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Posted: 8/23/2004 9:50:28 AM EDT
I have a buddy who was in the navy on a PBR and said yea, “war is hell”. He wouldn’t go into much detail about what he did but said he and everyone that worked with the South Korean forces who were stationed in Vietnam had a great deal of respect for them as they hated the communists and NVA and killed everyone. They delighted in “cleaning” areas. Basically they define an area and go in and kill and destroy everything. From soldiers to children, literally chop them into small pieces, they killed live stock, to forest animals like monkeys, they burned everything that was manmade and half the jungle. He said when you go into an are they had finished it was completely burnt out trash pile and there were hunks of meat everywhere.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 9:54:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 10:01:10 AM EDT
welll i am 35 so i can't say. i have to go on second and 3rd hand info.
every Vietnam movie (i know hollywood) shows the mil in the worst light.
that's why i am asking here.

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 10:05:09 AM EDT
If you answer this poll, make sure that you actually know!
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 10:07:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 10:10:10 AM EDT by Charging_Handle]
No more or no less than any other war. We just heard more about it during Vietnam because of how open the policy was concerning media and being it was the first war on television. The fact that many had an agenda to push (like today) didn't help matters. And often, what was claimed to be war crimes, really weren't. Anyone ever hear the veterans version vs. Dan Rather's version of an incident that went down at a particular village in Vietnam where a fight erupted. His version and their's were far different, so much so that they seemed like seperate events entirely. Well, I know who's version I will put more faith in.

The simple fact is, there are a few bad people in every walk of life. That's no different with the military. Hell, if you look hard enough you'll find bad cops, firefighters, doctors, salesmen, whatever. But the truth is, the vast majority of military personnel serve with tremendous honor and more often than not are willing to risk their lives to ensure that stuff like that doesn't happen. I wonder how many times US troops have died because that airstrike they so desperately needed was too close to a village and they didn't call it in? Look at the rules of engagement we abide by.

It causes me such pain to hear so many Vietnam vets have to put up with this kind of accusations of being war criminals. Many even paint a picture of this being common and the norm in Vietnam. Well, that just isn't true. I just wish that finally those brave souls who did their duty in that hot, humid, tropical little shithole could get the respect they earn. Instead, the actions of a few get them painted with a broad brush as out-of-control, baby killing, subhuman monsters. When thinking about that it makes me want to cry, knowing how far from the truth all of that is.

BTW, my comments aren't directed at you. They are directed at those who are responsible for starting it and keeping it going.

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 10:09:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 10:09:42 AM EDT by NewbHunter]
According to my dad, who did 3 tours and spent over 3 years in VN, one tour with the Navy and two with the Marines, the closest answer to the truth listed in your poll would be 'Uncommon but happened'.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 10:29:40 AM EDT
Everything I've read about Vietnam-and it's a lot-pretty much paints the ARVN as the main source of atrocities, especially after all the fighting had been done by American units. Seemed everyone thought the ARVN were real good at beating up subdued people.

And what a lot of people fail to realize is that the VC and NVA had ZERO qualms about committing atrocities to further their political agenda.

I never read a first-hand account in a book by anyone who'd seen a war crime/atrocity in person, it always seemed to be: "Did ya hear about what happened over at XXXXXXX?"

And I also read a book by a guy that pretty much believes where the "throwing the VC out of a moving helicopter" came from.

This guy was at a firebase and some overloaded choppers were bring in some dead ARVN soldiers and one of the choppers-about 25ft off the ground-rocked a little and a body fell out of it.

He said he heard a couple of weeks later about VC getting thrown out of helicopters during interrogation.

But then again, would a soldier, sailor or Marine actually fess up to wasting a bunch of innocent villagers?

I have about 10 friends that were in Vietnam and most all have some horrific stories about combat, but no one EVER said anything to me about anything that could construed as "war crimes".
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 10:30:00 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 11:13:05 AM EDT
One of the guys at my club was USMC Recon in 'nam (prior to that, in '60, he was an embassy Marine in Siagon). He didn't like the Korean troops, he didn't like the fact that they committed attrocities.

He also said that his Corpsman was collecting ears, and he told him to quit.

Based upon what he has said, it appears that these things happened but that they were not exactly standard buisness practice--at least in the Marines.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 11:28:52 AM EDT
any idea how real the book "NAM" is. i think they talk about collecting ears and things like that in it.
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