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Met a guy today who claimed to have been at My Lai.

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DemoTex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:07 PM
Original message
Met a guy today who claimed to have been at My Lai.
He was a Native American that I ran into at the hardware store outside Rosman. I said, "Oh, in March 1969?", knowing that it had been a year earlier. He said, "No, March 16, 1968." That is the correct date for the My Lai massacre. He also referred to My Lai 4, the hamlet destroyed by Calley's platoon.

I asked him, point-blank, if he was in "C" Company, 11th Brigade, Americal Division. "No," he answered, "I was in another company operating in another My Lai hamlet (there were at least four) that day. He also called the A/O "Pinkville," a term used by the Americal soldiers to describe the My Lai area.

Ended up, he is very anti-war and very anti-Bu$h. We walked out to our cars together, and he saw my VVAW bumper sticker (HONOR THE WARRIOR, NOT THE WAR). He got weepy. He walked over to his pickup truck. I said, "Welcome home, soldier." He said, "Welcome home, sir."
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. Really sad snippet in our history
and to think we repeated it.
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
2. DemoTex
:cry:
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Me, too.
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DemoTex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Me too.
I was really sorry I started out as the "doubting Thomas." But one has to be careful. There are so many bullshit artists claiming to be Vietnam vets, for whatever weird reason. This guy was the real McCoy. He was a country lad. Poor grammar. He did not read this shit somewhere and extrapolate himself into it.
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Me too.
:cry:
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Whitacre D_WI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. One of my dad's best friends relieved Calley of his command.
You know an interesting sidenote? My Lai 4 was the wrong My Lai.

The Army had intelligence that one of the My Lais (I forget which, but it wasn't 4) was a center for VC activity. Now, it would STILL have been an atrocity had they MURDERED the population of the "correct" My Lai. But the wrong one?

Jesus Christ.
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Tandalayo_Scheisskopf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. Four friends of mine were grunts there.
One loaded up his van with gasolene. Aimed it at another car. Killed himself and the family in the other car. He never really came back from The Nam.

Another drank and drank and drank and drank when he returned to the world. He finally passed out in a snow drift and froze to death. They think. He never really came back from The Nam.

Another just dissapeared, once he came back to the world. He never really came back from The Nam.

Another friend spends his days in either pain or medical treatments from one of the worst cases of exposure to Agent Orange his doctors have ever seen. He came back. But to what?

Wars are the gifts that keep on giving and giving and giving and giving and giving...

Absolutely nothing. Nothing but pain.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. Amazing, innit?
I live in an area with a lot of military people, so I've met a fair number of veterans of all ages. Whenever I meet someone who's served, I make it a point to call them "Sir" (or "Ma'am") and thank them for their service.

No one has EVER failed to get emotional and mist up about it. No pride, no vanity -- but a lot of poorly-suppresed tears. And no age-class of soldier is exempt, from WWII to the current war.

When I reflect on it, I have to ask myself, "My god, what the hell have we been doing to our soldiers over the past 60 years?"

No amount of flag-waving can heal the wounds of five generations of men and women who have been used for guncotton overseas and election props at home.

--bkl
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DemoTex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Well said, my friend.
The South, especially, needs to wake up to the "guncotton" issue.
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m-jean03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
8. That's so sad.
I'm sure it was a powerful experience for you to meet him -
thanks for sharing it with us.
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