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Jack-o-Lantern

(989 posts)
Tue Sep 15, 2020, 09:04 PM Sep 2020

I flew in the US Air Force for eight years during the Vietnam era...

We flew huge C-141 Starlifter cargo jets between the US and southeast Asia.
We carried supplies and munitions eastbound, but not westbound.
There is a huge US hospital/mortuary in Yokota Japan where the injured and dead service people were flown from Vietnam to the Yokota facility.

The dead were processed there and placed in hermetical sealed aluminum coffins (called human remains transfer cases). The C-141 carried ten cargo pallets, each pallet was loaded with eight HRTC’s, so each westbound flight carried 80 bodies.

During the long overwater flights I would I step down into the cargo bay and read… you see each case was equipped with container holding the paperwork accompanying the remains. The paperwork indicated the name, age, hometown, next of kin, cause of death, and whether the remains were viewable or not. The average age of the deceased was 19 years old.
Those who were from the western states were unloaded at the Travis AFB California mortuary, and those from the eastern states were unloaded at Dover AFB Delaware.

I flew two or three SEA runs every month, with many more aircraft making these same depressing SEA runs…no flags draped over the cases, no honor guards meeting the planes, the pallets were simply rolled onto flatbed K-loaders and driven away.

On other occasions the aircraft was reconfigured into a flying fully staffed med-evac hospital.

These flights were loaded with litters, two high down the cargo bay accompanied by two doctors, three nurses and an array of medical machines. Some injuries were moderate while others were horribly wounded, paralyzed, burned, amputees etc.

Now am proud of my service, but ashamed of the waste, and the futility of that war (as is true of most wars).

The point of this story is the red hot rage and loathing I harbor toward the bloated stinking piece of shit who calls these people, my people, and the others who have served our country over the years “SUCKERS and LOSERS”!

I will not rest until this putrid orange monster lies rotting in the ground, food for worms and maggots! That will be one hell of a happy day.

…and so it goes.


53 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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I flew in the US Air Force for eight years during the Vietnam era... (Original Post) Jack-o-Lantern Sep 2020 OP
God Bless You Brother pdxflyboy Sep 2020 #1
You speak for many. JohnnyLib2 Sep 2020 #2
+ 1. nt iluvtennis Sep 2020 #25
+100000 AZ8theist Sep 2020 #42
Thank you, Jack. crickets Sep 2020 #3
Always consider the source. To be admired by Trump indicates the recipient is some sort of immoral Karadeniz Sep 2020 #4
Right there with you, Brother. Stinky The Clown Sep 2020 #5
Amen! Well said, brother FakeNoose Sep 2020 #6
K & R Hulk Sep 2020 #10
This is positive thinking @ it's best!... Illumination Sep 2020 #20
Love it. nt iluvtennis Sep 2020 #26
Made my day!!! colorado_ufo Sep 2020 #48
K & R. nt okaawhatever Sep 2020 #7
Please consider submitting this OP as a Letter to the Editor... Laffy Kat Sep 2020 #8
I thought the same thing the second I finished reading it. Dem2theMax Sep 2020 #13
I thought this too leighbythesea2 Sep 2020 #15
NYT/Wash Post/ LA times zipplewrath Sep 2020 #51
Yes Kat, I will do that. Jack-o-Lantern Sep 2020 #9
Thank you for your witness MaryMagdaline Sep 2020 #11
Thank you for posting this. democrank Sep 2020 #12
As MM says, thank you for your witness Hekate Sep 2020 #14
Hearing your story brings tears to my eyes. All the sacrifices & lives lost doing what's Illumination Sep 2020 #16
K&R .. respect PoliWrangler Sep 2020 #17
Very powerful, very real. panader0 Sep 2020 #18
Nice and speaknow Sep 2020 #19
DU rec... SidDithers Sep 2020 #21
A touching story. Aussie105 Sep 2020 #22
Ya know what? colorado_ufo Sep 2020 #49
BOOM oldsoftie Sep 2020 #52
Thank You. TallMike Sep 2020 #23
There with you. Didn't serve in country but when asked I answered. flamin lib Sep 2020 #24
Thank you for your service MustLoveBeagles Sep 2020 #27
As did I Jamesm9164 Sep 2020 #28
Thank you Larissa Sep 2020 #29
Thank You! BadGimp Sep 2020 #30
Thanks for your story and the good work! burrowowl Sep 2020 #31
I hope when he's detained serving his life sentence before that Lock him up. Sep 2020 #32
The further the ruling class gets away from war, the more they worship it Withywindle Sep 2020 #33
So it goes, homes. MrScorpio Sep 2020 #34
My own experiences as an Infantry Platoon Leader showed me the same waste you saw Victor_c3 Sep 2020 #35
Thank you for your service... Freedomofspeech Sep 2020 #36
...and after he is in the ground rotting.... Grins Sep 2020 #37
Whoa. Talk about perspective... sarchasm Sep 2020 #38
No doubt. People will be dancing in the streets when Trumpy is gone. PatrickforO Sep 2020 #39
K&R Blue Owl Sep 2020 #40
Amen! Texin Sep 2020 #41
100% share your sentiment Dukkha Sep 2020 #43
My heart breaks each day for this. peacebuzzard Sep 2020 #44
K&R! ProfessorGAC Sep 2020 #45
Thank you for your service. My nephew picked up where you left off. Frustratedlady Sep 2020 #46
As part of a family whose members served in Vietnam, I now have tears in my eyes. Paper Roses Sep 2020 #47
You have written this so well KT2000 Sep 2020 #50
I simply cannot not respond to the comments. Jamesm9164 Sep 2020 #53

Karadeniz

(22,894 posts)
4. Always consider the source. To be admired by Trump indicates the recipient is some sort of immoral
Tue Sep 15, 2020, 09:23 PM
Sep 2020

Criminal, law bending type. To be disparaged by Trump is a compliment because that person, having ethics and decency, can't be bought off and manipulated by him. But I, too, share your wish for his disintegration!

Laffy Kat

(16,421 posts)
8. Please consider submitting this OP as a Letter to the Editor...
Tue Sep 15, 2020, 09:47 PM
Sep 2020

Or an opinion piece to your local newspaper.

Dem2theMax

(9,740 posts)
13. I thought the same thing the second I finished reading it.
Tue Sep 15, 2020, 10:07 PM
Sep 2020


I'd like to see it in a national newspaper.

zipplewrath

(16,646 posts)
51. NYT/Wash Post/ LA times
Wed Sep 16, 2020, 05:36 PM
Sep 2020

They take letters from the nation. I think they might actually be interested in the perspective.

 

Illumination

(2,458 posts)
16. Hearing your story brings tears to my eyes. All the sacrifices & lives lost doing what's
Tue Sep 15, 2020, 10:33 PM
Sep 2020

honorable for America! But remember that the Tramp in the W.H. actually belongs in the Big House! He's beneath our standards. He does not possess class, dignity, ethics, morals, knowledge, creditability, self control, legitimacy, compassion, honor, kindness & love. This is someone who is a rude embarrassing punk thug failure to America! No one wants to listen to him anymore because it's all lies & nonsense! His world is beginning to crack all around him & it will be just a matter of time that it all comes tumbling down on him!...

panader0

(25,816 posts)
18. Very powerful, very real.
Tue Sep 15, 2020, 10:35 PM
Sep 2020

It gives your loathing for trump real gravitas. Thanks for posting--a great post.

speaknow

(321 posts)
19. Nice and
Tue Sep 15, 2020, 10:42 PM
Sep 2020

honest. We were the Guys and Girls that went
off to war and when we returned we we spit on
and cursed at, We stood tall and took it all.
As I tell all that served. We did the right thing!

Aussie105

(5,682 posts)
22. A touching story.
Tue Sep 15, 2020, 10:59 PM
Sep 2020

But try to ignore Trump.

He is desperate, facing election defeat and trying to see some way out of a situation he cannot control.
In his present state of senile dementia his only coping mechanism is to lash out at everyone.

That gravestone picture. There will be a long line of Americans willing to personally 'water' the headstone and the ground.

TallMike

(161 posts)
23. Thank You.
Tue Sep 15, 2020, 11:11 PM
Sep 2020

Im afraid I stole this epic. Then I posted it on the dread FB. Then I attributed it to some guy named John.
I fucking love you Jack O.
Did I mention EPIC?
...and so it goes.

flamin lib

(14,559 posts)
24. There with you. Didn't serve in country but when asked I answered.
Tue Sep 15, 2020, 11:33 PM
Sep 2020

While there I served as best I could. Not for God or country or cause. For those serving with me.

Jamesm9164

(542 posts)
28. As did I
Tue Sep 15, 2020, 11:59 PM
Sep 2020

I have watched and enjoyed DU for many years and have hesitated to join the conversation. Mostly because of shit-stirrers.
This post stirred my soul.
I also flew the C-141 for 22-years - 1970 - 1992.
Think about the history, folks.
The present President of the United States is a disgrace.

Larissa

(792 posts)
29. Thank you
Wed Sep 16, 2020, 12:04 AM
Sep 2020

Thank you for your deeply moving message. When you wrote that the average age of the deceased was 19-years-old, I could not help but remember the famous Life Magazine article on the war dead of Vietnam which included black and white pictures of the fallen. Many Americans were heartbroken at the youthful faces in those pictures. I think that many were confronted for the first time with the unforgiving reality of war and the incredible sacrifices those young men -- all of them -- made.

Please know that I am truly proud of your service.

Lock him up.

(7,012 posts)
32. I hope when he's detained serving his life sentence before that
Wed Sep 16, 2020, 03:06 AM
Sep 2020
in a federal or a state prison, to pay for all the sufferings he is to be found guilty of, with all the real evidence of his lifelong crime spree, that you will already start to rest from there on.

Withywindle

(9,988 posts)
33. The further the ruling class gets away from war, the more they worship it
Wed Sep 16, 2020, 03:24 AM
Sep 2020

I really do pray Vietnam will be the last US draft ever. Teenagers forced into carnage they didn't understand.

Thank you for your painful service, and your eloquent post about it.

Victor_c3

(3,557 posts)
35. My own experiences as an Infantry Platoon Leader showed me the same waste you saw
Wed Sep 16, 2020, 07:44 AM
Sep 2020

I have a lot of mixed feelings about my military service, but the waste of human life and resources appalled me. I feel a lot of guilt for the loss of life on both sides of the fight. Had the tables been turned, I’m sure I would have been fighting on the other side. I believe the majority of the insurgents I fought against truly believed they were fighting to defend their families and communities - I can certainly identify with that.

Victor
Army, 1997-2007

Grins

(7,394 posts)
37. ...and after he is in the ground rotting....
Wed Sep 16, 2020, 08:02 AM
Sep 2020

...stand in the long line to piss on his grave. Grass will never grow over that spot.

sarchasm

(1,038 posts)
38. Whoa. Talk about perspective...
Wed Sep 16, 2020, 09:32 AM
Sep 2020

Thanks for your service and sharing. A huge responsibility to bear, to reunite them with their loved ones.

PatrickforO

(14,647 posts)
39. No doubt. People will be dancing in the streets when Trumpy is gone.
Wed Sep 16, 2020, 10:10 AM
Sep 2020

Except the white supremacists. They will still be under their rocks, with their cammies and guns, waiting.

Dukkha

(7,341 posts)
43. 100% share your sentiment
Wed Sep 16, 2020, 11:53 AM
Sep 2020

There has been no human in my time who is so devoid of humanity and not an ounce of altruism in his stinking grotesque body. He deserves no honor in his passing which can't come soon enough.

peacebuzzard

(5,200 posts)
44. My heart breaks each day for this.
Wed Sep 16, 2020, 12:28 PM
Sep 2020

Tragedy and loss that very few understood.
I had friends who served along with you, and friends who left for other countries rather than be drafted.
some are still around, although I have lost contact with most.
As a young female during that time, I lived safely on military bases both here, in Europe and South America.
Tension was everywhere. It still haunts me.

Thank you for sharing, .


Frustratedlady

(16,254 posts)
46. Thank you for your service. My nephew picked up where you left off.
Wed Sep 16, 2020, 01:55 PM
Sep 2020

He is one of those who goes to the house to inform the family and stays near to make sure they are taken care of in many ways. It is also a tough job, but he has done it for many years and feels a great sense of accomplishment.

You have earned the rage. You aren't alone.

Paper Roses

(7,486 posts)
47. As part of a family whose members served in Vietnam, I now have tears in my eyes.
Wed Sep 16, 2020, 02:10 PM
Sep 2020

That inexcusable war cost so much to so many.
By the grace of circumstance, my family came home physically safe. Not sure about mental status after that horrible experience.

Those who did the awful job of bringing back casualties should be thanked for the service rendered.
One of my family members flew medivac helicopters. He never talked about this horrible experience.
I'm sure his dreams bring flashbacks.

As we watch current events and the stupid moves by this administration, I worry about another useless, inexcusable war. One of my family came home with a Silver Star plus other medals. A sad but honorable tribute.

Thank you for your very poignant post. Those of us who remember Vietnam are doubly concerned at this point. Nothing tRump does will surprise me. He is a desperate despot!

This idiot in the White House will do anything. I can't get it out of my mind.



KT2000

(20,661 posts)
50. You have written this so well
Wed Sep 16, 2020, 02:57 PM
Sep 2020

I wish it could get into broader circulation. Currently the awful one is using threats against countries that would require the work of those he calls losers and suckers. Our streets are in the infant stages of being turned into a civil war - with warrior wannabes who have no idea of the experiences you and so many others have had.

Your essay is a reminder I hope many will read.
Thank you for posting it.

Jamesm9164

(542 posts)
53. I simply cannot not respond to the comments.
Wed Sep 16, 2020, 06:57 PM
Sep 2020

Pats on the head are nice. Thank you's are nice. But, what are you doing. I am more than willing to let folks know who I am and where I live. The handle should be sufficient.

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