BEYOND THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD TRIP

Indeed, as the lyrics state, I’ve decided my future lies beyond 810 Yellow Brick Road NW. Rarely do you get a chance to roll up six important projects into one and accomplish them all in one fell swoop. Imagine being able to get away with your adult son (married-w/o children…yet) for the road trip from Hell, visit your Dad, hit a museum, visit the Wall, see old friends and relatives and top it off with being sworn in to the CAVC – all in less than four days- including flight time. Shoot, Bubba. I’m blessed beyond words.

The only setback was my son and I couldn’t find an ‘airline-size’ bottle of Johnnie W. red or black to put on Dad’s grave at Arlington National. We opted for a fifth and discovered to our dismay that Homeland Security now guards the dearly departed at ANC. Wouldn’t want any ISIS dickwits trying to blow up them up, now would we? They refused me entry with the scotch and even got a little miffed that I’d tried to smuggle it in via my back pocket. It might have been one of the hardest things I ever have done to put that bottle in the trashcan. Wishing not to be arrested, I bit my lip and withheld my dissertation on the intelligence of rentacops.

We sashayed on over to 810 Yellow Brick Road NW for a photo op of the famous Lincoln Quote. We attempted to enter and discovered even more rentacop intransigence. So much for nonadversarial, Veteran-friendly greetings. We were promptly shoved out the door. Not so much as a photograph was permitted. Idiot’s delight.

We did the Wall to find one of my friends who augered in the day before I got out of the hospital back in 1971. I discovered Chuck had passed in 2008 while attempting to obtain a buddy letter from him for my Hep C claim. This was my third visit but my first time back since 2006 to touch his name. It’s also the first time I was able to withhold tears-well, most of them. Each succeeding visit seems to provoke a much-needed catharsis. I count three on the wall I knew.

Oddly, the  CAVC Judge who swore me in yesterday (the Honorable Michael Allen) was the same who heard my/our Ex Writ for Butch Long several months ago. He was intrigued with the way I described myself as the “scribe” of Butch’s Writ. He said he just had to meet someone that devoted to helping other Vets. President Trump made a wise choice in him. He’s truly a pro-Veteran Judge.

 

Clerk of the Court Greg Block swearing me in.

My mentor, Bob Walsh, Carol Scott ( formerly of Veterans Pro Bono Consortium) and Tom Bandzul just happened to be in the neighborhood and dropped by for my swearing in.

(Left to Right) Matthew Graham, Robert P. Walsh, Thomas Bandzul, G. Alexander Graham, Carol Scott and Judge Michael Allen.

 

JD, no JD, JD

 

Last, but not least, I was finally able to get a peek at Tail #091 described in “In the Shadow of the Blade”. It now rests on the 3rd floor of the American Museum of History. Our illustrious East Coast ILP expert Bruce “Almighty” McCartney told me of this back in 2012. I’m crushed they didn’t land in my back yard. Closure is an elusive beast to nail down.

Seeing this chopper before I sneeze for the last time made my trip complete.

Here’s a great shot of the Capitol on the way to Union Station for the trip home.

I wonder if the average American realizes just how lucky we are to live here. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Posted in All about Veterans, CAVC Knowledge, KP Veterans, Lawyering Up, NOVA Attorneys, VA Agents, VA Attorneys, Vietnam War history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

BVA–RAPID TURNOVER OF STAFF ATTORNEYS BODES ILL FOR VETS

My good friend Vicki sent me a link the other day that really rolled my socks down. I was mortified to think how this impacts the backlog at the BVA for docketing our appeals. Mind you, I take some of these internet sites with a wheelbarrow of salt grains. This one would be legitimate from my standpoint. Either that or Notreallyalawyer and his buds are the most elaborate hoaxers of all time.  

 

The website jdunderground.com explores many post doctorate jobs and their focus of law. This particular vein is a discussion of how overprivileged, underworked little snowflakes’ real life crises are dealt with every day in the real world of the VA’s movers and shakers at the Board of Veterans Appeals. Just imagine if all these disgruntled souls were required to be Veterans with at least two continuous years of active duty to qualify for the job.

Check it out.

https://www.jdunderground.com/all/thread.php?threadId=143754

The thought that comes to my mind is…why on earth would any soul with that much knowledge of 38 USC/38CFR squander it all at 810 Yellow Brick Road (at the corner of Delay and Deny)? Why, with that certain knowledge used to deny, could one not eke out an equally above-average financial existence in far less stressful conditions as a … yep… VA attorney for Vets? Pick a state to practice in. It’s not geographically exclusive. No Errors and Omissions insurance. Form an S Corp. and pay 21%. Work from home on your schedule. Learn how to make Macrame Beer hats. Take up Yoga and Yogurt. #Doitdude.

Currently, there are far too many Vets who finally arrive at Hadit and other sites and hear the deja vu rejoinder- “I can’t get ahold of my rep. He won’t return my phone calls.” Hey. Remember those same VSOs have been doing their dangdest to deter the participation of attorneys and private agents in this business since The War of 1812. We get a shot at it after the VSOs finish reducing it to Hamburger Helper at the BVA.  Or, if the Vet finally wakes up to the need for a nexus or IMO, he’s usually waiting in line for a docket number at the BVA and discovering the need on Hadit or here. Ruh-oh Rorge! AstroVet Need Nexus faaaaaaaast!

The obvious 800-lb. gorilla in the VA living room  is war-continuous war in Southwest Asia. It is now becoming an inter-generational phenomenon. Fathers who served in 1991  have sons serving in Afraqistan. Count ’em folks. 17 years of on again, off again combat not to mention a shit ton of PTSD claims. This phenomenon has been variously described as ‘the lump in the python’ to  VA’s descriptive Adobe 9- “an unforeseen  seventeen year glitch in the statistics which no one could have programmed in to the equation.” VA fully expects this cohort to begin decreasing in 2019 based on their prediction models.

Business demand hates a vacuum. Someone will fill it. NOVA ought to advertise there. Imagine if you turned loose two or three thousand more attorneys into this VA fray. Seems like the easiest to train to think pro-Vet rather than the obverse would be those already entrusted with our appeals. Oddly, in most cases, it boils down to whipping up a good IMO at the BVA at the eleventh hour to save the day. Always remember. In ex parte jurisprudence, you want to be the very last to submit your killer IMO. This deprives those BVA staff attorneys of the opportunity to rebut it at the eleventh hour.  Protect it from a remand back to the AOJ and those chowderheads are going to be forced to eat it in order to make their 2.5 appeals per day quota.

I was taught once by a warrior to always think about how your opponent operates. What is his/her Prime Directive? What motivates them? How do your defeat them or neutralize them as a threat? What are their ROEs? If you know their limits, you can exploit them. In the legal jungle, you bide your time and they’ll eventually let their guard down.

VA raters and DROs are not morons but they do have a propensity to deny all but the most obvious without clear and convincing evidence to rebut their mistakes. Absent even rudimentary bipartisanship, you make your stand at the BVA. Present a good VA 9 argument and a SME review and a waiver of review in the first instance at the VARO to keep the DRO’s mitts off it. Sit back, remodel the kitchen and convert the garage into that fourth bedroom w/ bath. Before you know it the oldest kid is ready for college and you get TDIU and P&T. Problem solved.

The teaching lesson today is to give these tired overworked, mentally stressed out VA staff attorneys an easy way out and a simple path to your success that they feel they figured out by themselves with Phonics®. Arrange it so they can ‘sound it out’ legally. In truth, the last thing Veterans of all stripes want to see is an exodus from the BVA’s staff ranks. Golly, no. The backlog would become enormouser.

Posted in BvA and VARO CUE DECISIONS, BvA Decisions, BvA HCV decisions, Food for thought, IMOs/IMEs, KP Veterans, NOVA Attorneys, Tips and Tricks, VA Agents, VA Attorneys, vARO Decisions, Veterans Law, Waiver of Review in the First Instance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

VA “Secure” Messaging–major cloud fail or worse?

My husband asked me to send a message via myHealthy vet to his VA PC doc about something he is waiting for from the Physical Therapy department.  This screenshot was the first warning that all was not well with the Secure Messaging system today.  Upon logging in, I discovered something much much worse.  With the exception of two messages in his in-box, every other message, received and sent, or archived in folders are gone.  Deleted? Security breach? Hacked? Cloud failure? 

We are alarmed because we didn’t make back-ups of these important communications–messages that contain a dated accurate history of health issues and instructions from his VA providers.

If anyone else is having problems with their online VA accounts, please report back.  If you read any news/twitter articles regarding the services, ditto.

Right now, I am feeling exceedingly dumb because I trusted in reassurances that the “cloud” was safe (and secure”) with redundancies etc..I should know better by now with all the revelations about how government messaging often “go missing.”  

Image: kiedove taken January 30, 2018

Update:  reported this to the technical assistance contact form from within the in-Secure Messaging app.

Kiedove

Posted in All about Veterans, Call David, Food for thought, General Messages, Guest authors, vA news, VA security Breaches | Tagged | 9 Comments

KHE SANH–50 YEARS LATER

I saw an article on the Khe Sanh Golf and Country Club Grand opening this AM. January 21st, two days before the start of Tet ’68, all hell broke lose up in NW Quảng Tri province. It was about as far northwest as you could go without accidentally stumbling into either the DMZ (22 klics north) or Laos (9 Klics due west). Many thought the DMZ ended at the juncture of where the Republic of Vietnam and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam abutted Laos. Boy howdy would you be wrong. We jokingly referred to Military Region II (Barrel Roll) as the western terminus of the DMZ. More ordnance fell there than on all of Germany in WWII including five times as much AO and other Rainbow flavors.

Seems like we lost about 155 KHA and 425 WHA on that brain fart. Even if LBJ had not ordered that Khe Sanh be held at all costs, I doubt the Marines were going to throw in the towel. That would have been a USMC first no one wanted to own the bragging rights on.

I can say I’m glad I didn’t join the Marines after seeing the day-to-day footage of it. A Chinook driver friend of mine who died of AO pancreatic cancer several years ago described having his chopper shot right out from underneath him when he came in for a resupply. He narrowly escaped by jumping out of the starboard door as it rolled over. He was stuck there for two days and got constipated from being too scared to run down to the latrine. Up to then I’d heard of having the shit scared out of you but not in. Khe Sanh was the about the first time I began looking at the calendar and discovering I was going to be 1A in a year and two months. That became an even more  sobering thought several days later when the Tet Festivities began in earnest.

1st Secret Squirrel Group shoulder patch (Rangers)

Of interest, I bring up another subject I have been meaning to discuss. In fact, I guess you’re all wondering why I called you here this evening. For some reason, a lot of Vets have found me on the Internet and contacted me asking if I knew this or that secret outfit or ever ran into others who had. That’s usually followed by a plea to represent them with no evidence of the outfit they claim they served in. It was simply too secret to have a name. I never got above a T/S Crypto clearance so I didn’t hear about a lot this but I knew we had a few bunked in with Montagnard Hill Tribes. Their crossbows were sold in the market at Qui Nhon for about 100 piastres.  We used them  for apres le travail beer summits instead of dart boards when I was there. But I digress…

 

THOSE FABLED GHOSTWALKERS

My most recent batch of prospective clients began with a gal (spouse) inquiring about a Studies and Operations Group  of Army Reserve cooks and motor pool drivers/mechanics assembling at McChord Air Force Base south of me one night in early ’59 at 0200 on the flightline with their gear. 400 troops. Roger that. Not just 400 troops. 400 Reserve troops, mind you. These brave men then boarded the plane (singular, nung, un, môt) and they took off. They landed somewhere in Korea. By now they had a name but no platoon designation, Company, Battalion or Division. The ‘Ghostwalkers’ were officially in business. A ship transported them north to a beach along the west coast of North Korea. They landed- all 400 in zodiac-like surfboats- miraculously unobserved. So, conservatively, with six occupants per boat, they paddled ashore in 66.66 skanky old-fashioned life rafts (this was pre-Zodiac era after all)… completely undetected… silent as church mice tiptoeing past the Deacon.

From the beach, they marched inland and left a soldier with a M-1 Carbine to guard their egress every 100 yards. They followed a road inland unobserved by a single soul for 12 long miles. 400 Reserve mechanics and egg flippers with no Survival School or Escape/Evasion training spread out over 12 miles… in Indian Country…They were able to gain ingress to a NK nuclear power plant which was strangely unattended as well. They leisurely took pictures of the ‘controls’ and after a couple hours of chillin’, beat feet 12 miles back to the coast (again with their magic invisibility cloaks set on high) and were aboard their ship by dawn- vanished into the mist. Her tales of Hubby’s derring do made the rounds of Studies and Operations Groups websites and other Secret Squirrel conspiracy forums for a year or two. Where were these legendary Ghostwalkers? Nobody had heard of these brave men. Eventually, the tale came around full circle like a cocktail party game of Twenty Questions and lent itself credence. Some old timer (who happened to be his neighbor one town over) chimed in and claimed he too was part of this august group that predated even the fabled Green Berets. Was that before or after the alien abduction gig?

Here’s what I know. Two guys can’t keep a secret. Nor can twenty or two hundred. If there were 400 of these USAR Deputy Dawgs and a cast of hundreds of more in a support staff role, the Ghostwalkers would be an Oscar-winning movie by now. I can find no period military MATS aircraft- prop or jet- at the time this occurred that would seat 400 and fly non-stop from McChord to Osan. Not in your dreams jelly beans. No matter how I pointed out the problems with this faery tale, the more adamant and angry the gal became. I did elicit that her Ghostwalker hero husband was about 80. She recently married him in a Winter-Spring marriage. She was born in 1978…in Kentucky. That explains a few things…I guess. The 214 shows pure stateside Kimchi at Fort Hukachoochoo in Arizona as a hired E-3 eggslinger with some reserve time in afterwards-ostensibly under cover in North Korea? She knows this story is true because he wouldn’t lie. He has a bad back from falling down during the North Korean beach ingress and wanted to file for it.

I declined the request for my legal services. I did promise to keep searching for the Ghostbusters.

I went TDY to Nam in ’59

This gentleman lives near me. I waited patiently for six months for him to come over. He showed up last week. Only problem was he decided to try four wheeling through my grape arbor and the horse pasture. Those who have been to my humble hacienda have never had any trouble ascertaining what a concrete driveway is used for or where it’s located. When you come left on final it’s right in front of you. Twenty yards wide.  Line up on the Servant Entrance door. Apparently this gentleman was  confused. Too many secret missions to the future site of Tuy Hoa Airpatch( or was it An Khe) from a SAC base in Nebraska can leave you confused. I guess we had a secret force of B-52s there that maybe needed maintenance? The destruction was extensive. Two very old grape vines and supporting posts. I could eat the  electric fence damage but my grapes were the dealbreaker. Why the grapes looked like the most natural parking area to this fellow will be a question for the ages. When I came out to see what all the dog-barking and ruckus was about, I found this old boy trying to climb a near-vertical embankment. Each failure resulted in him sliding back down and creaming my grape vines. Sisyphus readily comes to mind.

I declined the request for my legal services and refused his offer of remuneration for the damages. He lives in abject poverty and I feel sorry for him.  I recognize him as a regular at our local food bank.

I was in ‘Nam but I don’t want to

file for the lung cancer or the DMII

Secret Operations stories must travel in threes. Any one of these would be a great story over at “This ain’t Hell (but you can see it from here)”. 

Yesterday, a fellow called me up. Seems he was stationed aboard the Connie out on Yankee Station in the Gulf. I needed to get hold of him pronto if I expected to do his claim. Hear? He was there during the USS Turner Joy “friendly fire exercises” that began the Vietnam Boundary Dispute in earnest. He also said he did 90 days ashore and piloted a 60′ supply ship up the rivers on TDY to supply Marines. Up to now we’d been talking about some injury he had out farting around during AIT back in the States before the SEA deployment.  He fell off a cliff and they’d amputated his kneecap. I asked him immediately if he had any other serious medical issues. Yeppers. He had lung cancer and DM II and was nigh on 74.  I immediately suggested he file for them as herbicide presumptives and the lost kneecap. He could get TDIU in a heartbeat with that poker hand.

The tenor of the talk abruptly changed. Suddenly, he felt he was unworthy of filing for the AO presumptives but wanted to pursue the knee claim. Seems he was TDY but there was no way to prove the shore duty. I immediately told him of my success with our mutual Congressman Derek Kilmer and his ability to get all manner of info out of NARA on some of my past Veteran clients-including morning reports showing a body was on shore. At that point, he took a new tack and said ” You know what? I really feel those Iraq/Afghanistan troops deserve that money more than I do so thanks for talking to me.” Click. Wellllllll, hush my mouth and excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me.

I didn’t get a chance to decline my services. I expect his 214 may show Blue Water service but I doubt he ever got the red clay between his toes. That shore duty was for all them good ol’ boys down at the VFW bar. To date, I’ve never had a Vet call me up to tell me he didn’t deserve compensation for his injuries. That’s what FacePlace© is for.

In the 2010 US Government Census, it was self-reported that 10.2 million American Men and Women identified themselves as “Vietnam in-country Vets” -they of the Sacred Band of Red Clay Betwixt the Toes. Oddly, our government bean counters can only identify 2.9 million-many of whom have long since departed for the Happy Hunting Grounds.  Most of the 845,000 of us who still remain here in this mortal vale of tears disremember it being standing room only.

Happy Tet to you all.

And thats all I’m gonna say about that.

 

 

Posted in All about Veterans, Humor, KP Veterans, Stolen Valor, Vietnam War history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Prominent NYU nephrologist takes an interest in Agent Orange (AO)

The FASEB Journal, 1 April, 2014 

https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.14-0402ufm

 Publisher:  Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 

(The photo below is from a different interesting project.)

“From left, Bellevue Literary Publisher Jerome Lowenstein, MD, Editorial Director Erika Goldman, and Editorial Assistant Leslie Hodgkins.” (Now he serves as the Nonfiction Editor for Bellevue Literary Review. Image: NYU  Click for more information.

Dr. Jerome Lowenstein wrote a well-rounded essay, Agent Orange and Heart Disease: Is There a Connection? (LINK to pdf) about his experience helping a Vietnam veteran.  Excerpts:

In August 2011, a patient asked if I would complete a
form that he had received from the Veterans Administration.

It was an Agent Orange Fast Track Claim for
Ischemic Heart Disease. I completed the form, which
requested that I provide evidence that my patient, who
had served in Vietnam and described his exposure to
Agent Orange, had arteriosclerotic heart disease. That
was not difficult, as he had already, at the age of 56,
undergone a coronary artery angioplasty and stent. I
was not aware of a connection between Agent Orange and coronary heart disease.

He provides an overview on Agent Orange and then explains some of the biological processes on humans.

The science behind the decision

It is a story worth telling. As a nephrologist, I have an
interest in chronic renal disease. Although much has
been written about the treatment of chronic renal
failure by dialysis since the ground-breaking work of
Belding Scribner (6), the scientific community has
gradually come to the realization that although dialysis treatment effectively ameliorates the symptoms—nausea, vomiting, itching, confusion, and
weakness—that define “uremia,” the long-term  consequence of chronic renal failure, not corrected by dialysis, is ischemic heart
disease. 

lowenstein PDF  (3-pages)

This essay (with references) has been buried in the massive amount of medical research online but it deserves to be read and tweeted about!

Also see:

NYU “about me” page with BIG photo and links to 90 publications  (LINK)

Author page on Amazon (LINK)

I am grateful to this man for his practice, research, kindness–and for going the extra mile for veterans with his thoughtful essay.  It took about two years for his patient to receive compensation and I have no doubt that he would still be on the hamster wheel if Dr. Lowenstein’s stellar reputation and comments were not a deciding factor.  What VA examiner would dare contradict Dr. Lowenstein?

Good good doctor.

Kiedove

=========================

Related:  NOVA Disability attorneys Matthew Hill & Carol Ponton discussion on AO and kidney disease. The connection between AO, diabetes and kidney cancer as secondary to DMII and  ischemic heart disease as a presumptive AO disease.

(LINK)

“…You need to find a doctor who will look at the medical research, specifically, the chemicals you were exposed to. Anything that happened after service. Like, environmental exposures, or anything that you had hereditary. Meaning, somebody in your family had something similar. If you can role [sic] those out, show that’s service connected. There’s actually a huge piece of evidence out there, provided by the VA*…. have your doctor use that to write a link for you, showing that’s related.
You can service connected for this. You are going to have to fight all the way …”

*They refer to a Louisiana VA Medical Center study I haven’t located yet.

Posted in Agent Orange, AO, Food for the soul, Food for thought, General Messages, Guest authors, Medical News, Nexus Information, non-va care, Vietnam Disease Issues, Vietnam War history | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Sunday evening–shutdown woes

Here we go again.  The last shutdown rested with the GOP tea party.  Now it’s the Dems refusing to fund the CR because of their Dreamers cause, as Sen. Blumenthal recently spoke to.  

Last night I did my civic duty and emailed Senators Sanders (I) and Leahy (D) and gave them my views with an emphasis on the negative impact shutdowns have on veterans and the active military.

The Senate is in session, live on C-span (LINK);  Senators McConnell and Schumer have been meeting.  No “deal,” but there may be a vote tonight anyway.  It will take 60 votes to pass a short term funding bill.  Trump will either sign or veto a bill if they send him one.

They all speak with weasel words.  

Image: CLICK to go to CNBC.

Well, we’re not supposed to engage in partisan politics here–there is too much of that going on in D.C..  But your/our influence counts so whatever your opinion is–to fund the government short term (a yes vote), or not to (a no vote)–I would urge you to let your senators know your opinion on this shutdown via your senator’s official website contact form.  Your yays and nays will be counted, discussed, and archived.

Kiedove

Posted in Food for thought, General Messages, Guest authors | Tagged | 12 Comments

SCOTTISH DEFINITION OF SH**HOLE

The new Logo…and then Trump changed the  tax laws. Back to the S corp., I’m afraid

I received an email from one of our members further illuminating what constitutes an unequivocal definition of the noun ‘shithole’. Forgive me the scatological associations of the word and focus  your memories on how utterly primative 11 Bravos’ existence once was over in RVN – by and large. Certainly, some of us didn’t notice the temperature and relative humidity fluctuations or served in not-so-shithole countries with amenities like electricity. Nevertheless, this transcends the ages in translation.

Earl of Mulligan circa 1535

Member John Mulligan submits for your reading and educational enlightenment, the following. John claimed ancestry with the Great Scottish Clan of Mulligan who were credited as the originators of Golf.  I secretly had him checked out on Ancesters.com™. Turns out there was a a Mulligan listed on the Mayflower’s Manifest and John’s DNA matched his Ancestral saliva sample so he’s legit. Hey, he may be an asknod member but you vet everybody these days.  People are crazy. Some don’t even believe in Alien abduction and chemtrails. Can you believe that? Anyway, here’s how you can  use Phonics© to better sound out what a shithole assignment is.

1.If your Sargent tells you to update your Gamma Globulin, Yellow Fever, Malaria, Dysentery, Tetanus, Cholera and other painful immunizations–

You might be deploying to a Shithole country

2.If you are told not to waste your time bringing a radio, your cellphone or any other electronics, as there is no electricity or signals–

You might be deploying to a Shithole country

3. If the Travel Pay folks smile when they give you your travel advance and the Per Diem rate is only $8.00/day, for everything…

You might be deploying to a Shithole country

4. If the “Area Cultural” briefing is only 30 minutes long, but the briefing on communicable diseases is 3 hours long–

Yep. Your new Zip Code may be shitsville.

5. If the “Area Cultural” briefing instructs you not to be judgmental and to ignore leaders in the host country who keep young boys or girls as sexual slaves–

You might be deploying to a Shithole country

7. If the “Area Cultural” briefing includes facts that male members of that society have multiple wives, but nevertheless prefer sexual activity with barnyard animals–

You might very well be deploying to a Shithole country

8. If the “Medical Briefing” includes warnings to treat all reptiles and arachnids as poisonous and remind you there are no antidotes in-theatre…

Then you might be deploying to a Shithole country

9. If the AO Cultural Officer warns that staring at a female FORN (Foreign National) more than 10 seconds equates to de facto common law marriage–

You might be deploying to a Shithole country

10. If the DA 1594 Daily Report for your new assignment includes a large box for “Number of Personnel Med-Evacuated” from theater for_______________

You can rest assured you may be deploying to a Shithole country

In our time, they called you up to the Commander’s office and asked if you wanted to volunteer for a cool speshull assignment. If you paused before signing and asked “Where to?” the answer was invariably ” Just sign here, son, and I’ll brief you in on it”.  Your “Is it Remote/Isolated?” was always answered “Just sign here. I’ll tell you all about it. You’re not cleared in yet, boy.”  He did answer my last question -“What’s the casualty rate?”.  40%. Well,  when you’re 19 and you’re doing the math high as a kite on testosterone, 60% survive it. Shooo doggies. Color me signed.

Hmong shotgun marriage proposal

Nowadays, deploments aren’t voluntary. They are cush affairs with generators and Sat phones. Real “houses” with air conditioning, hot and cold beverages and heating at FOBs are the norm. To us, FOB was scotch neat with a water back.   At some OLs, we were forced to chill the Tanqueray® in a mountain stream all day-then come back and try to find it at dusk.  We had to crush quinine tablets and mix them in water to approximate  flat tonic water. Club soda was tonic water with quinine.  Limes? Are ya kidding me? Papaya or bananas were about it. That is the definition of shithole. Well that and the prohibition of even a lingering gaze at a passing Hmong maiden of marriagable age.

I certainly don’t want to impugn our Warriors who still fight over in Iraqistan but calling home in our day required a MARS SSB hookup when (and if) the skip was hitting in Arizona on the 10 meter band. A cell phone was a PRC 100. Alpha 6 was your ‘operator’.   We’ve come a long way baby.

This was our communication with the outside world in 1970.  

 

Posted in Humor, KP Veterans, Military Madness, Vietnam War history | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments