My short bio: I volunteered in 1967, did Basic & Advanced Infantry Training at Fort Knox, Jump School at Fort Benning. Then went to Fort Bragg for Special Forces training Phase 1, 2 & 3. Next stop, Quan Tri south Vietnam, assigned to P company Rangers in 1969. Team Lead on 22 missions, no friendly KIA!

Edit: It is hard to believe it has been almost four decades

My Proof: Edit Thank you to the Redditor who did the work to find me, and post this reply to those "calling fake"

http://imgur.com/PFpFB4V

I was asked for my dd-214 but after sifting through a few stacks of paper and bills from the VA here is the summary of my VA benefits. Which shows my service time and Honorable discharge. I thought I knew right where it was, now I know I need to find it.

edit: Ok, Thank you Redddit for your interest and questions. I am back 3/30/14 - 3:30pm ET. I will do a few more hours but not more, I couldn't get to sleep until 6am thinking about all that crap.

edit: Ok I am done (6:30pm ET), other than posting my dd-214 when I can put my hands on it. Thank you for your appreciation.

RLTW,

Troll

edit: FYI, the computer operator was a student of Troll's from about 15 years ago. He helped me then, and I try to help him now. He seems to feel comfortable telling me things, so I asked him if he wanted to do an IAMA, he said yes.

I typed every response word for word. There were a few posts I didn't bother to read to Troll. There were a few things asked that he did not want to answer also. Thank you to the Reddit community for asking questions. I know some of this was tough for Troll, (choked up a few times, and took a break) but he said it was worth it, and he enjoyed it.

Comments: 1223 • Responses: 119  • Date: 

KarmaCoverage782 karma

Who is this Eminem? Why does candy get more votes than me?

Localidiot229 karma

People are stupid. Thank you for serving and for doing this AMA. I have become fascinated with the Vietnam war (I'm in my late 20s) for the last few years and I loved reading your posts.

KarmaCoverage214 karma

Thank you, I am glad to do it

KarmaCoverage319 karma

The Bia Long Valley is where most of my missions were.

amymiller189099 karma

Hi,

I hope you see this message. I am married to someone from Vinh Linh Special Zone in northern Quang Tri -- family moved to La Vang (near Quang Tri city) in 1960. They were ARVN-affiliated Catholics.

Can you tell us about your experiences in the province? I am not sure where the Bia Long Valley is (perhaps A Bia region now?), but I am assuming you were closer to Khe Sanh/Laotian border.

What were your experiences of people who stayed in the area? My understanding from visiting the area is that after 1968 (and definitely after 1972), most areas around Quang Tri City/Citadel were totally absent of civilians. Any insight on the day-to-day would be interesting.

Also, have you been back since 1975?

Thanks!

KarmaCoverage109 karma

have you been back since 1975?

No

most areas around Quang Tri City/Citadel were totally absent of civilians.

Right, I have very little contact

izaacibanez97318 karma

I'll probably be downvoted for this, but I promise I don't mean to come off as rude. If you had killed anyone in combat, how does it feel, especially the first time? I can't imagine what thatd be like.

KarmaCoverage677 karma

First time felt very bad, I could not sleep. I never knew satisfaction until after I saw one or two of my friends killed. It never bothered me again. It was always Kill or be Killed.

izaacibanez97211 karma

Thank you for your response. I had an uncle who served in Vietnam who passed away last summer. He was there from '68-'69, and shared some incredible stories with me, but nothing of his own experiences with killing. I never felt id be comfortable to ask him, knowing the stress he dealt with when he got back.

KarmaCoverage209 karma

That is difficult

nun05 karma

I was also super curious about this and feeling hesitant to ask. Might as well give this one a shot. How many people did you guys kill? And how many personally? Is that a messed up question?

KarmaCoverage8 karma

How many people did you guys kill?

I dont know, more than one, believe me.

And how many personally?

I dont know

kimiraiko311 karma

[deleted]

KarmaCoverage554 karma

I like this question, T-Rex

jskelington3502292 karma

Are there any Nam movies you think are even close to real?

KarmaCoverage1590 karma

Movies dont have a smell

KarmaCoverage291 karma

I am done for now, Thank you for our interest. I will reply to more questions later.

manoeuvre44282 karma

Did you try opium when you were overseas?

Encounters with the Vietnamese women?

KarmaCoverage515 karma

Did you try opium when you were overseas?

Yes

Encounters with the Vietnamese women?

Yes

izaacibanez97474 karma

Did they love you long time?

KarmaCoverage975 karma

No

gortklatu234 karma

It has been too long coming ... Happy Vietnam Veterans Day, March 29 ... and welcome home.

KarmaCoverage189 karma

Thank You!

americangoyisback225 karma

I'll start.

What kind of food did you guys eat? Any native food or did you stick with the "made in USA" food in packets?

KarmaCoverage376 karma

We very seldom ate "native food" I remember eating a few snakes. Almost entire diet was "made in USA"

americangoyisback142 karma

I asked because I read all the books of the late great Bernard B. Fall.

In "Street", he says that while French spec ops teams came to mountain people and ate their food, were respectful, etc, the Americans did not.

The Americans came into a village, chatted to the chief, then when they were served food as honored guests they took out plastic bags with sandwiches.

The French who were introducing them to the Montagnards were mortified, the chief and the tribal elders were horrified.

Lots of good will was lost.

This was before your time in country, late 50's, early 60's.

KarmaCoverage215 karma

Well, I was offered food and I ate it. I didnt know what it was. But it was not a regular occurrence. We did not normally come into contact with natives. What you said is true.

andypandy342196 karma

What was combat like in Vietnam? Have you ever returned to the country?

KarmaCoverage321 karma

What was combat like in Vietnam?

It was exciting but i dont miss it.

Have you ever returned to the country?

No, I am now physically unable to

andypandy342180 karma

Best question for last - in hindsight, would you do it again?

KarmaCoverage375 karma

YES absolutely

cavedoggy192 karma

Were you injured in Vietnam?

KarmaCoverage361 karma

No, I was one of the few Rangers who was not.

I did break my ankle and had my parachute not open twice (in training).

jstroks181 karma

What did you do when your parachute did not open, and how did you not die?!?!?!

KarmaCoverage574 karma

What did you do when your parachute did not open, and how did you not die?!?!?!

  • The first time I landed in a swamp
  • The second time I got caught up in the tree branches.
  • I am very lucky god damn it!

They made the riggers who packed the parachute jump with 1 of the chutes he had packed.

The_Tomato_Whisperer134 karma

That's some insane luck. Glad you're okay! What was your first thought when you realized the chute wouldn't open?

KarmaCoverage616 karma

What was your first thought when you realized the chute wouldn't open?

Oh SHIT!

Loushius62 karma

Reserve parachute probably

KarmaCoverage180 karma

Yes but it is useless at 500 ft, that is the one I landed in the trees, night jump.

konaborne177 karma

No question, thank you for your service. Rangers Lead The Way!

KarmaCoverage268 karma

Thank you

Rangers Lead The Way!

Correct

tornadoRadar117 karma

Do you recall a ranger first name Dale?

KarmaCoverage158 karma

If he had glasses I do.

P Company?

tornadoRadar135 karma

From MN? This just got whoa status.

KarmaCoverage147 karma

Yes, Dale,

I think I know who he is. He was taller than me & glasses.

What is he doing now? Can I ask if the last name starts with an R?

tornadoRadar61 karma

D. Last part of the name man...

KarmaCoverage63 karma

I dont know?

tornadoRadar50 karma

The dale I know doesn't wear glasses. He left rangers for a certain agency in the Meade area

KarmaCoverage475 karma

Sorry, No, my god it has been 40 years, I'm lucky to remember to go to the bathroom.

meeper8737 karma

Firstly, thank you for your service! Gonna hop on the MN Vietnam veterans train here. Any chance you remember a tall thin fellow, Michael?

KarmaCoverage68 karma

I thought about it, No

tomorrowsomewhere154 karma

Over here in SF we have a lot of homeless vets wandering the streets who suffer from mental illness. What do you think we (individuals, the government, etc.) should do to help vets who are struggling with mental health issues?

KarmaCoverage281 karma

What do you think we should do to help vets who are struggling with mental health issues?

Consider where you are and your attitude about warfare. I dont think you as a population really care.

I_am_Tre139 karma

I would like you to know a lot of people do care. I have friends that have served and I do care about them and their stories. Maybe they discount me because I have never served, but I do care about them and I know other people certainly do as well.

KarmaCoverage371 karma

That is good to know. Shame on me for bad mouthing an entire group of people. I guess I can be as ignorant as some people sometimes.

ErnestHemingwhey147 karma

What pushed you to go into special forces instead of a regular duty?

KarmaCoverage361 karma

Desire to stay alive, the more you know the better off you are going to be.

ErnestHemingwhey113 karma

Smart move, glad to see you were right and made it back. Thank you and have a good day sir!

KarmaCoverage148 karma

Thank you, glad to be back.

ProfessorWyatt146 karma

Have you ever read a book called "The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War" By Fredrick Downs Jr? It has opened my eyes to give me a good idea of what the Vietnam War was like, at least, to a certain perspective.

KarmaCoverage182 karma

Yes, for the most part it was right on.

Watch_your_top_knot145 karma

Hey brother. I was a squad leader in 2nd Ranger Bn from 04-11 and deployed to both theaters of the GWOT for a total of 30 months in country. Just wanted to tell you how much respect the modern guys have for you all and you have never been forgotten by your brothers. SUA SPONTE

RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!

KarmaCoverage154 karma

Head shake up/down

americangoyisback145 karma

Did you guys know anything about the MACV-SOG guys, and did any of the Rangers that you knew of back then join that program?

Did you know about the secret war in Laos?

How about crossings into Cambodia?

And last, did you ever have Cheiu hoi guys on patrols with you guys?

KarmaCoverage255 karma

Did you guys know anything about the MACV-SOG guys, and did any of the Rangers that you knew of back then join that program?

Yes, I know about it, & Yes I know guys who joined, I never heard from them afterwards.

Did you know about the secret war in Laos?

Yes, rumors

How about crossings into Cambodia?

Yes, I knew about it. It was a Good idea.

did you ever have Cheiu hoi guys on patrols with you guys?

For the most part they worked out very good. They were deathly afraid of getting captured.

americangoyisback103 karma

Thanks for the answers.

KarmaCoverage206 karma

Thank you for your questions

anywho123125 karma

how many times do you get random strangers coming up to shake your hand in public?

KarmaCoverage229 karma

Once a week, if I am wearing my P Company tshirt

IonComet122 karma

What were your thoughts on your Tunnel Rat comrade's? I've heard they were highly respected by there fellow soldiers for going down those enemy tunnels.

KarmaCoverage220 karma

I've heard they were highly respected by there fellow soldiers

Including me, I also have claustrophobia very bad.

lowspeedlowdrag122 karma

What do you think of the Army's increasing use of Ranger School as a "leadership school" rather than one that strictly provides Rangers to the Regiment?

As a volunteer, what was your take on draftees? Did you know any draftees who volunteered to be Rangers?

KarmaCoverage241 karma

What do you think of the Army's increasing use of Ranger School as a "leadership school" rather than one that strictly provides Rangers to the Regiment?

Boo, thats what West Point is for

As a volunteer, what was your take on draftees?

I dont know, I never served with them

Did you know any draftees who volunteered to be Rangers?

I can think of any, we were all volunteers

Drop_the_Soap115 karma

Was your trip at all like the movies portray the war in Vietnam?

KarmaCoverage244 karma

No, movies do a lot of self analysis

Big_Fun105 karma

You've stated that you supported the war in vietnam, can you tell us why? Why did you volunteer?

KarmaCoverage219 karma

Can you tell us why?

The little guy fighting back.

Why did you volunteer?

General boredom, I went to college and I got bored.

Big_Fun76 karma

By the little guy I'm assuming / hoping you mean South Vietnam.

I used to read a lot of Vietnam war books as a child, thanks for answering. I grew up to be a pacifist but that being said I appreciate you serving our country. I hope you weren't treated (too) badly when you got back. America's treatment of Vietnam war veterans is still baffling to me.

KarmaCoverage151 karma

By the little guy I'm assuming / hoping you mean South Vietnam.

Right

I used to read a lot of Vietnam war books as a child, thanks for answering. I grew up to be a pacifist but that being said I appreciate you serving our country. I hope you weren't treated (too) badly when you got back. America's treatment of Vietnam war veterans is still baffling to me.

Baffled me too, but I think history justified me

KarmaCoverage94 karma

Ok I am done. Thank you all for your questions and interest. I am truly blown away. Yeah I am.

Thanks from Troll

joesoprano593 karma

Have you brought back any souvenirs? If yes, what exactly?

KarmaCoverage179 karma

Yes, they were stolen.

  • A uniform, with the Pith Helmet
  • Couple of hand grenades Chi Com, They were Chinese and they were empty

chinchillasunrise88 karma

How do you feel about the current generation of Soldiers?

Any "back in my day" thoughts concerning appearance standards or even training?

Thank you for your service.

KarmaCoverage182 karma

How do you feel about the current generation of Soldiers?

I am very proud of them!

Any "back in my day" thoughts concerning appearance standards or even training?

Nope, none, well I think they are superior in most respects.

ccbearqst86 karma

I've been to Afghanistan twice and can't even gained the horrors you saw sir. My hat is off to you.

KarmaCoverage156 karma

Vice Versa, at least I could hide in the brush, you could not hide in the dessert. & I am allergic to sand fries.

Epicbehavior85 karma

What was your teams role in Quang Tri? What was your outlook on the war by the end of 1970?

KarmaCoverage189 karma

What was your teams role in Quang Tri?

Ambush & Observe

What was your outlook on the war by the end of 1970?

I was then and am now in favor of it, which drove everybody nuts. I was in the minority.

Sonmi-45263 karma

I was then and am now in favor of it

This surprises me. Care to explain why?

KarmaCoverage176 karma

Communism was expanding, We had to make a stand somewhere. At the time we believed communism needed to be stopped. In Cuba we believed communism was taking over.

Also, so Russia and China would not get away with it, they were funding the NVA.

Speed_Bump79 karma

My dad felt the same way and spent most of 68-72 over there as a result, happy both of you made it back.

KarmaCoverage125 karma

Whoa, I am too

jskelington350283 karma

What was the single scariest moment you experienced over there. And how do you think the Army did preparing you mentally for what you had to do? And thank you.

KarmaCoverage166 karma

What was the single scariest moment you experienced over there.

Oh, my radio went out, I had forgot the backup emergency radio, and I was responsible for five other men's lives. I went back to the LZ and finally got the radio working, and got help and extracted. I got the hell out of there.

how do you think the Army did preparing you mentally for what you had to do?

I said it once before, you cannot prepare for the crap that goes on. I think the Japanese were the only ones, that i can think of, during WWII, who prepared their soldiers. Where as America never did, never will, I don't know how they could.

I_am_Tre45 karma

Would you say fanaticism is the only way to properly be prepared then? What is the difference do you think?

KarmaCoverage114 karma

Would you say fanaticism is the only way to properly be prepared then?

Yes, look at the Taleban

ziezie77 karma

My grandpa is also a Vietnam Vet, because he doesn't talk about it at all. He's lost all of his belongings from then (dog tags, outfit, everything like that). I don't recall what years he served.

Do you talk to any vets regularly? Do a good majority of them keep to themselves? He's been a father to me my entire life, and I really wish he knew where his tags were, at least.

KarmaCoverage194 karma

Do you talk to any vets regularly?

Yes

Do a good majority of them keep to themselves?

Yes they keep to them selves

He's lost all of his belongings from then (dog tags, outfit, everything like that)

He lost everything because he does not particularly care. Try to move on.

Brian17570 karma

Hey fellow Ranger here though from a completely different era. What exactly comprised of Special Forces training Phase 1, 2, and 3?

KarmaCoverage112 karma

Ranger training twice over.

  • Phase 1 - Ranger training
  • Phase 2 - Como (aka communications)
  • Phast 3 - combination of everything I learned, and the hardest and most difficult

Brian17546 karma

How often did you guys operate in 'heavy' teams? I read a little about it.

KarmaCoverage73 karma

I think I was on two missions with heavy teams.

Brian17548 karma

How did a typical mission go down?

KarmaCoverage92 karma

We had two days to research, find out what we were looking for, what they wanted us to find. One day discussing it with the team members, then we were inserted after about three days. We would find out as much info about the area that we were going into, observe any enemy activity and ambush when we could. It was only a six man team so we could not do a whole lot.

Brian17535 karma

Very interesting. Well if you ever get a chance you should try to make it out to a Ranger Rendezvous event the Regiment throws every year.

KarmaCoverage83 karma

I would like to but I am limited, physically i cant walk.

hondahawk252 karma

Did agent orange have to do anything with your inability to walk?

KarmaCoverage126 karma

Yeah, I have a neurological disease, I think caused by agent orange. The VA, although they disagree, they have given me disability anyways.

Tobin32169 karma

What music did you listen to during your time in Vietnam, if any at all?

KarmaCoverage107 karma

I cant remember.

intensebreathing65 karma

Do you have any particularly crazy stories from your time as a Ranger?

KarmaCoverage174 karma

aaaa, I had a buddy drop a hand grenade at my feed, live, and yell "Oops", I could not believe it. I grabbed it, and laughed like hell, and threw it, "oops".

manoeuvre4455 karma

Were you in support of the war in Afghanistan & Iraq?

Was the Vietnam war necessary?

KarmaCoverage105 karma

Were you in support of the war in Afghanistan & Iraq?

Overall yes, I dont have anything else to say about that.

Was the Vietnam war necessary?

Yes, Proved a point that we were not going to be driven out. We should have stayed and stuck with it.

gpforlife70 karma

Yes, Proved a point that we were not going to be driven out. We should have stayed and stuck with it.

My father was there the same time frame you were and was leading similar missions, but much farther south in the delta. He only spoke to me about it once.

Thank you for your service and for speaking so openly about it today. It can't be easy and I appreciate it.

KarmaCoverage69 karma

Thank you

president-nixon32 karma

We should have stayed and stuck with it.

I wasn't around during the Vietnam War but from what I've gathered from history books it seems like US leadership kinda half-assed Vietnam, which led to a drawn-out stalemate rather than anything that could be considered a real victory (a few examples: getting into Cambodia and Laos to disrupt the communist supply lines so late in the game, bombing North Vietnam despite it not hurting their war effort at all, not invading the North at all over the course of the war). Did you have problems at the time with how the US leadership seemed to "hold back"? Do you have any criticisms of their policies now?

KarmaCoverage83 karma

I wasn't around during the Vietnam War but from what I've gathered from history books it seems like US leadership kinda half-assed Vietnam

I agree

getting into Cambodia and Laos to disrupt the communist supply lines so late in the game

right, congress was very defeatist, we didnt lose the war over there, we lost it here.

bombing North Vietnam despite it not hurting their war effort at all

I disagree with that

not invading the North at all over the course of the war

That would bring the Chinese in

Did you have problems at the time with how the US leadership seemed to "hold back"?

Yes, they were withdrawing early, coupled with the corrupt government in the south, we lost the will to win.

Do you have any criticisms of their policies now?

Hind sight is 20/20

reading_steiner1 karma

Would you be pissed off if someone invaded your home?

KarmaCoverage22 karma

Yes

Canoneer46 karma

I'm not sure if you've read the book "The Things They Carried" but if you have, then would you say it's accurate to what soldiers felt at the time in the warzone and when they returned?

KarmaCoverage36 karma

I never read it

Canoneer24 karma

It basically tells the story of a group of soldiers that were burdened to go to war by everyone they knew, and when they returned home, they weren't exactly welcomed like heroes by their friends, family and the general public. I don't mean to sound rude in any way, I'm just really curious. Also, thank you for your service to your country.

KarmaCoverage61 karma

A lot of people dont want to know anything about Vietnam.

harrychronicjr42046 karma

sua sponte

KarmaCoverage109 karma

What we had we had, usually we couldn't get help right away. I could not ambush with out knowing if a helicopter could help us. ie: on my own accord, always and afterwards.

For example: Ambushed a shit hole, 3 claymore mines in the bottom of a trench used for a bathroom. Observed NVA getting off the trail relieving themselves. We blow them up while they were doing their business. Really good ambush.

harrychronicjr42061 karma

i dont think that answer was for me but props for blowing up those boys in the black pajamas in the shithouse.

KarmaCoverage94 karma

It was proper

Schuultz39 karma

Are there any pictures from your deployment that you're willing to share?

KarmaCoverage97 karma

When my boat burned down I lost all my metals and photos from the war.

heeza_connman165 karma

I'd be happy to replace your medals. PM me.

KarmaCoverage100 karma

I'd be happy to replace your medals. PM me.

Thank you

slackerelite36 karma

So you were north of Hue, south of the DMZ?

KarmaCoverage55 karma

North of Hue, Just south of the DMZ

slackerelite27 karma

So this is the post Tet and Khe San era in the north and your job was to maintain supremacy in the area?

KarmaCoverage43 karma

Correct. Once we were pulled out, the South Vietnamese did not last very long.

slackerelite24 karma

You would go out, post up, wait for activity, observe, count how many there were, what they were armed with and then set up an ambush?

KarmaCoverage47 karma

Yes, If I could. Out of the 22 missions, we did about 15 ambushes. They were all NVA, I never saw a Vietcong on one.

slackerelite23 karma

The most memorable ambush. What did your day start like? When you spotted them, how long did you observe them for. What was your procedure after seeing them for the first time? You have access to a fire base? Walk us through this from first observation to finally returning to base.

KarmaCoverage57 karma

I will not talk about a specific ambush. I didn't know it was going to be an ambush right beforehand.

What did your day start like?

Anxiety, I was never worried.

When you spotted them, how long did you observe them for.

As long as possible.

What was your procedure after seeing them for the first time?

Estimate their number, and decide if we are going to go for an ambush. If we did, we blew them up with claymore and small arms. We tried to retrieve papers and maps. Try to get a wounded prisoner, We never killed a prisoner.

You have access to a fire base?

Yes, most of the time.

Walk us through this from first observation to finally returning to base.

We destroyed their weapons after an ambush. Relayed contact. Get the Hell out of there to an LZ

slackerelite22 karma

What were the average troop counts and when doing the ambush, would you have a good idea of their spread for making a proper claymore kz and how often would the claymores do the whole job where small arms were nearly unnecessary? Would they give up and throw down their weapons or would it be a chase?

KarmaCoverage36 karma

What were the average troop counts and when doing the ambush

8-10

would you have a good idea of their spread for making a proper claymore kz

Yes, depending upon the beeper.

how often would the claymores do the whole job where small arms were nearly unnecessary?

about 3/4 of the time.

Would they give up and throw down their weapons or would it be a chase?

If there was not enough of them, they retreated quickly out of the area, but I had no way of knowing.

apak3234 karma

No question from me but as a fellow Army Veteran, thank you for your service.

KarmaCoverage53 karma

Dido from me

Shezzam31 karma

Hello, I grew up in an area where a lot of ex-Vietnam vets were employed as chopper pilots. They were also dads of a few of my friends, and neighbours. A lot of them have since taken their own lives. A lot of it was PTSD and social ostracisation. Were you treated well on your return, or did you have to endure the stupidity of those who shunned returned vets?

P.s. If I were 20 years older I'd be saying Hubba Hubba. You have kind eyes.

KarmaCoverage48 karma

I never paid attention to them. They are ignorant. I am surprised a the interest being shown now.

Shezzam20 karma

I think it's a generational shift. We have rationality that not personally experiencing it brings. For me, it is kind of a sensitive thing, there are a lot of grand children who won't get to meet their amazing grandfathers. Do you think it's interest or compassion or the "war on terror" driving this interest?

KarmaCoverage39 karma

Do you think it's interest or compassion or the "war on terror" driving this interest?

I think general interest young people are showing.

courelly28 karma

Are the rumors that enlisted men would kill their own commissioned officers true, if they felt it was in the interest of protecting the platoon?

KarmaCoverage64 karma

I was not in a regular company. I imagine it could be true. But in an all volunteer unit, it does not happen.

w12227 karma

What information do you have about phoenix program ?

Phoenix Program

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_Program

and can you provide some information about long-range reconnaissance patrol ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Range_Reconnaissance_Patrol#In_Vietnam

Any and all information you can share will be appreciated. Thank you

KarmaCoverage59 karma

What information do you have about phoenix program ?

None I can talk about

can you provide some information about long-range reconnaissance patrol ?

We served with them on insertion and sent them on their way. I personally never went more than 8 clicks in any one direction.

blisssster26 karma

[deleted]

KarmaCoverage81 karma

You are not alone, go to the VA if you need help.

That is all I can tell you, you are definitely not alone.

EyeSawThat23 karma

Been browsing reddit for a month or so. Decided to make an account just so I can say thank you for your service. I'm guessing the reddit journey now begins...

KarmaCoverage50 karma

uh oh

banane4221 karma

What form of media has come the closest to accurately describing your and others experiences in the war? Thank you for your service and sacrifice to our country regardless of what people think about the war.

KarmaCoverage57 karma

What form of media has come the closest to accurately describing your and others experiences in the war?

Book

banane4216 karma

Any specific one in particular?

KarmaCoverage56 karma

No, but I have never read a lie in a book. They can be proven. People have a tendency when they can be quoted directly not to lie. The worst is TV.

ludacris690121 karma

1 2 3 what are we fightin for?

KarmaCoverage40 karma

for me and you

Busterheiney220 karma

Most older veterans usually consider the training they went through much tougher and intense than any modern day soldiers have to endure. I get the impression that's mostly for the basic training and AIT, though. I myself tend to giggle when listening to some Basic/AIT war stories, and I just went through right before Desert Storm. What are your thoughts on what modern day Rangers/SF have to go through compared to what you did in training? They obviously have more intensive technical training due to advanced technology, but what about the sheer bullshit and stress they have to endure to get their tab/beret?

KarmaCoverage56 karma

Most older veterans usually consider the training they went through much tougher and intense than any modern day soldiers have to endure.

No

What are your thoughts on what modern day Rangers/SF have to go through compared to what you did in training?

Modern is rougher

They obviously have more intensive technical training due to advanced technology

Right

what about the sheer bullshit and stress they have to endure to get their tab/beret?

About the same

Shinjukoo18 karma

how do you feel about NVA and how do you feel that the Americans basically ran away and left the South to fend for themselves. promising money and support and then just leaving and saying "yeah, no money is coming... you're on your own"

KarmaCoverage39 karma

I am very bitter about it.

guitarhamster10118 karma

Was airborne school 3 weeks long like it is now?

KarmaCoverage32 karma

Yes

Ioxvm14 karma

My father was with the 2nd Field Force (Recondo) did you ever work with them or the Thai Black Panthers?

KarmaCoverage19 karma

No

Huffington_Paint13 karma

No question. Just want to say welcome Home, Brother.

-Combat Medic OEF 10-11

KarmaCoverage18 karma

Welcome Back, much much appreciated!

Thanks for all your good work

Medics are always our hope.

FKTrey13 karma

My uncle received the Silver Star and Purple Heart for serving in the Vietnam War. Thank you for all your service to this country.

KarmaCoverage19 karma

Ok, Thank you and your uncle.

KarmaCoverage12 karma

I am surprised nobody asked what I did afterwards. I taught for 20 years in public school. Running the drop out prevention program.

NonStopWarrior10 karma

I'm a Canadian Forces infantry soldier. Reservist, only a few years in, no tours or anything noteable about my career. However, just thought I'd mention I've been at both Fort Knox and Fort Benning in the last year. Kind of interesting to think I've probably walked where you walked at one point in time.

KarmaCoverage35 karma

If you went to the Ranger memorial you will see my brick in the round at fort Benning, I think.

  • With my real name

hoii9 karma

have you read dispatches? if so what were your thoughts on it.

KarmaCoverage15 karma

No

ZombieMuskrat7 karma

First off, I can't describe how thankful I am for guys like you that served or are serving. No amount of words can convey the respect most of y'all deserve. Secondly, I've read a lot about the Vietnam war, mostly stuff like Six Silent Men by Gary Linderer about the LRRP teams, Col. Bob Stoffeey's Cleared Hot, Flying Through Midnight by John Halliday about the bombing runs in Laos, Gone Native by Alan Cornett about his part in the Phoenix Program, a a heck of a lot of other books. Many of them are accounts from soldiers who fought at some point. (Those are just the ones I can see on my bookshelf from where I'm sitting/what I remember of them.) Thanks to that I've had a pretty healthy interest in the Vietnam war, so I think it's great that you're offering to answer questions about it; I think more people need to learn about what really happened rather than assumptions or misconceptions that are spread around. tl;dr: Thanks many times over for what you did; Vietnam wasn't a pointless war in my opinion and I believe y'all fought for something good.

KarmaCoverage13 karma

Six Silent Men by Gary Linderer about the LRRP teams

I will try and find it, I have heard about it.

I think more people need to learn about what really happened rather than assumptions or misconceptions that are spread around.

A men

Vietnam wasn't a pointless war in my opinion and I believe y'all fought for something good.

Thank you

lion_queen7 karma

I spoke with another veteran who was also stationed in Vietnam. He told me that he remembers the stench of the jungle, and that it was absolutely putrid. Do you remember that any?

KarmaCoverage14 karma

It could be bad. Vegetation rotted a lot. After a while you get used to it.

elusivewater6 karma

What was your opinion about southeast asians while you served? And thank you for your service

KarmaCoverage11 karma

I liked them

PraiseTheMetal5916 karma

At the time, how did you view the Viet Cong and the NVA? In terms of your opinion on them as people and as a fighting force.

During a trip to the US I visited the war memorial in DC. It's very moving to see all 58,000 names on that black wall. While I was there I saw a man who appeared to be a vet, sitting alone on a bench staring into the distance. Have you ever been to the DC Vietnam memorial?

Thanks for your time.

KarmaCoverage11 karma

At the time, how did you view the Viet Cong and the NVA? In terms of your opinion on them as people and as a fighting force.

NVZ very very very qualified. Viet Cong, very crafty, i didnt see the Viet Cong.

atchafalaya5 karma

I was sent to Afghanistan, and my overwhelming impressions were that there were a ton of people over there doing very little, then a few that were extremely busy, and an unbelievable mass of material wealth being spent on very little result.

Was Vietnam like that?

KarmaCoverage5 karma

Quite a bit, When Americans got ahold of equipment we used what we had. the Vietnamese sold it.

peypeyy4 karma

Was it difficult to assimilate back into normal life after the war? What did you do when it was over?

KarmaCoverage7 karma

Was it difficult to assimilate back into normal life after the war?

For me it was not. I was normal through the war, I was normal after the war.

What did you do when it was over?

When I got back I moved out of Ohio to Florida to get warm. I hate the cold.

idioterod3 karma

Do you know of any way to find members of my cousins comrades from when he was in country in the mid to late '60s as a Green Beret. I have tried several Viet Vets groups in the past with no joy. Sorry to intrude on your AMA but I am truly stumped and truly desire to know of the men that knew and served with him when he died coming home from a mission. The family mythology is difficult to penetrate or even to talk about him at all.

KarmaCoverage8 karma

I have no way to help, sorry

Etherbunny662 karma

Thank you for your service, you American hero, May god bless you sir.

KarmaCoverage5 karma

god has

[deleted]2 karma

[deleted]

KarmaCoverage5 karma

A cop, yay. I am sure you did good work.

maess2 karma

Thanks for your service. No question.

KarmaCoverage5 karma

Thank you

ThoughtRiot17762 karma

What's your opinion on McNamura?

How much did all your gear weigh?

KarmaCoverage4 karma

What's your opinion on McNamura?

Poor, typical technocrat, wiz kid

How much did all your gear weigh?

50lbs everything, without water

Kwotter1 karma

From what you were told officially and what you heard through rumors, what was the cause of the Mai Lai Massacre?

I've heard that it was because the inhabitants were starting to get into the way of Medina's drug trade in the area and so he wiped them out. Can you shed some light on this?

KarmaCoverage2 karma

Can you shed some light on this?

No

NastyMan91 karma

Did you do LRRP?

KarmaCoverage3 karma

No, I never went more than 8 clicks

AIRmike18771 karma

Recent post on Reddit shows the number of military suicides. Were those numbers roughly the same with the Vietnam war? And did/do you have PTSD from the war? what was it like to get help. Thanks for your service USA #1!!!

KarmaCoverage6 karma

Recent post on Reddit shows the number of

I didnt know about Reddit until today

And did/do you have PTSD from the war?

Yes, I get a lot of pills from the VA, I am under medication, I still jump at a loud noise. At a 4th of July I was in an open field and hit the ground when the rockets went off. I was very embarrassed. I still do that with Thunder and Lightning occasionally.

Mr0d01 karma

Did you kill anyone?

If so what was it like?

Does it still bother you?

KarmaCoverage4 karma

Did you kill anyone?

Yes

If so what was it like?

I wont dwell on that.

Does it still bother you?

Occasionally

I_am_Tre1 karma

Thanks for answering our questions. I know that particular one is not cool to bring up and I hope you're doing alright.

KarmaCoverage1 karma

I am doing alright, thank you

somevelvetmorning0 karma

First, thank you for your service. Have you been back to Vietnam since your service, and if not, would you want to?

KarmaCoverage2 karma

I am glad I served.

Yes I would want to go if I was physically able. I have walking problems.

DrLota0 karma

I'm an ass, and I believe your country made a huge mistake in Vietnam. You can't take hearts and souls with guns and napalm. I have no idea what you have been through, but do you believe you made a right thing when joined as a volunteer? And would you do it again?

KarmaCoverage10 karma

do you believe you made a right thing when joined as a volunteer?

Yes

And would you do it again?

Yes

I'm an ass

You are not an ass, you are just asking

citoloco-1 karma

I'm under the impression that you kicked the enemy's ass pretty much all the time, US casualties markedly reduced as the 70s progressed, then we quit due to politics and said "Good luck South Vietnam Allies" and cut and ran. No? Btw get a haircut and shave hippy. ;)

KarmaCoverage4 karma

Yes, I agree with that.

POOP_DICK_-12 karma

why are there so many sick animals in vietnam?

KarmaCoverage6 karma

I didnt know there was, I was either on base or on a mission.