Saturday, April 25, 2015

Vietnam, the National Guard - 40th anniversary of the end of that conflict

"It would publicize the war, it would make the war, economically, more difficult — two things that Johnson did not want to do," says Andrew Wiest, professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi. "This war was going to be quick — and quiet."

International Guard: How The Vietnam War Changed Guard Service
April 25, 2015 - The Vietnam War changed the National Guard.

During that conflict, joining the guard was seen as a way to avoid the draft; during America's recent wars, the guard and reserve made up nearly half the forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You can trace the transformation of the guard back to the few units from it that did go and fight in Vietnam. And ahead of the 40th anniversary of the end of that conflict, several former guard members — who are also Vietnam vets — met up at the Veterans Of Foreign Wars Post in Carmel, Ind., just north of Indianapolis.

Around a table there, they remembered their paths to Vietnam.

'Find A Way Out' read more & listen in>>>

{note: "You can trace the transformation of the guard back to the few units from it that did go and fight in Vietnam." none being the champagne units set up for the wealthy and connected serving but with no more deferments}

“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

The dangerous search for Vietnam's undetonated bombs
QUANG TRI PROVINCE, Vietnam - April 24, 2015 - Though the war in Vietnam ended nearly 40 years ago, dangerous relics of the conflict still remain. CBS News recently followed demolition experts from Project Renew as they searched -- and found -- leftover bombs.

America dropped three times as many bombs in Vietnam as it did in World War II. Some estimates suggest as many as 10 percent didn't explode -- and are still waiting to kill.

One of our guides, Duong Tam, showed us how dangerous it can be. During the search we came across a bomb that Tam said was armed.

"If anyone picks it up, it can set it off," Tam cautioned.

Chuck Searcy founded Project Renew in 2001 shortly after he came back to Vietnam to still the anger of an idealistic young soldier in Saigon who had volunteered for the Army, specialized in military intelligence, and then turned against the war.

"I feel a responsibility to try to deal with the consequences of war that we left here, that the Vietnamese are still facing today," said Searcy. read more>>>

"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too — not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

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