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1st Viet Nam post for i


My folks had scanned some of my cousin's Viet Nam photos and emailed them to me this morning. I'm not sure where these were taken. It's obviously a combat zone from the foxholes and barbed wire. I know he was killed at Khe Sanh in 1968 and I think these were taken near there. This is just the first batch. I seem to remember he had many photos of Vietnamese POWs as they were transferring them from camp to camp and those seemed to have been taken in a more lowland area.

Gary in Foxhole

Gary and friend

Gary in foxhole at mealtime




( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 16th, 2005 04:44 am (UTC)
wow. the defoliation is amazing.
Dec. 16th, 2005 03:48 pm (UTC)
I was reading some about the base at Khe Sanh and they talk about the tall elephant grass they encountered when they first decided they were going to make a stand rather than pull out. At first they were just clearing it with machetes but later, they started a wholeasle deforestation campaign with chemicals and all. Talking to Dad, I think the area in the photos is one of the numbered hills they fortified against the seige. Gary was killed not long after those photos were taken. In fact he wrote a letter home on the day he was killed and at least one of those photos was in the letter.

Dec. 16th, 2005 08:07 am (UTC)
It never ceases to amaze me how effectively the U.S. news media managed to paint such brave young men as The Enemy. 1968 was the year I was born. 1968 has been repeated so many times; Young men are born, are killed defending Liberty, and are condemned in the name of peace, love, harmony, and all those other ideals that Evil makes impossible.

Thank you for sharing this; These are images I wish the whole country could see.
Dec. 16th, 2005 04:21 pm (UTC)
I'll get the rest of them up soon. I'm going to do a website with them. You probably didn't catch the beginning of this conversation with Dave and I. The soldier in the pics is my cousin Gary. He was my Dad's nephew and was influenced to go into the service because my Dad had enlisted in 1956. Dad was in Viet Nam in 65 when I was born in March. Then he was back for about a year and we moved from Illinois down to Memphis. My Mom was pregnant with my brother when he got his orders for his second tour in 67. He was able to take leave long enough to come see my brother born. He literally got there during the delivery. Within two weeks he was gone again. Joe was born in early Feb of 68. Dad was in Viet Nam when Gary was killed at Khe Sanh. I can't imagine how that made him feel, knowing he'd see his sister again but her son never would. When Dad returned home again and got off the plane in San Diego, his unit was assaulted by protestors throwing eggs and spitting on them. He made a career of the Marine Corps. Stayed in for 30 years. Retired in 87 as a Lt. Col. I don't think I ever saw him happier than when the troops returned from Desert Storm to a hereos welcome. I think it restored some of his faith in America.

Dec. 16th, 2005 09:08 pm (UTC)
It's awful that people treated the soldiers that way. I don't know why people blamed them for everything; it's more the government's fault than anything.

Apparently my grandmother's brother ran into her husband (my dad's father) when they were both in France in World War II. Her brother wrote a letter home saying they'd met up and everything was fine. Before the letter could reach her, my grandfather was killed and she received notice of it; thus the letter was an unpleasant reminder when it finally arrived.
Dec. 16th, 2005 09:28 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if my Dad ever met up with Gary while he was over there. I know they shared letters. But I think Dad found out Gary was killed from a letter from home.

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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