego County but across the country. That’s something Rhoads and Jordan said is suited to the needs of service members, who come to this area from all around the country.

Global Mobile says it handle bills from 96 utilities, such as Idaho Power; Commonweath Edison and Missouri Gas Energy. It accepts bills for auto loan companies such as Ford Motor Credit; GMAC Auto Finance and Wells Fargo Auto Finance.

Rhoads and Jordan have known each other for about a decade. They’re from different eras of the Marines. Jordan served two tours in Vietnam; Rhoads was in when the U.S. ousted Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega. Their experiences in the service, and common struggles with disabilities, helped draw the two together.

Rhoads says he has an illness that affects blood flow to his extremities, sometimes causing his hands to contract in painful spasms. Jordan says he’s suffering the effects of the defoliant Agent Orange, and he had a heart attack in August 2009.

After looking at their employment prospects, Jordan said he and Rhoads decided their best course was to go into business for themselves.

The cell phone business is attractive because of its near-universal customer base, Rhoads said.

“Pretty much everywhere you look, everyone has a cell phone, and so many cell phones are coming out nowadays,” Rhoads said. “When I was in the military, not everybody had cell phones. They’re a great way to stay in touch with your friends and family.”

The Oceanside location “seemed to be a natural” because of its large presense of Marines and veterans, Jordan said.

Rhoads said he and Jordan plan to donate part of their sales to help disabled veterans.

“We’re going for 5 percent,” Rhoads said. “We don’t know our profits yet, but we’re trying to get as close to that as possible.”

Call 760-721-3800 or go to Global Mobile on Twitter (@Verizon_Dealer).

Call staff writer Bradley J. Fikes at 760-739-6641


Veterans Administration Caregiver Support Line

Do you ever wonder why the Free Market health care cannot operate with such magnanimity and efficiency? Maybe everyone in America should just serve in the Army before they get a job.

New VA Caregiver Support Line

Week of February 14, 2011

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has opened a new, toll-free telephone line for the caregivers of veterans of all eras. The National Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274 will assist caregivers, Veterans and others seeking caregiver information. The telephone line will be available Monday through Friday. 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., eastern time; and Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., eastern time. Licensed VA social workers and health technicians will staff the support line. For more information on caring for veterans, visit the VA’s Caregiver webpage.

Veteran’s Benefits Directory – To learn more about your state’s veteran benefits, visit the Military.com State Veteran’s Benefits Director

Veteran Care Givers Get A Little Care

Senator Murray, politics aside, is unmatched in her advocacy for Veterans.  Her attribute is her tenacity that transcends politics. Senator Patty Murray, now Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee seems to tackle the right thing at the right time. A little help for caregivers, many of whom lose Social Security benefits to help their spouses, is the right thing to do.

18 Senators Press VA for Caregivers

Week of February 14, 2011

Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), along with 17 Senators from both sides of the aisle, have written to Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Jack Lew, to urge the Administration to carry out the law and begin providing supportive services to caregivers of wounded veterans. It has been reported that some family members of seriously injured veterans have had to leave their jobs and make tremendous sacrifices without training, counseling, and financial benefits. Senator Murray’s letter is available on the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs website.

Wounded Warrior – See more Wounded Warrior news on Military.com

Prayer Request For Marines In Afghanistan

I have been asked at least ten times in the last 24 hours to post this prayer request. It is the least we can do before launching a prayer assault.

Urgent message
We are asking everyone to say a prayer for the “Darkhorse” 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and their families. They are fighting it out in Afghanistan & they have lost 9 marines in 4 days. They are listed below. IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE the message spread if more could pass it on .
Semper Fi, God Bless America and
God Bless the United States Marine Corps…
Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever . Lindsay Lohan, 24, gets her name and face all over the news because she went to jail. Now she’s getting it all over again for failing her drug test.
But: Nothing in the media about these guys because no one seems to care:
Justin Allen, 23,
Brett Linley, 29,
Matthew Weikert, 29,
Justus Bartett, 27,
Dave Santos, 21,
Chase Stanley, 21,
Jesse Reed, 26,
Matthew Johnson, 21,
Zachary Fisher, 24,
Brandon King, 23,
Christopher Goeke, 23,
Sheldon Tate, 27,
All are Marines that gave their lives for YOU this week.
Honor THEM by forwarding this.  I just did

Lawrence (Larry) M. Wojtowicz, Broker/Consultant

Virtual PTSD Support Groups – Digital Therapy Has Arrived

20 years ago, repression was the ruler of PTSD, in both the dominant culture and in the living rooms of the nation. Now the lid is off and the victims who suffer from a cluster of symptoms that have been with us since the Pelopenisian Wars are accepted in polite company and afforded any number of avenues for validation of their experiences without the stigma and the support of peers without shame.

Imagine what life on the home-front would, or could have been like after WWI, WWll Korea, and Vietnam, had we known what Dad was going through in his private moments.

Agree or not with the modalities of treatment and the paths to healing for PTSD for both the vast array of the origins of PTSD, like Michele, or the more commonly known symptoms where war is the genesis, the very fact that the dialogue is open and ongoing and the door is open to talk, will make us a more caring, and therefore and stronger people.

God bless you Michele for stepping up to speak to the masses about ways to heal of this most intractable and often resistant syndrome.  Carry on!

Virtual PTSD Support Groups: 5 Reasons to Reach Out

When I was clawing my way out of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) darkness I didn’t have the first clue about how to organize my recovery experience. Thoughts scattered in every direction at once – and no good direction more than once. Emotions whirled like an unhinged compass so that I reeled from one experience to another without control. My body, overwhelmed by the stress, crumpled in ways that stumped the medical community and left me jobless, unable to participate in the functional world.

Alone in my pain, without guidance to find healing, and completely debilitated by PTSD symptoms I spent an enormous amount of time drifting deeper and deeper into posttraumatic stress. I didn’t have the energy or the desire to reach out for help. Plus, I was convinced: 1) no one would understand, 2) my PTSD experience was worse than anyone else’s, and 3) no one would be able to help alleviate the state in which I existed. All of these thoughts, while real in the moment, were completely false. It would have helped me to have been able to talk with others survivors so that I could learn from those who were walking the PTSD treatment and recovery journey beside me, and even, ahead of me.

Despite the difficulties, I did eventually find my healing path. The years of work included more than one therapist and ten PTSD treatment modalities. Now that I’m 100% free of PTSD symptoms, however, I look back and see that there are benefits to engaging in a positive and nurturing PTSD support group that could have helped ease my solitary struggle and would have definitely helped my family understand how to help me. For example:

1 – Connection. No one heals in isolation, we heal in community. Being able to talk to other survivors and learn of how ‘normal’ the PTSD experience is relieves the stress of feeling alone. Plus, since similar PTSD symptoms are experienced by all trauma survivors, regardless of the trauma itself, there’s a lot to be learned from how each other handles them.

2 – Support. When we feel lost it helps to have someone reach out a hand. PTSD symptoms can be so overwhelming it’s easy to get lost in them. Having a network of compassionate, empathetic and understanding people helps build a sense of meaning that can offer guidance, tips and a safety net when the going gets particularly tough.

3 – Innovation. Stabilization through management techniques and coping skills. There are so many different ways to cope, manage and strategize the daily PTSD symptoms experience. Alone our creativity and education have limits; together the power of one transforms into many ideas for how to get through every moment.

4 – Empowerment. Becoming more assertive, organized and focused. It’s easy and completely natural to become lost, despondent and feeling increasingly helpless and powerless in the midst of posttraumatic stress recovery. Being a part of a team of survivors dedicated to taking back their power helps build a framework that adds clarity and strength to the PTSD recovery process.

5 – Proaction. Identifying things to do that will progress recovery. PTSD recovery does not occur from sitting around and waiting for it. Changes come from doing the work. The benefits of having a group to check in with include keeping you accountable, on track and having people to troubleshoot with when things don’t go as planned. Plus: having a resource group of others who have taken actions that might help you, too.

When I was in recovery I didn’t necessarily want to be required to show up anywhere outside of my house on any kind of consistent basis. There were days it was all I could do to move from bed to couch. I could have, though, committed to the type of meeting that didn’t require me to leave my house. The type of meeting, say, that all I had to do was dial the phone and listen in. So much time is lost in PTSD recovery because we don’t have the help we need. But when we do find it, so much change and relief can occur.

Michele Rosenthal is a PTSD Coach and the founder of www.healmyptsd.com. She launched the first Virtual PTSD Support Groups in February 2011. For more information and to join, visit http://healmyptsd.com/healing/support-groups.

Base Camp Arizona

I have been attending this event over the past 15 years. There is nothing like it anywhere. All camaraderie, all fun, all non-sequitir conversation and dark humor. Ain’t no one like Col. Joe Abodely,  1st Air Cavalry Officer in the Nam, owner and host of the 40 acre property outside the town of Maricopa. He is witty and wild.  Lots of  sharing of days in combat with fellow veterans who fully understand each other in an environment of respect. The ceremony with the South Vietnamese Rangers who fought with us is simply transforming.  I will be there in the Marine Corner!


Veterans and friends are cordially invited to attend Base Camp 2011 to be held April 1, 2, 3 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) 2011.  The purpose of Base Camp is to provide a location for veterans and friends to assemble and share camaraderie.  Live music and entertainment is provided on Saturday night.   ADMISSION IS FREE.

Base Camp is an area lined with bunker/fighting positions simulating a firebase.  Military apparel and military vehicles are welcomed to add to the ambiance.  We fly a large American flag and the Republic of South Viet Nam flag on a 90-foot high flagpole.  There are an observation tower, Vietnam style bar, other military type structures, two flush toilets, a shooting range dug into the ground at the base of a mountain as a backstop for target shooting, and a stage for live entertainment on Saturday night.  Camp out Friday and Saturday nights.  Bring your own food, beverages, drinking water.  The AZ legislature has declared March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day, and DOD is celebrating the 50th commemoration of the Vietnam War.  All veterans are encouraged to attend.


Exit I-10 at Wild Horse Pass and take the first left turn (Maricopa) to go past Firebird Lakes and the fire station to the T intersection with the stop sign.  Turn right.  Now you are on the road (Highway 347) to Maricopa.  Go through Maricopa, cross the Railroad tracks, and continue 2 miles to Ak Chin Casino on Highway 347 (also called John Wayne Highway). Go 2 miles past the casino to Papago (you will see a large Santa Rosa Cooling sign) where you turn right (west).  Go west 4.5 miles on Papago until you curve left (south) on to Warren.  Go .9 miles south on Warren to Val Vista and turn right (west).  Go west .5 miles on Val Vista through the wash and past the canal to Deer Trail.  Turn left (south) at Deer Trail, and go .5 miles to Quail Run.  Go right (west) on Quail Run for 1/10 of a mile to the entrance of 9014 North Wealth Road and Base Camp.  The house phone number is 520-868-6777 and my cell phone number is 602-509-8762.


April 11200Set up camp

April 2—1000—US and RVN flag-raising, Betsey Bayless and other dignitaries

1015—Stearman Bi-planes fly-over

1200—1800–Open Time


April 3–Break camp—go home


  1. You WILL have fun.
  2. Shooting range use—SAFETY FIRST—and police all brass and ammo.

4.   HOLD HANDLE DOWN until toilet flushes completely as a courtesy to others.

5.  POLICE your areas of ALL TRASH and respect other people’s rights and property.

We’ll see you at Base Camp 2011.  For further information, call Joe at 602-509-8762 or 602-253-2378 or 520-868-6777.