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Author Topic: Want to share cool stuff about my dad (military stuff)  (Read 409 times)
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Xmann
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« on: November 30, 2011, 03:10:08 AM »

I'll go ahead and apologize for the lenght this post may become and i'll apologize for rambling that may occur....

I'm 38 and my father died of a sudden heart attack 10 years ago (can't believe it's been that long). I was very close to my father and thought i knew alot about his time spent in Vietnam. This afternoon my mother arrived for vacation and brought with her some of my father's personal military items....and i'm shocked at what i have learned.

First off, i'm embarassed to say i'm relatively a poor historian of our country's military. However, my wife and i have been studying WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam War, amongst others. I have a nearly 9 year old son who we are educating as well. I've always had the upmost respect for our military and for those who serve. But i'm almost ashamed that i haven't known more and how ignorant i have been.

I had asked my mother to bring with her some stuff of my dad to share with my son. He never met his grandad and has seen just a few pictures here and there. I wanted to share my dads legacy with my son...something he could be proud of. I sit here now nearly beaten down.

I wish i could take a big picture (and i might) of what she brought. Dozens of his personal letters written from everywhere from basic training to the trenches of Vietnam. I have hand written letters from an innocent 17 year old begging his parents and family for prayers. I'm reading and crying and thinking, my God (no offense) this is my father as a kid fighting a war and risking his life. Telling my grandparents that if he dies to know he died fighting for our country. I was years away from being his son.

Dozens of photos of him and his buddies all over the world....Alaska, Georgia, Australia, Philipinnes, Cambodia, etc. His life insurance policy of $10,000 in 1967. Metals, honors, his discharge papers, etc etc etc.

My son is going through this stuff and saying "Awesome...how cool" and "Dad, why you crying". "Wow, grandad was a hero"!

I'm humbled beyond belief. I've been reading stuff for hours and it's really just starting to sit in on what i have learned. My father never talked about Vietnam because he said it hurt too much. My mom said he told her stuff she never wanted to tell me he experienced....now i know why.

So i thought this was an amazingly (sp ?) cool story to share. In the coming days i'm going to spend some time going through the stuff in depth and i'll share here if anyone is interested. I suspect i'm bound to find some awesome stuff.

And lastly, i humbly thank you Vets....beyond words.
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Default
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 03:52:09 AM »

Absolutely! I would be honored to hear more about your Dad.
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Roguetad
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 04:38:37 AM »

Please continue to share.  While we've gained new heroes from Afghanistan and Iraq, we're losing our heroes from WWII, Korea and Vietnam each day.  It's sad for me to think that my kids will probably never have the chance to speak to a living WWII or Korean War veteran (they're too young right now to remember or understand). 

My dad was a Vietnam veteran too, serving as an advisor with an ARVN battalion.  He hardly shared anything.  And what he did share was difficult to hear, and difficult for him to talk about.  My dad suffered from intense nightmares until he passed away in the mid 90s.  My sister and I were afraid to wake him up from naps as kids because he would go into this scary self defense mode that freaked us out.  He spent a lot of his time in Vietnam serving as a forward observer under fire calling in US artillery and air support for the ARVN units that were getting hammered.  He shared a quick story with me once about how he almost died while on patrol.  He was walking up near the point ARVN guy, and a small NVA patrol ambushed them.  The lead NVA had what my dad described as a "fielder's choice" between him and the ARVN pointman.  My dad said he didn't have time to react, and would have died if the NVA hadn't decided to take out the pointman first.  They were able to fight their way out of the small ambush and my dad lived on.  I wouldn't be here today if that NVA had lined up my dad instead. 
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ATB
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 01:45:23 PM »

My dad was drafted in 66 into the Corps. and was fully expecting to go in country.  Praise God he got sent to Guantanamo instead of Vietnam.

Would love to hear more about your discoveries. Maybe you could scan and share some of the letters and photos too!
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rickfc
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2011, 01:57:39 PM »

Quote from: Default on November 30, 2011, 03:52:09 AM

Absolutely! I would be honored to hear more about your Dad.

This.
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raydude
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2011, 02:03:13 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on November 30, 2011, 01:57:39 PM

Quote from: Default on November 30, 2011, 03:52:09 AM

Absolutely! I would be honored to hear more about your Dad.

This.

My thoughts exactly!
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011, 04:16:36 PM »

My Dad and I are both Vietnam vets. He was there in 67 - 68. I was in the service in 72 but never made it to Vietnam. All my dad ever mentioned was that they were always told by the locals when there was going to be a mortar attack and sure enough there would be. He never told me anything else. He came back in 68 just before the tet offensive and was going to reenlist but was told by a buddy that he would go back to Vietnam -- he got out after 20 years in the Air Force. I know he would have stayed in for 30 ( he loved the service) so it must of been pretty bad in Vietnam for him to get out.


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msteelers
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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2011, 04:06:32 PM »

My grandfather was in the marines at the end of ww2 and the Korean war. He earned the silver star when his group was ambushed. He was "severely wounded" but organized his men, held off the ambush, and finished the mission. He was shot again, but refused to be evacuated until the rest of his men were gone. He also won the bronze star on a separate occasion, but I'm not sure how he earned it.

I told him yesterday that he set the bar high, but I would do my best to make him proud.

He passed away this morning surrounded by his wife and six children.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2011, 05:42:25 PM »

I am so sorry for your loss, steelers. 
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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2011, 09:50:54 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on December 04, 2011, 05:42:25 PM

I am so sorry for your loss, steelers. 

Ditto, but sounds like he had a pretty good run.

Love to hear more Xmann. Not much military service in my family (you'd have to go back at least a hundred years I think) but while I may not always agree with our nation's military agenda, I definitely appreciate the men and women out on the front lines.
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