Nearly 1000 Police Move To Evict Occupy LA

I am watching this moment in history as it unfolds and remain impressed with the behavior of both the occupiers and the LAPD.  I cannot help but be reminded of my days as a cub reporter for KRLA radio station during the Watts Riots in the summer of 1965.  I worked for Norm Woodruff that summer reading the teletype and packing his battery pack for the microphone.

It was a bit hairy,as Martial Law had been imposed and the National Guard were everywhere and carrying rifles and shotguns. Our car was shot at mistakenly, and the bullet grazed my sidekick, Reid Smith’s head, as we drove through the barricades flashing press passes that apparently were no longer acceptable in the riot zone. I was 17 years old.  This experience was my first understanding of being attracted to adventure! The Vietnam War followed.

The clear difference is that I have yet to hear any news coverage of the  raison de etre for the Occupy  movement. Who is the spokesperson? What is the direction and content of the movement? I fully understand the genesis of the protestations. Wall Street sucks and acts with impunity. Got it. But now what?

The gatherings of the 60’s had an end game. The end of the Vietnam War. Where is the end game? Or is this a fill in the blanks test?

Is it possible that the intrigue and mystery is tactical? Will the movement survive the winter?

There are intelligent young citizens in that crowd. They do not all need a shower and a job as Newt the morphed Spiro Agnew suggests.  I am sure many of them  have American Express Cards and huge school loans that are not being forgiven, as the Banksters were.  Now there is a reason for exercising some free speech energy.

Back to watching KTLA Channel 5 from Los Angeles. I just hope there are no Iraq or Afghan vets in the crowd that get triggered with stress. God speed. And God Bless our right to protest.

Returning To Vietnam Fraught With Temptations

 Gee, and my former Sgt. and I were planning to go to Vietnam next year.  I guess we will need a chaperone!

Vietnamese-American women place strict rules on men returning to homeland

Posted: 11/06/2011 07:00:00 AM PST
Updated: 11/06/2011 09:37:36 AM PST
U.S. sailors chat with Vietnamese women at a bar in Da Nang. (HOANG DINH… (Hoang Dinh Nam)
  • HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — The trouble for Henry Liem begins every time he prepares to return to his homeland.
Getting the required visa from the Vietnamese government is a breeze. It’s the “second visa” — from his wife worried that he will stray over there — that requires diplomatic skills.
“My wife is always cranky every time I go,” said Liem, a philosophy instructor at San Jose City College who visits Vietnam twice a year to teach at a university. “So I rarely disclose my upcoming trip until the last minute. It’s pain minimization. The longer she knows, the longer I have to bear the pain.”
Thirty-six years after the Vietnam War ended, Communist government officials openly welcome Vietnamese-Americans back, even those who fought against them. But another Civil War has erupted, this one pitting Vietnamese-American women against their husbands and boyfriends who want to return to the Southeast Asian country. The men’s significant others contend that Vietnamese women lie in wait to ambush them, often eager for the financial stability such a match would bring.
“All the girls in Vietnam are aggressive. They attack!” said Ha Tien, 38, who owns an accounting business in San Jose. She said she lost her man to such a love guerrilla a few years ago.
Women are worried
The tension over this issue has reached epic proportions in the Bay Area Vietnamese community and elsewhere. Vietnamese comedy skits

poke fun at the household strife and pop performers sing about it. It’s the No. 1 topic for women, Tien said. Any time a man travels back alone, she added, it’s assumed he’s not just going to visit Uncle Vu or Cousin Thuy but to play in a country with an abundance of attractive young women.

“There is not a Vietnamese family (in Silicon Valley) that doesn’t know a man who has done this,” Tien said.
Hien Nhan, who owns the Polo Bar in the central part of bustling Ho Chi Minh City, said that Vietnamese-American women do have reasons to worry.
“The problem is, Vietnamese women are getting prettier and prettier,” said Nhan, perched on a stool at his cozy establishment that serves up draft beer, hamburgers and female employees in short shorts who flirtatiously brush against male customers they like. “They wear more cosmetics. They eat better. They exercise.”
And they are not afraid to let foreigners know they are open to a frolic, a fling or something more serious.
“The tradition has been the male chases after the female,” Liem said. “Now, it’s the other way around in Vietnam.”
Said one Vietnamese-American tech executive from Silicon Valley who didn’t want to reveal his name for fear of causing his own second visa problems: “You get hit on all the time. Even at the hotel. You check in and they hit on you. I can’t do more than 10 days in Vietnam at a time. Otherwise, I get into trouble.”
Those who get a second visa often have strict limits placed on them, said San Jose’s Peter Nguyen, who until recently had a girlfriend in Ho Chi Minh City. Not long ago, a buddy of his overstayed a two-week second visa issued by his girlfriend. “When he came back, she tossed all his stuff out onto the street,” he said.
“He was having so much fun,” Nguyen added. “The temptations are so great. Guys 50 and over can get girls who are in their 20s and look like models. It’s too good to pass up.”
A friskiness permeates the culture in Vietnam that many men visiting from other countries find irresistible.
“There’s a certain charm here that you don’t see in Singapore or China,” let alone the United States, said Chung Hoang Chuong, a faculty member in the Asian American Studies department at City College of San Francisco, who spends about half his time in Vietnam. “If you make a pass at a girl, she won’t push you away. She’ll answer with a smile.”
The apparent role reversal is driven in part by the popularity of Western culture and poor economic conditions in Vietnam. Indeed, Nguyen, a 40-year-old who works in customer service but is now unemployed, said his girlfriend in Vietnam recently dumped him because he failed to find a good job in Vietnam.
It’s a money thing
Vietnam is a demographically youthful society — about 70 percent of the country’s 90 million citizens are younger than 35 — and young people flow into the big cities from the countryside every day looking for opportunities. Viet Kieu, the term for ethnic Vietnamese living overseas, and foreigners are seen as ideal catches for some women because they can support them and their families.
“Good-paying, decent jobs are extremely difficult to find,” even for Vietnamese with college degrees, Nhan said.
Nguyen Le, a 29-year-old who operates a Ho Chi Minh City sidewalk cafe, says she and other women are attracted to Viet Kieu and foreigners for a number of reasons, the first being financial security.
“They have more money, more earnings,” said Nguyen. “And they are more considerate, more tender and caring with their women. In the eyes of a foreigner, love is more important than it is with Vietnamese gentlemen.”
Suspicions unfounded
Still, some men say the suspicion that most Vietnamese-American males come here just to play is overblown — plenty of Viet Kieu come back only for business or family visits.
“We love fun, but we are not stupid,” said Khanh Tran, a retired teacher who lives in San Jose. “I am still healthy, but I am not going to (misbehave in Vietnam) at the expense of my family, my wife. We have been together for more than 40 years.”
Nonetheless, his wife, taking no chances, refuses to issue the former officer in the South Vietnamese military a second visa. “I would love to go back,” he said wistfully.
Increasingly, some Vietnamese say, the appeal of foreigners is waning because of a new class of wealthy Vietnamese, including many multimillionaires. And some Viet Kieu males have a bad reputation because they act like playboys who throw money around and convince women they are sincere in their affections — only to disappear when they return to the United States.
But at times it’s the Viet Kieu who end up on the losing end. Some who marry and bring their new bride home to the United States have discovered the women envisioned a much richer lifestyle than they can provide, leading to strife and divorce.
Viet Kieu men receive little sympathy from Viet Kieu women for their dalliances, whether they lead to love or heartbreak. “We blame the men for their weakness, for not being responsible,” said My Hanh, a 31-year-old San Jose resident.
Returning to Vietnam holds little appeal for women like her: “There’s a saying, ‘If a girl goes back to Vietnam, it’s like bringing wood to the forest.’ “

Turn Off The TV There Is Good News Elsewhere/ Veterans Jobs Bill Passes

 Comprehensive Legislation to End Veteran Unemployment

According to the Labor Department, there are 3.4 million job openings right now in the United States. Yet, many employers are finding that workers do not have the skills or training they need to qualify for them.

There are nearly 900,000 unemployed veterans in the United States–a staggering figure. The latest Department of Labor unemployment report shows that in October 2011, the average unemployment rate among all veterans was 7.7% and 12.1% for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Equally troubling, veterans between the ages of 35 and 64, the group with the highest financial obligations and the fewest available VA education and training options, continue to make up nearly two-thirds of all unemployed veterans. Overall, nearly one in twelve of our nation’s heroes can’t find a job to support their family, don’t have an income that provides stability, and don’t have work that provides them with the confidence and pride that is so critical to their transition home.

The “VOW to Hire Heroes Act” is bipartisan, bicameral, comprehensive legislation that would lower the rate of unemployment among our nation’s veterans. This bill combines provisions of Chairman Miller’s Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act – which passed the House on October 12, 2011 –  (H.R. 2433; Report #112-242), and Chairman Murray’s Hiring Heroes Act (S. 951; Report #112-36), and veterans’ tax credits into a comprehensive jobs package that will aggressively attack the unacceptably high rate of veterans’ unemployment by:

  • Expanding Education & Training: To begin moving veterans out of the unemployment lines, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 provides nearly 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras and wars with up to 1-year of additional Montgomery GI Bill benefits to qualify for jobs in high-demand sectors, from trucking to technology. It also provides disabled veterans who have exhausted their unemployment benefits up to 1-year of additional VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits.
  • Improving the Transition Assistance Program (TAP): Too many service members don’t participate in TAP and enter civilian life without a basic understanding of how to compete in a tight job market. Therefore, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act will make TAP mandatory for most service members transitioning to civilian status, upgrade career counseling options, and job hunting skills, as well as ensuring the program is tailored to individuals and the 21st Century job market.
  • Facilitating Seamless Transition: Getting a civil service job can often take months which often forces a veteran to seek unemployment benefits. To shorten the time to start a federal job after discharge, this bill would allow service members to begin the federal employment process by acquiring veterans preference status prior to separation.  This would facilitate a more seamless transition to civil service jobs at VA, or the many other federal agencies that would benefit from hiring our veterans.
  • Translating Military Skills and Training: This bill will also require the Department of Labor to take a hard look at how to translate military skills and training to civilian sector jobs, and will work to make it easier to get the licenses and certification our veterans need.
  • Veterans Tax Credits: The VOW to Hire Heroes Act provides tax credits for hiring veterans and disabled veterans who are out of work.

Furthermore, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act is completely paid for and does not increase the deficit.

Military Chaplains Are Often Wounded Healers

I am a Chaplain and have had to address the demons of War on many a dark night of the soul.  As a member of the International Council of War Ministers and a recent attendee at one of their annual Retreats, I can testify to the need to have the validation and support we provide for each other. No one is immune from war.
Returning Military Chaplains Face Special Challenges
Emotional Wounds May Run Deeper, Minister Warns

Among the thousands of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan coming home by the end of the year, about 450 are military chaplains, most serving in the U.S. Army. Their experience in the field is unique among soldiers, so when they return they may face unique emotional burdens.

Armed with only their faith and a calling to help others, they serve alongside troops in the battlefield, notes Tony Scott Macauley, an ordained minister, former U.S. Army Ranger and author of A Dream Before Dying ( <> ).

“They’re subject to the same emotional and physical injuries as the soldiers they’re there to serve,” says Macauley, whose novel follows a young U.S. Army chaplain to Vietnam in 1967. “Sometimes the stress can be even greater because they have to balance their very deep-rooted sense of duty with a need to guard their own safety.”

The intensity of a faith that prompts a person to put him- or herself in harm’s way in order to comfort others can lead to profound feelings of guilt, even self-doubt, in the aftermath.

Frequently, chaplains face Iraqi and Afghan civilians approaching them in apparent distress, crying and pleading for help. Do they follow their instincts to aid the person or do they hold back, knowing he or she may be an explosives-laden enemy decoy? Depending on the outcome, it’s a decision that might haunt any moral person but can be especially traumatic for one committed to serve in a faith capacity.

Army chaplains do not carry weapons, Macauley points out. They’re accompanied by an armed, unordained chaplain assistant whose job it is to protect them.

However, chaplains do get wounded. In Afghanistan, U.S. Army Chaplain Capt. Dale Goetz died in action in 2010 after the convoy he was traveling in was struck by an improvised explosive device. In 2009, a chaplain died five years after suffering massive injuries caused by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Maj. Henry Vakoc suffered a fatal fall at the nursing home where he lived because of the extent of his war injuries.

“The danger is as real for chaplains as it is for the soldiers they serve. They’re wherever the soldiers are, including on the battlefield,” Macauley says. “But they carry no weapon and, in fact, they can be subject to censure if they grab a weapon and try to defend themselves.”

A new moral difficulty for some chaplains occurred in September when the Army repealed its “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on homosexuals.

“For those whose faith says homosexuality is a sin, it poses a huge problem,” Macauley says. “Are they now required to deny a tenet of their faith? Part of their role in the military is to teach – to provide a source of faith for soldiers. What happens if they teach that homosexuality is a sin? What happens when a gay couple seeks counseling?”

As chaplains return from wartime service, Macauley says, many will need the sort of support and understanding they have provided others for so long. Surprisingly, it may be especially difficult for this particular group to ask for that.

“When you’re the one people turn to for help and guidance, it can be very hard to seek it for yourself,” he says.

About Tony Scott Macauley

Tony Scott Macauley is a non-denominational ordained Christian minister. He’s a former U.S. Army Ranger who served with 1/75 and 3/75 Ranger Battalions and worked as an instructor and trainer at the Department of the Army Ranger School. He resigned from the military in 1990. His novel, A Dream Before Dying, combines his love of the Bible and his passion for the military in a time-travel fantasy.

If you would like to run the above article, please feel free to do so. I am able to provide images if you would like some to accompany it. If you’re interested in interviewing Tony Scott Macauley for a feature/Q&A or having him write an exclusive article for you, let me know and I’ll gladly work out details. Lastly, please let me know if you’d be interested in receiving a copy of his book, A Dream Before Dying, for possible review.

Ginny Grimsley
National Print Campaign Manager
News and Experts
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Transcript of Agent Orange Teleconference

This data and transcript has been provided my a retired Air Force Major by the name of Wes Carter. I encourage the readers feedback and corrections if so deemed.  The truth of Agent Orange took 30 years to surface. The probability of more transparency is  high.

VA Teleconference re: C-123 & Agent Orange

Conference with iVA Officials Held 1100 Hrs 27 Oct

We had our conference with the VA’s Environmental Health and Benefits Administration folks today, and boy, I got handed my head on a plate.

But most graciously! Thanks to Brooks Tucker, Sen. Burr’s staffer and Mr. Carter Moore from the VA’s Congressional Liaison Office, Dr. Michael Peterson, Chief of the VA’s Environmental Health and Mr. Jim Sampsel of the Veterans Benefits Office, supported by many of their very knowledgeable professionals, discussed with the wide range of C-123 Agent Orange issues. Bottom line: they feel we have no basis for argument.

For over an hour these folks explained the finer details of dioxin exposure and answered, with grace and patience, my layman’s questions. It was great to learn that Dr. Peterson is a retired AF 06, Brooks and Carter are combat veterans, and Dr. Wendy Dick of Peterson’s staff is herself a “tanker doc”…former AF flight surgeon.

Dr. Peterson noted that I’d developed the same type cancer as my father and that familial history plays a role, meaning medical issues. I interjected that indeed it does…my family has a familial history of beingwarriors and that I am more proud of that than worried about familial medical trends.

Are these nice folks against us? No, they are not. Not a single suggestion was made about how we can get help, other than to go back to the Air Force.

Are they going to help us? No. Not unless convinced of new scientific evidence, or in response to new laws, or in response to the Air Force stating that our aircraft were contaminated with dioxin when we flew and that we were contaminated thereby.

As followers of our blog know, we point to the 1994 AF study of Patcheswhich reports 100 of the swipe samples positive for dioxin, and describes Patches as “heavily contaminated.” Dr. Dick dismisses that with an explanation that samples were taken using solvents, and the hazmat precautions recommended were because restoration personnel were likely to be grinding metal and doing other dust-creating activities. She said she’d fly The Dumpster.

They were not receptive to our response that solvents were used to gather swipe samples because that was the testing protocol selected by the investigators back in 1994, not receptive to the argument that even our skin has solvents on it to which which dioxin would love to attach, or that dioxin-laden dust would be ingested from the dust constantly created in working the aircraft, in its vibration aloft, hard landings and other workaday causes.

Dr. Peterson explained, along with Mr. Sampsel, that the VA has to look at PROBABILITY. In big, capital letters. Unlike “boots on the ground” Vietnam veterans and Blue Water Navy vets, both of which groups have their presumptive exposure established by law, we must prove the probability that, not only were the aircraft contaminated, but that we were actually exposed thereby. That there was somehow physical introduction of dioxin into our bodies. A vector.

And that they maintain is a case yet to be made. The VA dismisses the 1994 Weisman-Porter study of Patches, saying it has no specific relevance to our 1972-1982 duty days (tests from the other years were not discussed).

I kept asking whether or not a veteran is obliged to prove only two points…dioxin contamination and Agent Orange presumptive illness, and I believe their negative answer is built around the big obstacle…probability. Not possibility.

My points offered: multiple AF tests stressing the aircraft being “heavily contaminated, extremely hazardous, extremely dangerous, extremely contaminated” and “a threat to public health”. Two authors of four reports the VA provided us stated, yesterday by telephone, that no inference could be drawn one way or the other regarding aircrew exposure 1972-1982, leaving most of the cards on the table being the Air Force’s own tests.

It seems to boil down to the Air Force. We’d hoped to have two very knowledgeable experts join the teleconference to explain what they earlier told me was their continuing belief that their tests had relevance to our aircrew exposure years earlier. The two gentlemen did not call in to participate. We were offered the skillful and generous support of Dr. Fred Berman, head of the Toxicology Department of Oregon Health Sciences University.

Dr. Berman has spent months studying the Air Force reports and written the Secretary of the Air Force that aircrew dioxin exposure aboard the C-123 was “most likely.” Not just possible or theoretical, but MOST LIKELY. Columbia University School of Public Health and others concur.

This hour-long conference concluded with an understanding that the next move belongs to the Air Force. Without DOD stating that the crews were aboard dioxin-contaminated aircraft, VA won’t budge towards service-connection. Without the Air Force stating that their tests “most likely” indicate the probability of aircrew exposure, the VA sticks with its view that no exposure happened.

So remember, dear readers, that the Air Force (Secretary of the Air Force as well as Surgeon General of the Air Force) has directed us to turn to the VA to get help on our C-123 aircrew dioxin exposure. The VA has told us to turn to the Air Force to get help on our C-123 aircrew dioxin exposure. Catch 22.

That’s right…there’s only one catch: Catch 22. The VA would consider allowing us Agent Orange medical care if the AF says we’ve been exposed. The AF says “Go talk to the VA!”

Yossarian – frustrated C-123 flyer!

When Brooks Tucker asked if the VA and AF were talking, there seemed to have been such conversations. When I asked if the VA would directly solicit an Air Force response, that wasn’t of interest.

If only we’d had the authors of the Patches study on the phone with us. Hopefully, we can ask for their input, then ask the AF to stand behind all the reports that Brooks and the School of Aerospace Medicine have done over the years.

The folks from the VA are extremely experienced at dealing with Agent Orange issues. One gets the feeling they are expert enough to construct a truthful argument one way or the other if they wanted to. They have decades of background, not only in their professions, but in explaining to Congress and veterans the whys and wherefores of dioxin exposure. They can always toss bigger missiles against us.

So we turn back to AFRC/CC General Stenner and the AF Chief of Staff and ask that they not leave our flyers alone in this struggle. Air Force, get behind us, ask the report authors to explain the relevance of their studies to aircrew exposure, and simply get VA to designate “boots on the airplane” as adequate presumptive eligibility for our crews!

Wes Carter

IRS And Insurance Companies Not So Friendly To Disabled Veterans

Here is the scenario.  A soldier serves in war time.  They were once game-fully employed. They return injured and often become un-employable.  Many are relegated to the 100% Disabled Permanent and Total status.  While they await that rating, which could be several years in the coming, they may work to the best of their ability.  By the time the rating is granted they may well owe taxes. However the compensation they now receive from the Veterans Administration is exempt from any levy by way of the CFR Title 38.

That soldier may well have attempted to make an Offer-In- Compromise to the IRS.  That agency has never been staffed well enough to answer the requests in a timely fashion, and will often change the rules midstream.  Life is dynamic. Income is not a static state.  The one time earning ability of that soldier is now compromised for life, making the offer in compromise invalid once the disability claim is processed. That soldier will frequently have no assets to speak of that will accrue to his or her benefit.

So the question is this…why in the world does the IRS place liens on our nations disabled veterans who have permanent 100% ratings for the balance of their mortal life?  They are no longer permitted to earn any monies outside the compensation that is granted them.

So they have just been punished and sent to debtors prison for having served their country and placed themselves in harms way to defend the very system from which the IRS derives its existence. They are awarded a scarlett  “L” for Lien for the balance of their life. It will follow their children to the grave.

Cruel? Inhumane? You choose the adjective you like, but I say it should be known from shore to shore and be the source of some pretty hefty moral outrage.

When you have hundreds of convoluted,conniving and outright dishonest tax schemes and strategies implemented by the uber wealthy, then this relegation of our combat veterans looks pretty damn bad. With all the paid in advance for bitching about taxes, this year will be one of the best since the 1930’s for this set of elite tax dodging Americans.  The effective tax rate for these titans of commerce will be about 17%. For the next 1.4 million people who make up the top 1% of taxpayers, the rate will be about 23%. The lowest in nearly  60 years!

The kicker! Many have made their fortunes off two wars that are now longer than the Vietnam war. The profiteering is staggering.  Yet a 100% Disabled veterans cannot by granted tax amnesty.  That is reserved for the likes of  Donald Trump, Philip Anschutz and thousands of Fortune 50o executives who have the loot to play the game of Trust Freezes and Option Options and Friendly Partner tax schemes.  Parker Brothers should patent these strategies as games, so we can teach our children how to cheat with clandestine tactics to never pay a dime in taxes.  And the vet has to worry about renting an apartment or  his or her employer seeing a lien on their credit report.

Anyone peeved yet? Well please ask your Congress person to address this before the 2o12 election.  There are 22 million of us, I think we can make a difference.


Now that we got that off our chest, here is the next one.

Did you know that a veteran of war who acquires the diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,(PTSD), cannot get a Life Insurance policy? And I do not mean a rapacious term policy that is only a capital call for the insurance industry. I mean a straight up whole life policy like the VA grants to its disabled veterans, but only for a maximum of $20,000.00.

The industry has this notion that the life span of PTSD veterans is shortened. Do they not watch those 93 year old  World War ll veterans on the History Channel?  I have asked 5 major insurers to provide me with the epidemiological studies  that corroborate this finding of their actuaries. None have responded.  Knights of Columbus declined to answer why, and a John Hancock agent just commiserated with me  and agreed that is was sad.  USAA, who do a stellar job with veterans  does have a product, but not very attractive pricing.

One thing that is missing in their decision tree, is consideration of the cohort groups that have sought and completed treatment programs that are now considered to be quite successful in ameliorating symptoms of war if caught early enough.

I had one financial maven tell me to just advise the veteran to lie. “Do not release your VA medical records,” he said.  If asked if you have an insurance policy, say no…the VA is not a policy!  I do not advise this, but it shows the gravity and injustice of a system that gives lip service to veterans but does not walk the walk.

The number of veterans with head injuries that are permanent has increased by 240% over the past 9 years.  These combatants will not be in the conventional work force ever again.  One Marine suggested, “head injuries are the weapon of mass destruction sent home.” Wow, tears.

But, do you think they may owe some taxes? I say clean the slate for them, implement some realistic patriotism, and go get the loot from Exon and General Electric.

So how is this for the “Support The Troops” movement?

This blog is titled Veteran Veritas, meaning, Truth. Sometimes it is not so comfortable.

Why You Should Be Proud To Be A Vietnam Veteran

You served your country in tumultuous and chaotic times when it was not popular to serve our nation.  68% of you enlisted.

You were the best educated fighting force our nation had ever sent to combat. Seventy-two percent of you had a high school diploma or better.  Virtually no College athletic teams have that ratio.

You grunts served more time in combat than any soldier of any war. The average infantryman in Vietnam saw about 24o days of combat engagement during a twelve or thirteen month tour of duty. The average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War ll saw approximately 44 days of combat in four years.

Your service in Vietnam developed the air mobile concept–the extensive use of helicopters for transport, logistical support, medvac, reconnaissance and fire support.  Your service in Vietnam also assisted in the development of new tactics, weapons and means of communication, and new and improved procedures in emergency medicine that saved lives. Less than 1% of Americans wounded, who survived the first 24 hours, died. As a result a modern day soldier can be triaged faster that most local hospitals.

Your service in Vietnam defeated the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army major offensives during Tet of 68 and 69. You won.

Your service prevented Communism from taking over all of Southeast Asia. Ho Chi Minh was a Nationalist more than a communist. Some say he was ingenious enough to use them. They are now business partners and the source of precious resources including one of the best kept secrets in the world….oil off the South China sea shores. The Phillipines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore (our creditor) and Thailand stayed free of Communism. You WON the war to save most all of South East Asia.

In December of 1972, the massive bombing of North Vietnam, ugly and necessary, compelled the North Vietnamese to sign the Paris Peace accords in January of 1973.  You WON the war then.

Saigon was overrun by the North Vietnamese Army on April 30th, 1975, two years after the U.S. Military left Vietnam. As the saying of Nam Vets goes..”we were winning when I left.”

You kept your wits about you when a nation shunned you and doled out some pretty shabby treatment. 

You are now the light at the end of tunnel and some of the most refined leaders America has ever known. You know things that can save us.

You are all Heroes of the highest order for you service in Vietnam. Welcome Home!

Happy Veterans Day.


statistics provided by Colonel Joe Abodeely U.S. Army Retired.

Happy Birthday Marines

“Gotta love dem Marines.” Or at least our wives do!

I have spent my entire adult life in the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of anyone who threatens it!

This year I would like to share some of  the aspects of the Marine Corps that have added to my quality of life and to some of the successes I have experienced over time.

There is little question about the value of discipline in ones life. Professionally, socially and  spiritually, the accrued benefits of the rigorous training of the Marine Corps become an annuity that can be drawn from in times of stress and chaos.  Little in civilian life can ever compare to the experience of war and the equanimity needed to negotiate your own internal fears and  perform at a high level.   I am convinced that the balance of mind and spirit contributed to rewarding career in commercial property management and to the attributes of being a good husband and father.

The most penetrating and lasting benefit of being a Marine has been the sustenance that comes from the unending fellowship and camaraderie of  fellow Marines. It is a  love that surpasses all understanding and has the secondary benefit of  an increased sense of spirituality in daily living.  As paradoxical as it may seem,  the Marine Corps actually makes one a better lover in the broadest sense of the word.  The espirit de corps that is so often referenced is in turn a form of Agagpe, the sort of which promotes peace and understanding.

Marine training has no false sympathy or feigned understanding. When given a job.. you do not leave the post until it is done.  I was told by my bosses that this is the reason I was hired over other applicants.

The emphasis placed on values is also something that has a very long half life. Current day Marines carry value cards that they are issued and they sign. The front has the standard Honor, Courage and Committment and the back the states that Marines lead by example, respect themselves foremost, place faith and honor above all else and give allegiance to God,Country, Corps and Family.  How can you go wrong with that value system in your pocket?

Many of us old and new breed lead our lives today with the same traditions that we were taught in boot camp.  I am a man in full as a result.


“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they make a difference in the world. But the Marines don’t have that problem.”  Ronald Reagan 1985

“There are only two kinds of people who understand Marines, Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.”

General Thornson, U.S Army

” The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the Marine Coprs.”  Eleanor Roosevelt 1945


“America doesn’t need a Marine Corps, America wants a Marine Corps.” General Krulak


Happy Birthday Jarheads!!