When you leave the military, one document is supposed to be free of any errors. It must be perfect in every respect for future employers and the VA to confirm your history. Every medal, every duty assignment and type of discharge are checked and rechecked-or not.
I was roaming around the internet and found my old outfit I spent two years with except for a brief period working for a civilian airline. They list that under “other service for 1 month and 14 days. Right there in bold arial script, I find I was awarded the Outstanding Unit citation with Combat “V” device for valor three times. Additionally, my Vietnam Service medal should have six (one silver and one bronze) battle stars for the six offensives we supported. The Vietnam Campaign Medal and Gallantry Cross w/ palm are also absent. My Small Arms Expert Markmanship Ribbon is similarly AWOL. In fact, the NDSM is the only one showing on my 214. We called that the “Battle for Lackland” medal as in Basic Training. The box for Vietnam is checked “no” and not one duty station is listed.
If a body didn’t know any better, they’d surmise I joined and four years later turned around and got out of Basic without leaving San Antonio. I have debated getting my pseudo-PTSD General Discharge upgraded to an Honorable and I figure I could swing it after forty years. Except for the midnight streaking ticket at Green Lake Park in downtown Seattle in August 1974, my record is squeaky clean. You have my word on it.
Here is the deficient 214. I’m sorry I didn’t post it earlier but this is Gun Show day at the fairgrounds. You meet the nicest people there. In fact, a man agreed to give me $50 off a nice S&W Mod. 19 as a Veterans’s discount. It was 10%- just like Home Depot. The thing looks like it’s NIB and the only drawback is the Pachmeyer grips instead of the rich furniture on the one I had in SEA.
As for the 214, I had to get the original onion skin out of the safe and copy to sanitize it. I guess I never really read it that closely because it does say “Indochina–yes” and reflects I spent two years overseas.
I guess I didn’t have to black out my top secret clearance. Maybe I’m too paranoid.
Here’s something they don’t make anymore! DD 257s. Now they just write it on the DD 214. What the hey? I think it’s suitable for framing. They also discontinued the DD258 (Big Chicken Dinner) and the DD259 Dishonorable Discharge certificates. When you get booted, it’s always nice to have something framed that Mom can hang on the wall. Sort of like a certificate of participation where you behaved most of the time.
P.S. on the 214, note the “SPN” code (AF used SDN) in Box 11. c. 265 is for “Unsuitability, character disorder”. Roger that.