EDIT: proof is here http://imgur.com/CFHsI His sqaudron hat http://imgur.com/J4O3l Distiguished Flying Cross Case http://imgur.com/7SkWe
Good luck finding fake DFC, hes got several more in storage somewhere http://imgur.com/6BlmD Flight suit nametag http://imgur.com/W6Oih Squadron Flag http://imgur.com/28oAv Distinguished flying cross certificate http://imgur.com/zb523


Comments: 506 • Responses: 72  • Date: 

x_yz_x_yz43 karma

How common was drug abuse among the US military in Vietnam?

TheEeyore42 karma

Very common.

x_yz_x_yz18 karma

Was it as bad as it's portrayed in the Vietnam war movies? Most of these films portray the US troops as pretty well blasted out of their minds on everything from marajuana to LSD.

TheEeyore30 karma

Not quite THAT bad. But many lived each day as if it was their last.

x_yz_x_yz15 karma

which drug was most popular?

TheEeyore36 karma

Probably cocaine.

MacGyver0914 karma

I was under the impression morphine was a bigger deal in the Vietnam war, due to far greater ease or access.

TheEeyore24 karma

To my knowledge, cocaine was bigger, but morphine was big too.

Stuckita24 karma

If you don't mind me asking, what was the most traumatic experience that you had to endure?

TheEeyore59 karma

I saw one of my friends face blown off.

LivingInMomsBasement24 karma

Ever play mw2?

TheEeyore32 karma

Yes I have played it once or twice with my son.

WhoShotMyGoat13 karma

what are your thoughts on it? as you actually did something like that in real life?

TheEeyore59 karma

I believe it numbs sensitivity to death

WhoShotMyGoat11 karma

agreed. Do soldiers tend to find these video games offensive?

TheEeyore38 karma

Yes I do.

WhoShotMyGoat11 karma

Fair enough

TheEeyore27 karma

I meant to put : Yes I do think that (they find it offensive)

ttovah22 karma

can you watch movies where they are in vietnam, fighting or do you get traumatic memories??

TheEeyore100 karma

No, can't watch them. That's also why I hate going to the Rainforest Cafe.

StevieLondon22 karma

Were you in the shit?

TheEeyore27 karma


do_drugs_forever21 karma

dont you hate it when people use missles to take down your ac 130 ruining your kill streak :(

TheEeyore115 karma

My son says they are n00bs.

brooks108920 karma

How'd the ac-130 handle? How much time did it take to gain a sense of fidelity between you and your pilot?

TheEeyore21 karma

It was pretty much instant.

imMatt1919 karma

Were there ever any situations where you were almost shot down in combat?

TheEeyore34 karma

Yes. Just about every mission.

TerryTheJanitor16 karma

What was the most common weapon that was a threat to you. Could ground infantry take you out?

TheEeyore28 karma

SAM-3 .

TheEeyore19 karma

And Yea, they could during my first year flying.

pccrooks18 karma

What type of munitions did you normally use? What was the most effective method of making the people on the ground stop doing whatever it was that called for your presence in the first place? Did you ever come under air-to-air attack from enemy aircraft?

TheEeyore23 karma

Loud ones. 20 mm, 40 mm, and 105 mm.

techiebabe18 karma

As someone coming to this AMA late (well, it is morning where I am), I am a bit thrown by the rant in the text box. Thanks for providing proof, but please consider how the rest looks to newcomers. It would be good if you could explain a little more about your father' s experiences, and saved the rant for a SMALL edit at the bottom. Coming in to an AMA where the host is already ranting is very offputting... not sure whether to bother reading or whether this is going to be full of argument.

This is reddit, you will always get doubters, just answer them with as much respect as you can muster and move on!

I say all this trying to be helpful.

TL:DR; Please put useful background in the text box and save / minimise the ranting.

To end, a question or two, as this is an AMA: Has your father suffered any form of PTSD or difficulty coping when he returned home? And, what was his happiest memory or thing that uplifted his heart?

TheEeyore5 karma

I was ranting up there so people would see it. I didn't mean to scare incomers, but if you read theses threads, I'm not dealing with merely doubters. They are flat out accusing my father of lying. I can't provide any more proof without invading his privacy. There is only so much I can do.

brooks108916 karma

Did you feel the war was justified upon your deployment? Did your view change as the war progressed?

TheEeyore34 karma

  1. No, I did not.
  2. Not really. My duty was to protect our guys on the ground. So that's what I did.

apache11915 karma


TheEeyore42 karma

Waiting for a plane to come back from it's last mission. The whole squadron was out on the flight line, waiting for them. Then the crew chief walked over and picked up the chalks (meaning the plane was shot down). RIP.

TheEeyore29 karma

EDIT: Chocks, not chalks.

apache11916 karma


TheEeyore28 karma

Sorry I put chalks. I am 15 and my dad is answering the questions because hes not a very fast typist. Didn't realize he said chocks. Thank you for very subtly correcting me.

IhaveSomeQuestions5614 karma


TheEeyore17 karma

  1. Sometimes we couldn't
  2. you could trade them for a pack of ciggarettes
  3. Classified
  4. Once aver 4 months
  5. 20%. 20%.

ActionWaters14 karma

I thank you for your service.

TheEeyore22 karma

I am happy to serve.

Gravy-Leg__14 karma

What was your typical mission?

TheEeyore23 karma

Truck interdiction. Which was stopping supply lines to the enemy. Also, most missions were at night.

LetsGoProtest13 karma

Do you feel our current wars are reminiscent of the kind of wars that Korea and Vietnam were?

Also, do you know if the Korean war had any effect on decision making during Nam?

TheEeyore22 karma

Absolutely. No, we weren't out to win. We tried fighting a war with our hands behind or back. There are no rules in war.

palinsretardedbaby13 karma

Did you know or were you aware of any officers being fragged?

Did you have relationships with native women?

TheEeyore28 karma

No I was not. Yes.

Soldhissoulforthis12 karma

What war movie (along the lines of Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now etc) do you think accurately portrays what it was like in Vietnam?

TheEeyore37 karma

Platoon or The Deer Hunter.

MadeInDeutschland11 karma

Were you scared of going?

Did you ever think you were going to die?

Did you truly understand what the US Army was doing there?

TheEeyore16 karma

Yeah. Daily. We only knew what we were led to believe.

MadeInDeutschland8 karma

Do you now think the war was justified or that the US Army had the right to be there?

TheEeyore15 karma

No, we didn't fight to win.

SoverignPilot6 karma

That's what my grandfather says. He says we half assed it and that we are doing the same in Afganistan. Do you think this is because strict rules of engagement or our reluctance to chase the enemy across borders?

TheEeyore14 karma

Absolutely I think that's the reason.

SoverignPilot4 karma

So you support the drone strikes in Pakistan? Do you think the AC-130 should see more action today? Would you support you're son enlisting to go fight or even join the military in peacetime?

TheEeyore9 karma

Yes I am behind them. It is a useful weapon in our arsenal. Absolutely not.

SoverignPilot4 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA and thanks for everything you did for those guys on the ground. You saved American lives over there. Thank you for your service and three more questions. Did you have any experience with the South Vietnamise Army? My grandfather said they were completely untrustworthy. Did you have any contact with the crews and pilots of other CAS aircraft such as the AC-47 or the Cobra Attack helicopter? Were you ever nervous flying after you got out?

TheEeyore6 karma

  1. Yea, they were in fact very untrustworthy.
  2. No, but we did have contact with F4's.
  3. Not at all.

Cadre_Padre11 karma

Did your gunship have a codename? What was it's codename? Did you do the gatling guns or the heavy artillery?


TheEeyore18 karma

Yes, but it changed daily. The squadron was called Spectre though. Both.

Journalisto11 karma

When my dad served, he went through some pretty intense training. Especially for surviving in the jungle and POW camps. Did you feel your training was adequate for what you faced or can nothing fully prepare you?

TheEeyore37 karma

Nothing can prepare ANYONE for war.

m16a10 karma

Firstly, thank you for your service. Secondly, is the pylon turn as effective and devastating as it is made out to be in the AC-130?

TheEeyore13 karma


m16a4 karma

It's said to be extraordinarily accurate, even enough to be used within proximity of friendlies. How accurate could you be in your experience?

TheEeyore20 karma

I could shoot easily within a 5 foot diameter.

Soldhissoulforthis9 karma

Just a few more questions...

  • How many of the people you served with are still alive or still keep in contact with.
  • Has your health suffered in any way since returning from the war?
  • Were you ever shot or caught some shrapnel?

TheEeyore11 karma

  1. None.
  2. I don't really know.
  3. No.

AnotherMilitaryAMA8 karma

  1. Do you think the US military should immediately get out of Afghanistan? Why or why not?

  2. Do you believe the US military is creating more enemies by continuing to occupy Afghanistan?

  3. Why do you think the US military is still in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2013?

  4. What parallels do you find between the Vietnam and Afghanistan wars?

TheEeyore14 karma

  1. Absolutely. We aren't there to win. There are no rules in war.
  2. Yes.
  3. Purely Politcal Reasons
  4. We are trying to fight with rules. And that won't get us anywhere.

jon813 karma

4.We are trying to fight with rules. And that won't get us anywhere.

So you see war as an all or nothing type proposition?

TheEeyore8 karma

Yes I do.

mrsjrd8 karma

Thank you for your service.

TheEeyore20 karma

Proud to be of service.

Armpitfluff7 karma

How similar is the AC-130 to that of one in a video game, such as Call of Duty or Battlefield? Also, thank you for your service!

TheEeyore15 karma

Very similar.

Chikcen7 karma

Was there any moment where you had to make a difficult judgement call? If so, how did it turn out? Would you have done something different if you could go back?

Edit: Awkward phrasing.

TheEeyore14 karma

Yes, pretty much daily. Some good, some not so good. No, wouldn't change those decisions.

dmaster37 karma

How do you aim the weapons? Which weapon was your favorite? Did you carry a parachute? Did you switch munition types (frag, HE, incindiary) during an attack?

TheEeyore18 karma

Still Classified. the 105 mm. No. Parachutes were stored, we just war harnesses. Yes, constantly.

Thornsten7 karma

Why aren't your ribbons in the correct order in the uniform picture?

TheEeyore4 karma

They are.

Ryal16 karma

How did you get MSgt after 4.5 years?

TheEeyore18 karma

SMSGT actually. I went into the reserves after my 4.5 active years. Retired as a Senior Master Seargent. I was in the reserves for almost 16 years.

SoverignPilot6 karma

How different was the AC-130 compared to the C-130 in terms or thins like handling, noise, takeoff and landing distance?

TheEeyore13 karma

AC-130 was a lot louder because we flew with the ramp open. But for the most part, they were pretty much the same.

Ryal18 karma

No ear protection used back in the day? I work on bombers and anything louder than a truck requires earpro

TheEeyore14 karma

We wore headsets for communications, but that's about it.

sheepheadslayer6 karma

The spectre gunship must have been pretty young yet when you were on active duty for it. What did most people think about it? Which gun did you like to use the most? What was the aiming system like back then?

TheEeyore17 karma

Only 3 of them when I was flying. Most people thought it was awesome. 105 mm. Still Classified.

WhoShotMyGoat5 karma

Why is it classified?

TheEeyore18 karma

Because it is still in use.

WhoShotMyGoat7 karma

Interesting. How old are you now?

TheEeyore18 karma


WhoShotMyGoat13 karma

I feel honored to have spoken with someone with such valor. Thanks for your time.

TheEeyore15 karma

Thank YOU.

burgenic6 karma

Thanks for doing this! One question. Could you describe your freakiest/scariest moment?

TheEeyore23 karma

My first and last mission. Scared that I was gonna be shot going in or leaving.

telekinetic_turtle5 karma

How about some proof?

Huplescat2211 karma

Proof would be particularly helpful to this guys credibility. His brief user history looks more characteristic of a 14 year old than a sixty-something man.

[deleted]1 karma


TheEeyore29 karma

This is actually a 15 year old's account (mine) but my father is doing the AMAA. But i did post the link to proof on another request for it. In cased you missed it, http://imgur.com/CFHsI .

cetduree5 karma

Before I ask my question, thank you for your service - not for the politicians who started the war but for your brothers in arms. My brother spent a year in Afghanistan and while we get along fairly well, I'm having a difficult time getting close to him and I feel like part of it may be trauma from the war - in your experience was it difficult to relate to people upon returning from the war? How did you come out of your shell, if it was ever an issue?

TheEeyore7 karma

Yes, very difficult. Because they can never understand what war is, that's not their fault, it's just the truth. And honestly, I don't know if I ever did.

LikeAPuma2125 karma

How often we're you deployed on a mission? Also thank you for your service.

TheEeyore13 karma

Almost nightly.

Marylandman1014 karma

what did you think of the anti war protestors? Thanks for your service sir

TheEeyore14 karma

I hated them, in my own opinion.

saladsk4 karma

Thank you for your service. I come from a military family. My mom was in the Air Force and my uncle fought in Vietnam as well.

  • What did you think of the anti-war protesters? Did you think they were disrespectful?

  • Did you lose anyone you were close too?

  • What was hardest part of the war, mentally and physically?

TheEeyore6 karma

  1. I was not a big fan. I hated them.
  2. Yes.
  3. Mentally: Losing so many men for no reason Physically: The heat in the plane.

lukemad3 karma


mediocre_robot3 karma

I heard some military personnel would rape Vietnamese women, was this true?

Also how did you feel after learning the war was started over a lie?

TheEeyore23 karma

Yes. Well, i just wanted to protect our guys on the ground. So that's what I did. I didn't even care at that point about the politics of it, I was just doing my job.

clwreaper3 karma

Is it difficult to shoot down planes?

TheEeyore6 karma

We never fired at planes. That's what F4's are for.

LyingPervert3 karma

We're you ever faced with a situation where you were about to lose your life but some how didn't? If so, explain please?

TheEeyore8 karma

Absolutely. The scariest is usually when munitions exploded IN the plane.

silencecalls6 karma

Could you elaborate a little more? How/why did it happens? What were the results to the plane? To the people inside? Are you guys protected from such a thing?

TheEeyore8 karma

Faulty 40 mm round exploded while it was being fed into the gun. one gun damaged, one gunner blinded. No protection.

xampl95 karma

Did you know John Levitow?

TheEeyore4 karma

No I do not.

IhaveSomeQuestions563 karma


TheEeyore5 karma

  1. 2 years as an instructor gunner
  2. Ubon, Thailand
  3. 1969-73
  4. Classified.
  5. Classified

TenthSpeedWriter2 karma

I don't suppose you served with anyone by the last name of Rhinehart, did you?

TheEeyore4 karma

whats the first name? What position on plane?

vivepopo2 karma

How were you chosen to command the gun system on the airship?

TheEeyore5 karma

The pilot was the ships commander.

[deleted]1 karma


TheEeyore2 karma

At this time in my life, there was no help available.

BRAiN81 karma

Did you have any encounters with the locals, perhaps the mountainous people of SE Asia?

TheEeyore6 karma

yea, we had mortar attacks from insurgent groups there.

[deleted]0 karma

You mentioned that drug abuse was popular there. What was the drug of choice? Were they supplied by the military or were they drugs from the area? Also, thank you for your service.

TheEeyore7 karma

cocaine. they were from the area.

Ryal13 karma

What were the results, were people kicked out, or just pushed back to work?

TheEeyore6 karma