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2/23/2017 5:55:53 PM
Posted: 10/5/2001 12:08:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2001 12:05:10 PM EST by I_Luv_Carrots]
I read a statistic somewhere that 65% of all homeless people are vets. I've always had this major soft-spot for homeless vets. Matter, homeless vets, kids, and stray dogs are my only soft spots. You take a 17 year old kid who hasn't seen anything in his life, and mortgage his future in Vietnam for a cause he knows nothing about; well, you can't expect him to come out the same. So I took my car in to get fixed. Has a bad valve cover gasket. The dude comes out, all scruffy, and tells me he can't do it today, but he can do it tommorow. Today, he showed up, all drunk, and tells me he wants to work on my car. I do some of my best work under the influence, so that didn't bother me. He fixed the car beautifully, and hung out to have a beer. He begins to tell me about his life (Remember- he was drunk when he arrived- Needless to say- 6 beers into the job, and the beer I had given him after the job, he was pretty well lit.) He starts in about how he is going to be evicted tonight, and how hard his life it. Then, he gets into 'nam. When he was 18, he got a draft notice. He decided he would give the government a big F'you and enlist instead. He joined the navy, as a mechanic. The ship he was on (He told me the name, but I forgot) got rammed. A lot of kids died. He pulled 3 to safety, as the ship was flooding. The ship got dry-docked (I think he said in "Tonkin", but I don't remember)- He was given the option to stay on the ship- or go "in country"- He chose to go in country. Then, he proceeds to tell me the stories about the people he had to kill. His eyes teared up (He was drunk- remember that) One was a story about a Vietnamese kid who came running at him with an SKS with a fixed bayo. He had no choice, and zapped him. It was amazing to hear this mans stories. Tommorow, he is going to be living under a bridge- becasue he can't afford to pay his rent. He has no family to speak of- When he dies, he will be buried in one of those shitty State provided chip-board boxes they use to bury the homeless. It fucking killed me to listen to this guy. He just left my house 10 minutes ago. I really think society has an obligation to them. Some vets are able to move on with thier lives- but some aren't. It haunts them- like I saw with this man. If the government can sponsor actions on the backs of soldiers, then they owe those soldiers whatever they need, for the rest of their lives. So do we as a society. I don't know why I typed this. I'm done ranting.
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 12:29:58 PM EST
Thank you for relating this story and thank you for spending time listening to someone who gave so much to recieve so little.
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 12:41:52 PM EST
I agree that we owe vets alot, but the VA has complete medical coverage, including emotional and mental health centers. Fact is the guy is probably an alcoholic and that is why he is getting kicked out of his place to live. I have known/meet lots of V.N. vets and alot of them moved on with their lives. No flame to any vets out there, but don't blame others if you are F'ed up, take responsibility and get on with your life. sgtar15
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 12:55:19 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 12:58:16 PM EST
Originally Posted By sgtar15: I agree that we owe vets alot, but the VA has complete medical coverage, including emotional and mental health centers. Fact is the guy is probably an alcoholic and that is why he is getting kicked out of his place to live. I have known/meet lots of V.N. vets and alot of them moved on with their lives. No flame to any vets out there, but don't blame others if you are F'ed up, take responsibility and get on with your life. sgtar15
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Y'know- i'm not one to buy into the psychobabble shit that people use as an excust to justify the actions of people who just can't seem to behave, or fit into the flow of society. This is a different circumstance. His mind isn't right. He had to look other kids in the eye, and kill them. Some people can handle it, some people can't. There isn't a VA hospital here. It's 45 minutes away. He has no car. Hell dude. He has no home. If I had to do the things he did, I don't know how i'd come out. I'd like to think i'd be able to kill casually, and just move on. But I don't know. And I can't blame this guy for the circumstances in his life either. He had no choice. At all.
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 1:03:20 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 1:09:43 PM EST
[b] Quote:The ship got dry-docked (I think he said in "Tonkin", but I don't remember)- He was given the option to stay on the ship- or go "in country"- He chose to go in country.[/b] That's a choice [b]Today, he showed up, all drunk, [/b] Again, that's I choice. I am not saying the guy hasn't suffered, but the VA hospital does have treatment for alcoholic, so does the state. If you really want to help him then offer to take (read drive) him to one of these places. If he doesn't want to go than that's his [i]choice[/i] along with everything else than goes along with not getting help. Of the Vets that I have known that made it throught things like this, the majority of them had some type of belief in GOD. So GOD isn't just for the weak minded, it's for those that need help. If a person doesn't want to seek help than I could care less if they suffer. sgtar15
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 1:25:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By I_Luv_Carrots: The ship got dry-docked (I think he said in "Tonkin", but I don't remember)- He was given the option to stay on the ship- or go "in country"- He chose to go in country.
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I don't want to rain on the pity parade, but "tonkin" was the Gulf of Tonkin. Is he saying he was on the ship that was involved in the "Gulf of Tonkin" incident? The USS Maddox and USS C. Turner Joy were the ships involved. The CAPT of the USS Maddox came to a conclusion he was "attacked" but there was no damage, no one witnessed any attack boats and nor did the pilots responding from the USS Ticonderoga. No ship was rammed in that incident. There was lots of action in the Tonkin Gulf throughout the war, but a rammed ship? And that's the Gulf off the coast of North Vietnam. If a ship was drydocked there than the NVA and VC must have been doing the repairs. If he was a mechanic then he was probably a boilerman or machinist's mate. Who would send these guys "in country." At the least he's very confused. Maybe he's bullshitting you. It just sounds weird. Sherm PS I'm all for giving vets what they truly desreve, and what this country and government have cheated them out of is sickening.
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 1:25:08 PM EST
Originally Posted By sgtar15: [b] Quote:or go "in country"- He chose to go in country.[/b] That's a choice [b]Today, he showed up, all drunk, [/b] Again, that's I choice. I am not saying the guy hasn't suffered, but the VA hospital does have treatment for alcoholic, so does the state. If you really want to help him then offer to take (read drive) him to one of these places. If he doesn't want to go than that's his [i]choice[/i] along with everything else than goes along with not getting help. Of the Vets that I have known that made it throught things like this, the majority of them had some type of belief in GOD. So GOD isn't just for the weak minded, it's for those that need help. If a person doesn't want to seek help than I could care less if they suffer. sgtar15
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When I was 7 years old, I was getting a drink from a water faucet- When I came back up from drinking, I whacked my head, and chipped my tooth. The school couldn't get in contact with my mom or dad- so my grandmother was able to come and get me, and take me to the dentist. Now, I am deathly afraid of needles. Bad. when I was a toddler, I had a blood disease called ITP- and I had needles stuck in me 10 times a day for a year. Needless to say, when the dentist showed me that needle with the novacaine, I freaked. I refused to have it. So, the dentist proceeded to drill holes through my 7 year old tooth, hitting nerves. All for that pain could have been avoided- if I had novacaine. The point? I just didn't know any better. Either did that guy. When he went "in-country", he was a kid. You can't expect him to fathom what he was getting in to. He was an 18 year old kid from Phoenix who had only seen, up to that point, the inside of his fathers mechanics garage, and the inside of a ships engine room. He just didn't know any better. His drinking? Well, they say alcaholism is the only disease that can be caught from a bottle. I understand it's a choice he makes. But it's a stop-gap for a larger problem. The dude has issues no one can understand except the dudes that have had to do the things he had to do. Not me, not anyone other. And unless you have have been subjected to those things, not you either. We as a comfortable society have no right to analyze him using the standards we use to analyze regular fat, dumb, and happy Americans. It isn't as simple as "just going into the VA". It goes way deeper.
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 1:27:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By sherm8404: I don't want to rain on the pity parade, but "tonkin" was the Gulf of Tonkin. Is he saying he was on the ship that was involved in the "Gulf of Tonkin" incident? The USS Maddox and USS C. Turner Joy were the ships involved.
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No- He said the ship was attacked- then, went to "Tonkin" for repairs.
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 1:33:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2001 1:31:19 PM EST by sherm8404]
The Tonkin Gulf was off the coast of NORTH Vietnam. Where the heck is Tonkin? Read this. [url]http://www.encyclopedia.com/articles/12954.html[/url] If the ship drydocked in "Tonkin" then it steamed right into the heart of North Vietnam for some repairs! I'm sure the North Vietnamese werehappy to oblige. Methinks he may be not as honest with you as he should be. Sherm
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 1:40:49 PM EST
Originally Posted By sherm8404: The Tonkin Gulf was off the coast of NORTH Vietnam. Where the heck is Tonkin? Read this. [url]http://www.encyclopedia.com/articles/12954.html[/url] If the ship drydocked in "Tonkin" then it steamed right into the heart of North Vietnam for some repairs! I'm sure the North Vietnamese werehappy to oblige. Methinks he may be not as honest with you as he should be. Sherm
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Maybe. I really really wish I had paid better attention to names and times. THe dude had the ship-name tattooed on his arm, along with some insignia, and the dates he was there. I'm going to see him tonight so i'll ask.
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 1:45:48 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 1:57:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2001 1:52:26 PM EST by AFARR]
Sorry to butt in here. I'm not a veteran, but somethings about his story strike me as strange: 1. The obvious references to well known places (Tonkin) is a hallmark of a lot of military imposters. 2. The guy may have told the story so many times that he believes it himself, which is why it is believeable. 3. So, as a navy mechanic, he was pulled off a ship, put into a combat unit and killed lots of VC? I would have guessed that they would make him a mechanic in a motor pool instead. 4. While he was telling you the story, who was buying the beers? AFARR
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 1:58:33 PM EST
I vote that it's BS. I hear these stories all the time then when I ask them a real simple question like "what was your MOS" or "when was your ETS" etc. they don't know what you're talking about.
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 2:05:24 PM EST
RAF) I would in a heartbeat (offer him a ride), but it's a hard thing to approach. What do I say? "Hey drunk dude- lemme take you to the hospital?" It's a tough one. AFARR) Yeah. I hear ya there. As far as him being pulled off a ship to fight, there isn't anything too unusual there. My grandfather was pulled off the USS Billy Mitchell in WW2, and put on an island in the Phillipenes. THe Island was infested with Jap snipers. He told me stories about hunting them. Even the native Filipino's would hunt them. Thing is, the guy had the tat's. That's what made me buy it. If it weren't for the tat's, I would have questioned him a lot more. And if you would have seen the look on his face as he was telling the story- Hell. I don't know. I have a world class bullshit radar. You know how you just get "that feeling" the guy is legit? Some of my relaying the story is my own fault, becasue I didn't pay close mind to the names and dates. He had them, but I was more interested in the human side of the story, than the technical. Like I said. I'm seeing him tonight, so i'll dig a bit further, for my own curiousty.
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 2:13:44 PM EST
who gives a flying fuck about your useless info and why do you love carrots? if there's gay smoke, there's gay fire bro!
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 2:14:21 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 3:23:12 PM EST
I am a retired vet. I have also been a veterans counselor in the Texas employment commission for several years. i hAve known a number of vets that have had varying problems. The ones who really couldn't cope seem to be the ones with PTSD (post traumtic stress syndrome). I have seen guys go out get a job and be doing perfectly satisfactory work, and then in two or three days become sick. No BS. Really physically sick. If you know someone like this, and he should ask you to testify for him to the VA to get his disability pension, DO IT. This is not the place for a lesson in the varying problems of veterans who have been there and done that. Some come back with no problem. Most do. But some don't. Give a fellow the benefit of the doubt, especially if you have not been there and done that! [shock] Joe
Link Posted: 10/5/2001 5:18:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By I_Luv_Carrots: RAF) I would in a heartbeat (offer him a ride), but it's a hard thing to approach. What do I say? "Hey drunk dude- lemme take you to the hospital?" It's a tough one.
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Yes!!! That is exactly what you do. I know alot about alcoholism, believe me!! You are correct in that the drinking is just part of the problem, but until he stops drinking he will never start to work on a solution to the other problems. Try telling him this: "Dude, I think you have a drinking problem, do you want to stop?" If he says yes then offer to take him to the VA or another local state detox center. If he says no (for any reason) then he aint ready to quit and there is nothing you can do to help him. Fact is that alcohol kills more people in the USA than anything else....and most people don't even think they have a problem with it!!! I am not against social drinking in any way, but abuse, like your friend, is a whole different matter
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 5:45:02 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2001 5:41:33 AM EST by Daggar]
This unfortunately sounds like one of those stories I really hate from Viet Nam "vets" My father made the military a career and he doesn't walk to streets drunk and homeless. Nor do any of the people he associated with in the military. I would say they are all normal but they are not. If anything they are mostly overachievers and very patriotic types. So often I hear these stories on homeless vets and it makes you think that if you are a Viet Nam vet you are homeless and drunk. If not for the war, these people would still be homeless and drunk but without an excuse. No doubt there are many vets out there in need of help and understanding but I have a problem with those who say the war made them what they are today. Most of those who went to Viet Nam were in support positions and never saw a gun or were in country hostile to them. The most dangerous thing they had to deal with were the diseases they picked up from the hookers in town. This "vets" story also has some problems in that I can't recall a single ship rammed during the entire confict. What exactly did the North Vietnamese navy consist of, a bunch of junks or sampans? His story of going "in country" really smacks of dishonesty. You don't go from being a Navy mechanic to a grunt in the field or even a guard at the base NCO club. It would be highly unlikely that he was in a position to even shoot a gun much less Viet Cong. Feel respect and honor for those who truly did serve their country and those who served at great risk to themselves. I despise any who make false claims wether drunk and homeless or not.
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 6:16:09 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 6:40:08 AM EST
I gotta go with Daggar on this one. My dad served two tours in VN and basically got shit on by his country when he returned. He blew it off and moved on. I think Ed, Sr. had similar problems upon arrival with ungrateful idiots giving him sh*t. They both turned out fine. I'm cynical when I hear stories like this. Maybe too cynical. I think in most cases it is a matter of choice; although there are many that, for other reasons including pyschological, they have no "choice". I think that's the exception, not the rule. In the end, you have to respect their service and judge each situation individually.
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 7:13:19 AM EST
Mc_Carrots?
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 7:46:51 AM EST
Silver_surfer, a little slow this morning?
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 7:54:29 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 8:25:49 AM EST
I have three uncles that served in VN. One is dead from an alternative lifestyle, One lives in a trailor in the middle of nowhere and is unable to function in society, and the other is doing fine. I dont know what they saw and did in VN, but for two of them, It was/is to much to handle. God Bless the Vets.
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 8:29:26 AM EST
Read the book "Stolen Valor" by B.G. Burkett. It may be a real eye opener for you.
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 8:59:12 AM EST
God damn, Ken. You're in my thoughts dude.
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 9:47:19 AM EST
Sounds like you are doing everything you can, Ken, and you've been dealt some raw deals. Hang in there and know that you have freinds, even if faceless, here on this board. Steve
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 11:43:35 AM EST
Originally Posted By hielo: Silver_surfer, a little slow this morning?
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Com-on we do have a 6hr. time differents. When I wake up you're already eating lunch.[:(]
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 12:35:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By JLB: Read the book "Stolen Valor" by B.G. Burkett. It may be a real eye opener for you.
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Just what I would suggest. It will give you a perspective on how Vietnam Vets feel about Vietnam Vets who are "down on there luck.” My dad was a Corpsman in Vietnam and served with the Marines. Spent one tour, came home and raised a family. The night he died, he was reading "Stolen Valor.” He would have had no sympathy for this man and neither should you.
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 1:29:20 PM EST
Please don't equate Bums & Hobos with people who have lost their home due to circumstances beyond their control (fire, tornado, death or wage earner, etc). They are not the same.
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 1:53:47 PM EST
I am a Navy vet from 69 to 72 and while I don't know everything I have a good idea of how the navy participated during the war. To the best of my knowledge we did't have a ships rammed and sunk. We did loose some river boats as there was sometimes a bounty placed on some of those boats because they caused some good damage. I have met and spoken to a few guys who have told stories that just don't add up. Perhaps too much drinking has distorted his memory a bit which wouldn't be surprising. You are right about the vets as there are far too many vets out there who were unable to readjust to life after their ordeal. It is kind of heartbreaking when you think about the ordeal you put a young man through. You rip him from the safety of his family when he first becomes a man. You send him to the most deplorable places and ask him to give up his life if necessary. Or maybe you just ask him to give up an arm or a leg. Maybe his eyes or his sanity because he can't deal with the killing and pain. You pay him less than anyone else for the price of his life and limb. Instead of being cherished he is, in many quarters, reviled. He limbs through life with a pain that is unfathomable to most because he has seen a depth of depravity that his father never told him was possible. If he is lucky he comes home whole both physically and mentally and if he is even luckier he meets a beautiful woman who gives him a son. The pride of his life and he nurtures him and cares for all his needs for maybe 18, 19 years to see that child grow to manhood. Then one day that beautiful young man comes to you and says dad I joined the Marines. In an instant what was hidden for more than 20 years comes rushing back like an unstopable flood. I don't think the heartbreak ends for far too many vets.
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 7:20:50 PM EST
Agreed. The 65% statistic however is total bs.
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 7:36:25 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 7:42:10 PM EST
Point well taken Ken. Keep that chin up and keep us updated.
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 7:44:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By sgtar15: I agree that we owe vets alot, but the VA has complete medical coverage, including emotional and mental health centers. Fact is the guy is probably an alcoholic and that is why he is getting kicked out of his place to live. I have known/meet lots of V.N. vets and alot of them moved on with their lives. No flame to any vets out there, but don't blame others if you are F'ed up, take responsibility and get on with your life. sgtar15
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It may be true about being able to go to the VA to get medical and mental help, but if you have never been to one of those places you need to visit one. I think most vets would rather take their chances on their own than go to the VA hospital. You can say health care in the US is bad, but not after you see how a VA hospital operates. [beer]
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 8:58:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2001 9:37:39 PM EST by IronMike]
sounds like a total B.S. story,shit these bs stories come in all styles and wars..even grand fathers have been known to bullshit....oh and not to detract from the case if ITP,,but though it might have felt like you were getting stuck 10 times a day and for a year? that would be approx. 3650 times,,,not! sure they might have been drawing blood a few times a day for a while,,(usually platlet count is checked Q12/every 12 hours for ITP) and a year? come on...
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 9:30:26 PM EST
The man's got problems whether or not he is telling the truth. Make your decision based on that. Help him to the point you feel is acceptable to you; a phone call, a drive somewhere, job leads, etc. Having just missed Vietnam, I spent some time talking with active and former soldiers who were there, and some folks I believe to be liars(who say they were there). For me, when I hear (once again) about the guy looking up and finding a "kid" rushing towards him with; a. ak47 b. grenade c. any other type of weapon, and intent on doing harm THEN the "vet" has no choice but to waste the kid with his: a. .45(most popular option cited) b. m-16 c. any other type of weapon, and intent to defend onesself or buddies. I start to seriously doubt his story. Now I'm not saying there were no kids ever shot by a G.I., it has just become a not so rare occurance. Or so it seems. WSmac
Link Posted: 10/7/2001 5:11:35 PM EST
What was the name of his ship?
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