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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/23/2005 10:00:59 AM EDT
According to the press, it sure seems like Iraq is tougher service with a higher incidence of injuries.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:08:07 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:10:07 AM EDT
When I was there (Iraq) every Army troop was doing a 1 year hitch.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:10:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 10:16:48 AM EDT by WildBoar]
Any combat theater tour will royally suck. Getting shot at for 3 seconds if enough to change a man for life.

FWIW in Nam the daily ratio of american deaths was around 15kia X2.6 wounded. We are nowhere near that right now and probably never will be.

In World War II there were 1.7 wounded for every fatality, and 2.6 in Vietnam; in Iraq the ratio of wounded to killed is 7.6
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:13:54 AM EDT
I dont think that I could compare the difficulties that those men faced then to the difficulties the men now are facing. I would not want to be in either situation, as they are both more than I would want to endure.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:15:02 AM EDT
I vote equally tough.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:18:49 AM EDT
Vietnam was far more deadly. But neither would be a picnic. The psychological stress of being in a situation where you could be shot or blown up at any moment wears thin.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:21:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:22:27 AM EDT
I have no personal experience so I did not vote. A big difference I see is there is a level of what I am going to call pride and what appears to be a much higher level of ledership with Iraq and Astan. There is also a high level of thanks,pride,and support from the folks at home which was nearly non-existent at the end period of the Vietnam War.
I understand the citizens of a country being against a war,the general staff or the Pentagon and other folks who set policy but I could never understand why the Vietnam Vets were treated like shit. It was about the worst way for a country to treat its citizen solders.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:30:00 AM EDT
I'll wager the actual combat actions are about the same.

However, I voted Vietnam because of the non-combat situations. For starters, the troops today have all sorts of wonderful modern conveniences. I spent about 2/3 of my tour sharing a 2-man air-conditioned room with a real bed, and electricity to run my laptop computer and DVD player. In Mosul, I was able to call my better half on my cellphone whilst on patrol in my tank. I could email family every day, if I wanted to. I had flush toilets and showers. (usually) These were luxuries completely unavailable to the Vietnam era troops.

Food probably hasn't changed much though.

NTM
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:38:57 AM EDT
I was never in the Mekong Delta in RVN but from a day to day physical uncomfortable soldiering it had to be very tought the guys I knew who where there with the 9th and had my respect. Combat situations in RVN depended on who you were with and your mos. The 187th Airbone Brigade in RVN and the 1st Cav Blues were units that you could get killed quickly in.There are other great units I don't mean to lessen their role by not listing them. I expect that the same is true about the sandbox but I was never there.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:42:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:

Originally Posted By SS109:
According to the press, it sure seems like Iraq is tougher service with a higher incidence of injuries.



I'm sorry that cracks me up for the casualty figures Iraq was one bad month in Vietnam. Still you're right, that' how they portray it.

Tj



Well if you compare total # of troops in theater with other conflicts and medical capabilities the numbers would show a higher casualty rate.
compare how many troops in theater in Nam with kia and wia vs # of troops in theater in IRaq with kia and wia.

Sure Nam has higher numbers but it a lot closer in comparrison.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:44:31 AM EDT
The 173rd Airborne Brigade suffered an enormous number of casualties in Vietnam relative to their unit size.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:55:07 AM EDT
I say tougher in Vietnam due to the equipment used. Weapons, comunication, transpertation and rations.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:02:56 AM EDT
The Nam was tougher for the grunt, Iraq is much tougher for the REMF.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:07:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
The 173rd Airborne Brigade suffered an enormous number of casualties in Vietnam relative to their unit size.



I agree 100% when I typed 187 Airborne . I was thinking 173rd Airborne Brigade.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:10:11 AM EDT
guys did 1yr in vietnam then came home unless they requested to go back or were career minded. in iraq, we got guys going back for their 3rd maybe even 4th tour (in a 4yr enlistment).

also, most of the combat in iraq is urban, widely regarded to be the most deadly form of combat. in a-stan, it's in the mountains.

man, i'll still say both were tough, though...today our guys are coming home heroes. back in the 60's and 70's, not such a friendly homecoming.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:11:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:
However, I voted Vietnam because of the non-combat situations. For starters, the troops today have all sorts of wonderful modern conveniences. I spent about 2/3 of my tour sharing a 2-man air-conditioned room with a real bed, and electricity to run my laptop computer and DVD player. In Mosul, I was able to call my better half on my cellphone whilst on patrol in my tank. I could email family every day, if I wanted to. I had flush toilets and showers. (usually) These were luxuries completely unavailable to the Vietnam era troops.
NTM



+1

Morale has to be a HUGE factor in the suckage of war. I'm sure that the guys in the sandbox have some seriously down days, but being able to speak with your family over the net, on cell phones, and even on video has GOT to be a thousand times better than being dumped in the middle of a God-forsaken jungle and then maybe getting a letter once in a while. No way, if I was drafted in a "fantasy" war and they gave be a choice between being in the Vietnam POLICE ACTION and the Iraq WAR, I'd be donning my desert camo quickly. Plus, jungle canopies and torrential rains can be seriously "oppressing" and cause depression. Granted, I'm sure that the guys in the sandbox would LOVE for a torrential rain on one of those 120 degree days. But I'd still choose Iraq over Nam ANY day.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:11:25 AM EDT
The only person that could really answer that is someone who did a tour in BOTH places.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:14:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 11:14:34 AM EDT by Red_Label]

Originally Posted By LARRYG:
The only person that could really answer that is someone who did a tour in BOTH places.



The problem with that is that a guy who did Nam and is doing Iraq, has probably moved to a position with air-conditioning and a secretary. He probably ain't front line infantry. I dunno though... maybe there's a lot of them Sam Shepard types over there...
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:16:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Label:

Originally Posted By LARRYG:
The only person that could really answer that is someone who did a tour in BOTH places.



The problem with that is that a guy who did Nam and is doing Iraq, has probably moved to a position with air-conditioning and a secretary. He probably ain't front line infantry. I dunno though... maybe there's a lot of them Sam Shepard types over there...



An old GySgt that I used to work with did a tour in vietnam, and also went to Iraq.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:18:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 11:20:54 AM EDT by Flash66]
All war is hell. All war hell is personal.

Back in the 70s, after I returned from the service, and went to work, my WWII veteran coworker tried to tell me that WWII was a tougher war than Vietnam. It seemed like an obsession with him to get some sort of recognition that his service on Normandy and The Battle of the Bulge was somehow superior to my service in Vietnam. Maybe he was right. He may have experienced the German artillery in the frozen Ardennes Forest but I also experienced VC and NVA attacks during the monsoon of I Corp in the middle of a vicious jungle. In both cases war was hell for the participants and I do not see where anyone could say one was harder than the other.

If we are going to make a value judgment about a hard war then we should ask our Korean War Veterans what it was like to defend the Pusan Perimeter or retreat from the Chosen Reservoir in the middle of winter with 200,000 screaming Chinese after their frozen asses.

I am sure I experienced harder condition in Vietnam than some of the troops experienced in Iraq. I also strongly suspect that there are many combat troops from Iraq that had it tougher than me. I may have had to spend frightening nights in the SE Asia jungle with torrential rains and mosquitoes but I never had to sleep out in the desert in a hard sandstorm and then worry about having a functioning M-16s the next morning. It really doesn't make much of a difference if the SOB shooting at you with an AK-47 is a gook or a raghead, does it?
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:23:50 AM EDT
I saw that there were a couple of RNV Vets CWO still flying with an ANG Unit. I remember reading the story and had to laugh they were still pros still had the give a shit attitude about everything but hearing the rotor blade and flying.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:30:53 AM EDT
Good call Flash66 sir.

If you dont mind, thank you for your service... VN vets are never forgotten here.

Never.



That said... I would have to agree that Iraq is a major suck fest... with all the politically correct bullcrap our troops have to put up.

But stats alone say that being in-country in VN out on the DMZ, in the Highlands, eatin' that red dust or sloggin' round' down in the Delta... was way more counterproductive to a healthy lifestyle that Iraq.

BUT IN NO WAY will I EVER suggest any disrespect to our brave soldiers in the Raq or in Astan. There service is just as equal to that of any who have ever answered the call of our country in time of need.

God bless them ALL... every one of them.

Dram sends...
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:35:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Label:

Originally Posted By LARRYG:
The only person that could really answer that is someone who did a tour in BOTH places.



The problem with that is that a guy who did Nam and is doing Iraq, has probably moved to a position with air-conditioning and a secretary. He probably ain't front line infantry. I dunno though... maybe there's a lot of them Sam Shepard types over there...



Well then, NO ONE can legitimately answer this question then.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:38:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Label:

Originally Posted By LARRYG:
The only person that could really answer that is someone who did a tour in BOTH places.



The problem with that is that a guy who did Nam and is doing Iraq, has probably moved to a position with air-conditioning and a secretary. He probably ain't front line infantry. I dunno though... maybe there's a lot of them Sam Shepard types over there...



They have airconditioning there?
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:38:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Flash66:
All war is hell. All war hell is personal.

Back in the 70s, after I returned from the service, and went to work, my WWII veteran coworker tried to tell me that WWII was a tougher war than Vietnam. It seemed like an obsession with him to get some sort of recognition that his service on Normandy and The Battle of the Bulge was somehow superior to my service in Vietnam. Maybe he was right. He may have experienced the German artillery in the frozen Ardennes Forest but I also experienced VC and NVA attacks during the monsoon of I Corp in the middle of a vicious jungle. In both cases war was hell for the participants and I do not see where anyone could say one was harder than the other.

If we are going to make a value judgment about a hard war then we should ask our Korean War Veterans what it was like to defend the Pusan Perimeter or retreat from the Chosen Reservoir in the middle of winter with 200,000 screaming Chinese after their frozen asses.

I am sure I experienced harder condition in Vietnam than some of the troops experienced in Iraq. I also strongly suspect that there are many combat troops from Iraq that had it tougher than me. I may have had to spend frightening nights in the SE Asia jungle with torrential rains and mosquitoes but I never had to sleep out in the desert in a hard sandstorm and then worry about having a functioning M-16s the next morning. It really doesn't make much of a difference if the SOB shooting at you with an AK-47 is a gook or a raghead, does it?



Not going to debate which was tougher (WWII or 'nam), but it seems that I read 2 things which come to mind right away when I hear that.

1. The average age of combat soldiers in WWII was around 23, whereas the average age of a combat soldier in 'nam was 19.

2. The average GI in WWII say about 45 days of actual combat in a year, whereas the 'nam GIs saw something along the lines of over 200 days of combat in a year's time...........helicopter mobility and all that.

I wish I could find the exact figures, but I can't remember where I read that.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:44:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:56:46 AM EDT
I would venture to say it'd depend on the experience(s) that you're comparing. Hell comes in many different packages.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:00:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 12:04:25 PM EDT by Red_Label]

Originally Posted By FredM:

They have airconditioning there?




See Manic Moran's post on page 1 of this thread. Some DO have A/C over in the sandbox.

And DITTO to the poster infers that he'd be the last person to take away anything from the guys in Iraq. They are HERO's in my book. I do NOT envy them. I just wanted to put on the record that I think Vietnam sucked more. As I said, if nothing more than for the fact that those boys couldn't phone home and email. Contact with loved ones is HUGE when isolated and stuck in a stressful situation. Just look at those dufus' on the Survivor TV show -- how they bawl when they read a letter, or see a family member. And they aren't even being shot at!

And there's another reason that 'Nam sucked more. Every time a Marine or group of Nat'l Guardsmen comes home in my town -- it's a big deal and people (even strangers) are quick to thank them and let them know how PROUD they are of them. I don't think the 'Nam HERO's got that kind of homecoming. 'Nam sucked more. We DID learn lessons over there. Most of us, if nothing more than to treat our soldiers like the heros that they really are. Dyin' sucks PERIOD. But there are other factors in this question...
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:03:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hardcorps1775:
...today our guys are coming home heroes. back in the 60's and 70's, not such a friendly homecoming.



So far, but you are starting to hear more from the wacko left about how many innocents our troops are killing.

For fighting, I have a lot more respect for the VC than I do the insurgents who only seem to ambush with explosives.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:03:59 PM EDT
IMHO comparing Vietnam to Iraq is like comparing apples and oranges.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:05:52 PM EDT
For the first few months, we had no air conditioning and the entire company was in one tent. That was definitely unpleasant.

The tanks also have no air conditioning.

Eventually we moved into our portakabins, they were like a godsend. Cool air! Some of the M1025s (HMMWV weapons carriers) had red dot add-on air conditioning kits (We had 998s so no luck there), and the new armoured HMMWVs M1114s do have air conditioning.

Office types definitely are well-equipped with aircon.

NTM
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:06:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SS109:

For fighting, I have a lot more respect for the VC than I do the insurgents who only seem to ambush with explosives.



Agreed... but what else should we expect. These are the same cowards who would rather kill women and children than to face an enemy soldier.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:10:44 PM EDT
Chances of survival in Iraq are very high. Much higher than Vietnam and even more likely than in WWII.
You can't compare this war to previous wars.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:13:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SS109:
For fighting, I have a lot more respect for the VC than I do the insurgents who only seem to ambush with explosives.


The VC booby trapped babies withy grenades. They put broken glass into prostitutes' vaginas. They used plenty of explosives in traps and ambushes. The VC were scum. It's just that they're potrayed as "good guys" by the left. The only enemy that we've fought that I had respect for were the Germans. Only army that fought with honor that we've ever fought.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:48:13 PM EDT
Read an email a friend of mine got from a Vietnam buddy of his (they were both on a SF A Team together). He is deployed to Iraq and says the conditions are much, much better than Vietnam (great chow, nice barracks for most troops, internet, indoor gyms and theatres, AC, hot showers, etc.). Says Iraq is much more of a shithole than Vietnam, which was at least a pretty place.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 2:17:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
The 173rd Airborne Brigade suffered an enormous number of casualties in Vietnam relative to their unit size.



The Brigade was in Combat longer than any unit in Army history ( 1965-1971 ) and lost over 1600 KIA, God bless them all.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 2:47:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
Read an email a friend of mine got from a Vietnam buddy of his (they were both on a SF A Team together). He is deployed to Iraq and says the conditions are much, much better than Vietnam (great chow, nice barracks for most troops, internet, indoor gyms and theatres, AC, hot showers, etc.). Says Iraq is much more of a shithole than Vietnam, which was at least a pretty place.

GunLvr



Just about every VN vet I've talked to mentions how beautiful the country was. My dad has even mentioned that he'd love to go back now.....much easier to enjoy the scenery when you're not getting shelled or shot at. I can't really imagine anybody visiting Iraq as a tourist.


At least in 'nam troops were allowed bringbacks & could drink beer when on base. No burkhas for the female population or other 13th century ROP BS.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 2:55:40 PM EDT
Based on the number of casualties alone, I don't believe Iraq will ever get close to Vietnam.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:32:56 PM EDT
Vietnam.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 6:57:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dramborleg:
Good call Flash66 sir.

If you dont mind, thank you for your service... VN vets are never forgotten here.

Never.



That said... I would have to agree that Iraq is a major suck fest... with all the politically correct bullcrap our troops have to put up.

But stats alone say that being in-country in VN out on the DMZ, in the Highlands, eatin' that red dust or sloggin' round' down in the Delta... was way more counterproductive to a healthy lifestyle that Iraq.

BUT IN NO WAY will I EVER suggest any disrespect to our brave soldiers in the Raq or in Astan. There service is just as equal to that of any who have ever answered the call of our country in time of need.

God bless them ALL... every one of them.

Dram sends...



You are right. Our Iraq War veterans are just as much heroes as any American soldier to ever take the field. Like you said, God Bess them!

They are not in competition with anyone. They stand on their own courage. The invasion of Iraq was one of the greatest military victories of all time. They are just as much a hero as the American troops that fought at Cowpens, Bull Run, San Jan Hill, The Somme, Normandy, Pusan, Hue, Kuwait or Mogadishu.

It doesn't make a goddamn bit of difference if a Vietnam veteran may have had it a little harder at one time or another. It is not a competition. There is also no way to measure the hell of war so it doesn't make any difference.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 6:59:31 PM EDT
Boy, glad this thread got put up.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 4:09:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Label:

Originally Posted By LARRYG:
The only person that could really answer that is someone who did a tour in BOTH places.



The problem with that is that a guy who did Nam and is doing Iraq, has probably moved to a position with air-conditioning and a secretary. He probably ain't front line infantry. I dunno though... maybe there's a lot of them Sam Shepard types over there...

You'd be surprised.

We had several Vietnam vets in an attached reserve unit. One of them was in Hue City during Tet. We asked him the same question, and were told that in his opinion, living conditions were better in Kuwait(pre-invasion) but that being shot at has the same effect no matter who does it.
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