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07-14-2009, 04:32 PM   #76
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I get goose bumps from your wonderful descriptions

QuoteOriginally posted by hillerby Quote
As a "side note", the Pilot drew a "Superman" logo on the back of my helmet camoflauge cover , and I still have that helmet and cover to this day. It's probably one of my most cherished pieces of memorabilia.
I would love to see a picture...

07-14-2009, 05:24 PM   #77
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I have read thus far and to say its special is a understatement.This is your time capsule per say of your accounts in a theatre of war,I am a Australian but i have to say thanks for your historical account viewed by your lenses and to all fighting soldiers to keep us all safe and sound to enjoy what we have today


I also look forward to more of your side


cheers

Last edited by cupic; 07-14-2009 at 08:02 PM.
07-15-2009, 05:19 AM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by cupic Quote
I have read thus far and to say its special is a understatement.This is your time capsule per say of your accounts in a theatre of war,I am a Australian but i have to say thanks for your historical account viewed by your lenses and to all fighting soldiers to keep us all safe and sound to enjoy what we have today


I also look forward to more of your side


cheers
its amazing how few Australians were killed compared to the number who served in the theater. America is grateful for Australia's efforts during the war.
07-15-2009, 05:49 AM   #79
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Seamuis & Cupic, I'd just like to say that the time I spent on operations with the Royal Australian Army & the "Kiwi's was one of the most pleasurable I had. They were not only professional in every sense of the word, they truly made us "Yanks" feel at home with them.
I did not however, care much for their field rations! The corned mutton I seemed to get every day wasn't much to my liking.
I always thought it amusing that they had a large pot of tea brewing most of the time and we (Americans) preferred coffee, which we always had in ample supply.

07-15-2009, 11:00 AM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by hillerby Quote
RatMagicLady has made a rather astute observation! Vets (Vietnam Vets in particular) don't usually share a lot of war stories. They will (and often do) share those stories with other veterans. Those of us who served in Vietnam generally don't do it because of the negative reception we almost universally received when we returned. Additionally, there is a phrase veterans all seem to fall back on..."If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand it anyway!".
In my case, I spent the better part of 30 years either ignoring, avoiding, and sometimes denying the fact that I was even in Vietnam. I ultimately came to the point where I saw so many incorrect assumptions about Vietnam being made that I decided to simply speak out.
There are a great many things that I never speak about unless it's with another Vietnam Vet (We often don't even discuss some things with veterans of other wars).
A little know fact, that I discovered about Vietnam Vets is that over the years we developed a "code language" to determine if the person with whom we were speaking was someone with whom we could speak openly. To this day, my wife can't figure out how I can walk into a room of say 50 complete strangers and IF there's another Vietnam Vet, we'll be conversing as if we'd been friends for years!
It's my personal theory that this "code language" is a "defense mechanism" we disovered individually (and perhaps accidentally) as the years went by and has now become a matter of habit.
I don't have too much trouble discussing it now, but there are still things that I keep pretty "close to the vest".
In conclusion, a "word to the wise".... NEVER ask a combat veteran if (or how many) people he killed! I personally consider it insensitive to say the least; and vulgar and intrusive at worst.
I'll be going through some pictures this weekend and see if I can get a few more scans made to post here.
I'd like to personally thank all of you who've been so interested (and I notice) regularly monitoring this thread. It's been a real surprise to me thus far.
You're quite right about vets talking about their experiences. My grandfather was a 35-yr Navy vet, and I can recall exactly two stories about his WW2 time (he was in the Pacific Fleet the duration of the war). And one of those stories consisted entirely of saying "I was over on the USS Arizona all day on December 6th with a work crew from our ship, but we hadn't gone over there yet on the 7th". He never said anything more than that...

For myself, I also thank you for the photos, for your service, and for the perspective we rarely get to hear from. I did 13 years as an Air Force comm/computer officer, and the support guys aren't usually the ones with a message that gets heard. We do important functions, they just tend to be behind the scenes. I got to babysit a computer sending out weather info and computer-generated flight plans in Gulf War 1 - crucial in the overall effort but not exactly inspirational...

Jim
07-15-2009, 04:27 PM   #81
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War stories

My father was drafted during the Korean War. He doesn't volunteer much about his service, but if you prod him a little you can get some stories out of him. Since he was in supply, many of his stories are hilarious tales of horse trading or the shenanigans required to pass an inspection.
07-17-2009, 06:29 AM   #82
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I'm gonna' try and get some more pictures scanned this weekend and hopefully, I can have them posted w/more commentary by then.
07-17-2009, 11:22 AM   #83
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OK! We're all looking forward to it, I'm sure.

07-17-2009, 01:00 PM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by hillerby Quote
I'm gonna' try and get some more pictures scanned this weekend and hopefully, I can have them posted w/more commentary by then.

were all excitedly waiting.
07-17-2009, 07:07 PM   #85
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From this forum, I have learned more than I can even begin to literate. THIS thread byfar is the most interesting, fascinating thing I have read in this Forum. Hillerby you are to be complimented on your service to our country. Thank you.

Hillerby, I have sent you a personal message about your printing company. As I am in the business, maybe I can help you with yours.
07-18-2009, 08:55 AM   #86
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More Pictures from Nam'

I've got another group of pictures here. I've scanned all of these from the original 35mm transparencies. The originals are good and sharp, but my P.O.S. scanner doesn't do a very good job. If anyone can recommend a good (moderately priced) flatbed scanner that is capable of scanning film as well as prints; I'm gonna' have to get one.
I don't understand why, but some of the color in the originals is as good as the day they were processed. Others however, have undergone some serious color shift.

1. This is a shot of another still photographer while we were in Saigon. We got a few shots of the front of a Buddhist Temple, but they wouldn't let us inside with our cameras.
2. The second shot is a picture I framed of a couple of Kiwi (New Zeland) soldiers checking one another over for leeches after we came back out of the jungle. If you look closely, you'll see that the individual on the right is "butt naked". This was a process the Kiwi's and Aussie's routinely went through when they got back from beatin' the bush.
3. The final shot in this series is a MoPic photographer checking and cleaning his gear prior to going out. You'll notice he's got his wet clothing hanging in the sun to dry out. That's about as close as you got to "clean clothing".
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07-18-2009, 09:29 AM   #87
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Great, Hillerby. You got a nice way of telling this all. No action shots of combat?
07-18-2009, 09:36 AM   #88
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Bob, I posted earlier on in this thread and my family's historical involvement in the military. I've not posted since then and just wanted to say thank you for both serving and sharing if I didn't say so the first time.

I have listened to both WWI diary entries from a high school buddy's great grandfather and listened to WWII stories of my former neighbor up in Ottawa. He enlisted into the US Army Air Force and was a ground crew member for the B-17's that bombed Europe. Needless to say he was very willing to share technical details on most anything about his experiences. Like you, only fellow vets were within that inner circle of talking about those experiences. One thing that floored me was his recounting the shot up B-17's that amazingly managed to fly home. However, the body parts and the cleanup (especially the waist gunner section) one time required fire hoses to properly clean out the waist/tail section.

I can only imagine these events and it breaks my heart to know that you and others had to live through see those less than human things, yet the human side of everything clearly shows in your photos - beautiful! I continue to visit and read with interest, but not engage that often. It's only my time commitments preclude this.

Sincerely,
Marc
07-18-2009, 10:29 AM   #89
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More Nam' pictures and commentary

I'd like to say "Thanks" to all of you who've taken such an interest in this thread. Additionally, I'm very humbled that so many of you have taken the time to tell me, "Thank You for your service". That really means a lot to me. One of the earlier posts asked about "Action Shots of Combat". The short answer is YES! I took loads of those types of shots. For the most part however, I turned most of those types of pictures in as "Official U.S. Army" photographs. I brought a few home, but it wasn't the type of thing that I wanted to keep as a "memory".
I was far more interested in the "personal and human" side of the war. As a result, I have LOTS of pictures of faces, people. I tried to capture "Vietnam as I wanted to remember it!"
Vietnam is one of the most scenically beautiful places I've ever seen! Everyone who was there (civilian or military were affected by those long ago events in some way. I was particularly impressed at the resilience of the children and their ability to smile and appear happy in the face of it all. Adults on the other hand seemed "worn down and tired of war".

1. The girl in the black shirt was a "street vendor" in some forgotten small village. Selling cokes and other drinks to those who came by. You'll note the child hiding behind her ... many of the vietnames were very "camera shy" and reluctant to have their picture made.
2. The child in the traditional "conical" hat is an example of how the children made the best of their adverse environment. These two kids lived in a village just outside a Kiwi Artillery fire base. Accordingly, they no doubt witnessed the effects of the war "up close and personal". In spite of it all, they were always smiling and wanted to help the soldiers in any way they could.
3. This last picture is a young girl that I came to know fairly well. Her mother was a prostitue in Bien Hoa (many miles from the village in which she lived) her father was a soldier in the S. Vietnamese Army and she had no idea where he was. She lived with friend in the local village. I talked to her several times (she spoke fairly good english ... as did most of the children near American camps. I've got a number of shots of this little girl, and would often talk to her about coming to America w/me. I'd have adopted her in a "heartbeat" ...... It'd would be nice to know how she made out after I left.
I loved those kids! I was always concerned about how living in a war zone must have affected their lives.
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07-18-2009, 10:38 AM   #90
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Have you had a chance to get in contact with any of these kids since then?
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