What Is A Vietnam Vet

I have just recently discovered the Grit newsletter so I guess you can say I am kind of the “New Guy” I served 1 tour with Lima 3/1 never even thought of extending after being witness to some extendys getting wasted after coming back.In my opinion if I made it for one tour there was no way I was going to push my luck,considering the fact that there was really no good reason for us to be there.Thats not why I am writing. Over the years I have run into Vets wearing Vietnam Vet hats and other items claiming to be Nam vets but,when I approach them to find out where and when and who they served with some will tell me “Oh I didn’t actually go to Vietnam ” but,”I served during the war” Does that make him a Vietnam Vet? or the so called Vietnam Era Vet? With that said why does a person that did not leave the states during WW-2 considered a WW-2 Vet yet, if you served during any other period you are an “Era” vet. Sometimes I hesitate to ask someone about their service for fear of what they might say.One time I saw a guy with a 1st Mar. Div hat and was excited to speak with him. When I told I was with 1st Marines in 68 He just turned and walked away and said he was to busy to talk.I followed him and started asking him more questions he all he said was he was “Around Da Nang” “Who with!” I ask. no answer and he just kept walking away. I later saw him inside the store without the hat on he pretended like he did not see me but I just had to ask. “You are a fake aren’t you?” No answer. I just walked away and let it go. My anger management group therapy helped in that situation. A few years prior the Cops would have to be called. Thanks for letting me vent Marines Paul 0311 68-69

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or Submit your own Story !

71 thoughts on “What Is A Vietnam Vet”

  1. Paul, welcome, this is the place to vent. I know I felt the same when I first stumbled on to this site. Now I check it all the time to hear what everybody is up to. The thing that always gets me when I ask guys what outfit or where they where and they say they can’t remember. I can remember everything like it was yesterday. Hope to see more posts from you. In country Dec66 to Aug68 and back in May of 69 to Aug 69. I did extend. went with 1/9, 2/9, 3/9, 2/26 and others on many operations. Murray

    1. Thanks Murray,I have been going to PTSD groups since 1987 and never met anyone who forgot their unit,except once when a guy introduced himself as 101st Abn. later during the meeting someone ask what regiment or battalion he was in,he said he was not in any regiment or battalion just 101st! It got a little testy after that the leader of the group had to intervene. The guy never came back. Paul 0311

      1. Paul reach out to me…I was in L 3/1 in 69….carried the M-79 most of time there till I was issued the M-14…maybe you remember me last name Lucas…….0311 was a PFC when I arrived……contacted me…Jluc21350@aol.com

        1. Hey John I was there Apr 68 Apr 69. Did you have a nickname? Not real good with names. I do remember CO was Capt Weeks not hard to forget. Spent alot of time Dodge City Area. Assigned to Weapons Co. for a while.also sent to H&S for light duty after returning from NSA Hospital. Returned to States not long after that

  2. The reason a man who served during WW2 but never left the states is considered a WW2 veteran is because he was in during a declared war. Since VietNam was not a declared war, I was told that the only way a person is considered a VN vet is if he was awarded the VN service medal and it is listed in his service record. Otherwise he can call himself a VN-era vet if he likes. I met a guy who said he “couldn’t remember his outfit in VM”, but i couldn’t say much because he was the one who signed my invoice for service I provided. There are posers and fakers everywhere. I also have met guys wearing USMC hats, and when I ask about it they say6 they just wear it for their son, grandson, whoever, who is a Marine. I told one guy that they sell hats that say “my son is a Marine”, and he got pissed off.

    1. Hi Paul L. I like your reasoning about WW-2 Vets, Makes sense to me Thanks. Maybe it’s just me but are there more cases of phony Vietnam Vets than any other era? Paul 0311

      1. I agree with all of the above. I see more Vietnam Vet hats,pins,shirts,etc than any other era (good for venders like grit). I also hesitate to approach these guys because of the response I might get. I will only show my colors on Vets holidays and 4th of July. My opinion is and, I know I’ll get crap for saying this, It takes something away from the thousands of vets that ,like me, do not show off everyday of the week. Harry 1371 Combat Engineer. Welcome to the conversation Paul.

        1. Harry, good to see your post. Funny I don’t have any of those things to wear either, I do wear a Military Hat often though, and I did get it at Grit. That’s how I found the site years ago. I bought the old Marine Corps 8 pointer that we use to wear, I was looking all over for it online, and Sgt. Grit popped up. I get a lot of compliments, that it is a nice hat, most don’t know the hat, when I get the smile I know I just met other Marine. They know the hat. Murray, Fellow 1371

          1. Murray, You just described a “Cover” not a hat 🙂 or are all hats covers? I drive myself crazy sometimes When I see a guy at a venue like a Highschool graduation or, for instance,more recently my Granddaughters dance recital.Probably 200 people there and one dude with his Vietnam Vet hat with all the trimmings sitting in the crowd like he was the only Vietnam Vet there “Look at Me everyone I’m a Vietnam Vet” and “The only one here” At least take the damn hat (oops Cover) off in the auditorium. How about that! Harry

        2. Harry, get over yourself. Knock off the “holier than thou” B.S. I earned the right to wear my USMC Vietnam Vet regalia and proudly do. No amount of pontificating on your part will lessen the pride I feel. A.J. 2533

          1. Hey,Just for the record,I am just as proud of my service in The Corps as anyone . I just choose not to flaunt it 24-7 I still stand by my reasoning for that choice. Harry

          2. Wow! Never intended my letter to be a tool for insults! Andy and Harry you both make good points find some middle ground please

          3. Hey Andy, I have read what our fellow Marine Harry wrote and I think alot of what he said makes sense and he was telling us what he feels. I ,to a point agree with him. Too many times I see and ,not just Marlne vets , at venues where wearing your decorated “Cover” is out of line and improper. I’m sure I have earned the right to wear or not wear as I choose(Nav.Com.w-“V”,Bronze Star w-“V” 2PH) I do hesitate to talk to people I see out and about wearing their”regalia” Had a few bad experiences do not do it anymore.So should I get over myself am I holier than thou? If you want to insult me go right ahead! Bill 0331

    2. I have recently discovered that the Korean War lasted longer than to 27 July 1953. The end-of-hostilities date was extended by the US Congress to 31 January 1955. Since I was on active duty on that date, I consider myself a Korean War Era Veteran, but not a Korean War Veteran. My DD214 makes no mention of this at all. I assume there is a multitude of Marines in the same boat.

  3. I think the reason you see more VN-era guys with all the regalia is because there are so many of us left in the appropriate age group to have served. Korean War vets are in their mid to late 80’s and WW2 vets are in their mid 90’s. Our age group is still alive and kicking, at least for a while. Soon the Desert Storm vets will be considered the old-timers. My oldest son did 4 years in the Corps, 2/5 and 1/1, in the 80’s, and my youngest son did 4 years in the Army, then got his degree on the GI Bill and did a 1 year tour in Afghanistan as an Army Intelligence officer attached to the Marine Regimental Combat Team. He went wherever they went and saw lots of combat.

  4. The Vietnam Vet phonies have even infiltrated the VA. I was waiting for an appointment with my primary care provider a couple years wearing my 3rd Marine Division, Vietnam Veteran cover (that I got from grun.com.) A woman who was sitting across from me spoke up and said “I’m a Vietnam Veteran too,,,,I was in Artillery,,,, I drove a Tank”. The only “round eye” I remember seeing in VN was at the PX in Danang the day before I rotated out of country and she was not a Marine. Bob (3rd Shore Party 1381).

  5. Saw some really cute Delta Delta at China Beach. Was told they would shack up for the right price. Way above my pay grade. Paul 0311

  6. I served from July ’64 to July ’68, so when I meet other Marines and we start talking about when we were in, I’m always very careful to mention up front that I never got to Vietnam. Just lucky I guess. Glenn 2851 – Electronics schools in SD, MABS-37 3rd MAW at El Toro, and Station Electronics at Iwakuni

  7. Go to a veteran of foreign wars lodge present your DD214 to join they will let you know if your eligible to join if’ they say no your not a veteran you can join the American legion those are for persons who were not incountry but served in the military be proud of your service and your MOS every one is needed Retired marine msgt.

    1. Ironically some guys who were in Korea and Berlin during the period after World War II and Korea are eligible for VFW membership but are not eligible for membership in The American Legion since they were not in during the right time period. The VFW goes by area served (considered war zones) whereas the AL goes by the time period of service.

    2. Juan, A side note about the DD-214 Since there are so many forged DD-214s out there my local VFW no longer accepts it unless it is a Certified copy. Just thought I would throw this into the mix Nick

  8. I know the feeling. I served from 1959 Reserves in high school. Regulars July 1960 Parris Island till April 1965. Flew to Gitmo for the Cuban Missle crisis with 1/8. Reg Ninth Marines for the Golf of Tonkin, saw Vietnam from the ship I was on. Sailed for 67 days off shore, saw lots of firing at night. Got discharged April 1965. Would I love to wear a hat or cover saying Vietnam Vet? Sure would but I didn’t earn it! I respect those that did and those that gave all. Semper Fi to all my brother combat vets as well as those of us that didn’t see action. Jim Logan

  9. Don’t blame you Paul. I was the Corps at P.I. In 1962. I didn’t get called up for Nam many of my Brothers did. I came out a E – 5. I have also found 155 Marine from my L Company at the Island. There are about 35 that have passed away. I still have about 85 to 90 that are my list. Since I started my list other Marines have hooked up with our group. Then a few Army, Navy and AF joined in with us. I have 3 Marines from Khe Sanh with me. 2 of them have the Navy Cross and Purple hearts. I have about 4 Majors on the list. I also work with Wounded Warriors every Oct in SD. It just nice give sometime back to them. If you would like see what I do then email me at. courtcurtis@usa.net. Once we hook up I will send you one of emails that goes out to our group. We ask nothing but brotherhood. I will not pass your email around. It only goes on the email I sent out to the group. You take care and God Bless you! Court Conkwright

  10. Well my way of thinking is this, being in Vietnam, 1stRadBn Da Nang and other arreas. 1970-71. is this. When I came home no one wanted me around called baby killer and other things. Many of you know this to be true from your return state side. I wear my Vietnam Vet and Desert Storm cover allthe time. Hell yes I am proud of my service and my combat time. Started out as a 2575 Signal Intelligence specialist, turned into a Communications chief. 1Sgt during Desert Storm when other seniors didn’t want the job. Only Vietnam vet and combat veteran in the company at that time, the real 1Sgt was in the Hospital at the time. I am lucky I haven’t ran into any one faking their service in Vietnam. We are dying faster than any other era Marines, run into more Desert Storm vets now. As I know is that in country is a Vietnam Vet, served during the war but not in country be proud to be a Vietnam ERA Vet you supported those of us that went.

    1. Bobby you are so right about how it was when we came back. For years I never told anyone I was in Vietnam because all the BULL CRAP I would hear. I think that is why so many guys wear their COVERS now. It really pisses me off when NOW someone tells me THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. Sorry 50 years to late.

      1. Got a new anitdote for those that call me baby killer. ” yes and that is why I am here today.” I’ve never killed a baby or child nor anything that resembles one. but in combat sometimes you just can’t tell. Or at least in Nam.

      2. Hey Sgt Sisson! I hear you and,i was the same when I got out. The only ones that knew that I was even a Vet were my family and close friends. A few years back I stopped wearing my COVERS and Tee-shirts for the reason you mention. It just attracts to much unwanted attention.There are times when it is OK but,like you say don’t “Welcome Home”me or thank me, How about “I,m sorry we treated you like 3rd class citizens and crapped all over your service!! Oh,by the way, the diner in Bentlyville is CLOSED. We can meet somewhere else I guess. Let me know Harry

        1. Hi Harry I have been having some health problems. I hope by the beginning of May I have this straightened out. I will let you know. We can find a place in Bentleyville. Semper Fi. The only time I wear my Marine Corp stuff is when I am ridding with me Vietnam Vet friends. Year after year there are less and less of us.

          1. Hey Sgt Sisson, Hope you feel better soon. Did you get your new VA claims filed? They are supposed to add more illness to the presumptive list soon. Also Sea Going Marines that served on ships off the coast of Nam could receive Agent Orange benefits Semper Fi and Take Care Harry

          2. Hi Harry. I did file for the Ischemic heart disease. That and the bladder cancer are the problems I am having now. I am praying this all straightens out by May. I have 2 doctor appointments by the end of this month. I hope one of them can do something for this pain I am having.

  11. I am an Vietnam era vet. Served as an MP, Shore Patrol, Honolulu, 70-72. You don’t have to be in Vietnam to feel and experience what PTSD is and the mantra, party hearty, you’ll be dead tomorrow. Fort DeRussy and the open air club and the wooden 2 man rooms are gone, life goes on.

  12. Thanks for so many voices sharing my sentiments. Thanks for setting this discussion in motion Paul; I’m with you 100%. How can you feel, experience, understand combat PTSD without being in this pit with us SFC???? If you only reached SFC at retirement, I’d have to assume you spent more time in the reserves than active duty. Don’t know of any full time active duty for 20 or more years that didn’t retire as a Master Sgt or 1st Sgt. at the very least, and my FAMILY and my PTSD groups are top heavy with Marines, soldiers, sailors, and Air Force. If Murray and Harry (hope those are the 2 Marines I’m thinking of) are out there, please pick this one up for us! Borderline rage for me. Thanks

    1. That is BULL SHIT. I served under Staff Sgt. Stromberg he was in WWII. KOREA and Vietnam. He had 27 years in the CORP and was one of the best people I ever served under. Because he always stood up for us he retired as a STAFF SGT. I will never forget him. At Christmas and Thanksgiving he would go through the Barracks and round up guys to go to his house for supper. I know because when I came back from Vietnam I was one of those guys.SGT

    2. I am a member of the Marine Corps League Detachment in my hometown. I have had the pleasure of meeting several retired Marines with between 20 and 25 years of honorable active duty service that retired with the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. There is even a post above from a Marine as who, after his name, identified himself as a GySgt USMC (ret) 1969-1994.

      1. Yes sir. it comes under the heading of my wife’s favorite saying “SHIT HAPPENS!”. Used to be in the old days that if you didn’t go thru the ranks or a couple ranks a couple times you weren’t a true Marine. Not my belief but Shit Happens.

  13. the Vietnam Veteran or Vietnam Era Veteran is an interesting point. A LT. once said to a group of us at our first duty station, and I quote him as well as a few others who shared his philosophy- If you enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam Era – than you signed the line to – in the event of your death- you will go where you are sent- and perform like you are a Marine- some stayed stateside for their enlistment- others were sent to Vietnam- Laos- Thailand- or even Okinawa. He also said if we served during the Vietnam War- we are Vietnam Veterans- some friends I made said – What is the difference? You were willing to DIE for your Country- so most do not care about the accolade Era Vet or Vietnam Vet- No one will agree 100 % on the above. I enlisted for 4 years and many died in training and auto accidents stateside. One Marine the night before his discharge got drunk at the Club on base- and choked to death in his sleep- Again, I Served proudly and went with no complaints where ever they sent me. I am still proud of serving my Country- and have questioned POSERS who were full of shit too! I went on a cruise a few years ago- and they had a Veterans Meeting for all Military – 3 showed up- A Korean Vet- a young lady from the Army- and Me- ( sad that only 3 attended. Again- Semper Fi- My brothers – and we all did our Country proud- Vietnam Vets or Era vets.

  14. I was in my favorite bar about 4 years ago drinking with my girlfriend’s nephew. (Army, Iraq). I was wearing a Corps ball cap. We were approached by a little short round that said he was a Marine vet and asked us to buy him a drink. I asked his MOS and he didn’t know what I meant so I asked what his job was. He said he was infantry. Then I asked him if he went to boot camp a PI or Hollywood. He said he went to boot at Pendleton. I told him he was a liar and to go away. Then I had to grab the nephew who was starting to punch him out. The poser ran out of the bar. Our bartender was laughing her a$$ off.

  15. 0311 Keith settlemire ran into some posers myself their easy to spot i just really get powder off some of the time I call them other times i,’ll just stare at them and shake my head in disbelief. 1/7 alpha 2-1

  16. My contribution/experience to the discussion. Served on Okinawa as a radio tech at 3rd Fumble Stumble & Regroup, Elect Maint Co. Was deployed to support giving Amtracs to the RVN Marines (Operation Enhance Plus), spent approximately 10 days (1-10 Nov 72 ?) in country, based at MACV Saigon, then flew out of Tohn Son Nhut (sic) back to Okinawa. If someone shot at me, I never knew it. Two weeks later VC/NVA rocketed Tohn Son Nhut. Received the Vietnam Service Medal, but not the Campaign. While I am considered a Vietnam vet, I have never claimed to be a combat vet out respect for my brothers and sisters who have been under fire. After my time in the Corps, I went in to the Drug & Alcohol field with the Army. For my last 10 years (2007-2017) before my retirement, I worked at an Army Installation with their Soldier & Family Assistance Center supporting their Warrior Transition Unit (I believe the Corps calls them WTB). What was humbling was the respect shown me by these Wounded Warriors, many of them missing limbs/suffering TBI/PTSD when they found I had served, however briefly, in country. I thank Sgt Grit for it’s contributions to my wardrobe, the many T-shirts and covers that differentiate between the VSM and the Vietnam Campaign Medal that I can wear without misrepresenting my service. Semper Fi.

  17. I was in the Marine Corps from 1970 till 1973. I served in Hawaii with the 1st Marine Brigade, Provisional Service Battalion, H&S Co. Truck Platoon in Kanehoe Bay. Never called myself a Viet Nam era veteran. I’m proud of my service. I still call my self a Marine. I always wear a Marine Corps cover. I earned it.

  18. Once a Marine always a Marine. I retired in 90. Still wear Marine shirts, covers and other memorabilia carrying the EGA. Life member of VFW, AL, MCL and other Marine type organizations. Love the brotherhood. Hate the Posers. VN 1969-1970 3/26th Mar, back in 1971 with FLC (if memory serves me) till med-i-vac’d in May of that year. Lots more but hey Semper Fi brothers. Stay the course.

  19. Paul 0311 68-69, not exactly sure what you meant by “…no good reason for us to be there”, but I can guess. I’ve met some South Vietnamese refugees over the years. It’s not unusual to hear “thank you for my freedom” when they learn that I was there. Those people know why. If you don’t know any refugees you may want to look up some of their stories. It may change your perception. Semper Fi. Dave 0141 III MAF Camp Horn 67-68.

    1. Dave B I’m happy that you can find some good from that war, I can’t. I’m still pretty bitter about the whole thing.! Nearly 59,000 and still climbing every day. We will never know the actual count of American deaths from Agent Orange or suicides. That 59,000 has probably more then doubled by now.All because of political bullshit lies.

    2. Dave if that makes you fell better stay with it. Maybe we just should have stayed and finished the job. We did kick ass and I’m proud of that but the protesters also kicked butt and cost us a victory. Nick

    3. I have had similar exchangeswith Vietnam refugees as well as my teachers at language school but I do feel that we should have recognized the Ho Chi Min government right ater WW2. They were our allies against the Japanese. A no brainier. Ho did not want communism, he wanted freedom from colonization, Instead we sided with the French which ultimately led us down a rabbit hole. Glad I served my country and would do it again just wish we had more enlightened leaders. Read Gen Giap’s writings from the 1930,s and know why were were overextended fighting an enemy of our own making.

  20. This is for all the Marines that served during the Vietnam Era. I served stateside from 1961 to 1965, my M.O.S. 6413/5711, the Marine Corps sends you where they need you, so if you didn’t go to Nam, it doesn’t make you any less a Marine, all of us joined to serve our country and die for it. I wear my Marine Corps Cover most of the time, all it says on it is MARINES, I feel that I earned the right to wear it proudly. HOORAH!!!!

  21. I was in DaNang with Ammo Co from Nov 65 – Aug 67. When somebody says they were in DaNang, just asked them if they know were Dog Patch was.

  22. “Vietnam Era” is the biggest bunch of BS ever contrived. More appropriate to say “60’s Era”…if you must say anything! I served as aGrunt from 6/68 – 7/69. Nobody bak home wanted to go. Now, it seems, everyone was there! I don’t know how I missed them all!! LOL

    1. I have to strongly disagree with Tom Smith that the VN era term is BS. 60s era is also wrong, since many asrved 60-65 before there was Viet Nam, and when they enlisted the danger was all but non-extant. As said above, we all signed an IOU to Uncle Sam, up to and including our lives. We are proud of that fact, and proud of out service, but we do not want to be posers, or to make false claims to be a VN Vet. I served 67-70, and never got out of San Diego County, but I did serve during time of war, and it was only luck that kept me in this country, as opposed to going in country.

  23. PAUL YOU HIT A NERVE ON THIS QUESTION. SOME COMMENTS GOOD SOME EXCUSES SOME JUST DOWN RIGHT SUCKED. A VEITNAM VET IS A GUY WHO SERVED DURING THE VIETNAN WAR( WAR) IN COUNTRY DURING ACTIVE COMBAT. GOT ROCKETED SHOT AT AND SUFFERED DEPRESSION AND FEAR OF DEATH EVERY SINGLE DAY 365 DAYS A YEAR PLUS 30. SOME DIED SOME SURVIVED TO HAVE PTSD AND SOME OTHERS JUST GAVEUP AND KILLED THEMSELVES. NO EXCUSES NO WANT TO BE’S. IN COUNTRY DURING THE WAR AND SUFFERING. MY DEFINITION OF A VIETNAM WAR VET. THANKS FOR RAISING THE ISSUE. ALL THE REST WHO SAY DIFFERENT ARE PHONIES PERIOD. RESPONCES WELCOME BUT BACK THEM UP WITH PLACE AND TIMES AND OUTFIT OTHERWISE SHUTUP A.H. AND GO GET A LIFE. JOIN THE W.A.C.S.

  24. PAUL, I WAS WITH INDIA 3/1 FROM JAN. ’69- JAN. ’70. WE MAY HAVE PASSED EACH OTHER ON HILL 37 OR 55 ? I HAD A FRIEND WHO I WAS WITH AT PENDLETON WHO ENDED UP WITH LIMA CO. I CAN’T REMEMBER HIS NAME OR WHERE HE WAS FROM, BUT WE FLEW OVER TOGETHER . WHAT MONTH DID YOU LEAVE NAM IN ’69 ? I’M LIKE YOU, IF I MADE IT THROUGH ONE TOUR I’VE SEEN AND DONE ENOUGH ! TOO MANY CLOSE CALLS IN MY TOUR ! TAKE CARE MY BROTHER ! SEMPER FI

    1. Tom I was there from Apr 68-Apr 69 Started out around Camp Carrol doing security Rt. 9 and bridge watch (Khe-Gio) Ended up south around Dien-Ban “Dodge City” area doing search and clear with other units Glad you made it ! Paul

  25. I was in Lima 3/1 for about three days back in November 1969. Was on Hill 37 for about three months before we were moved up to the Danang area. I believe it was Camp love, but not real sure any more. MOS was was 0311, but served most of my time in supply. I will always remember my time in Vietnam with no regrets. Left as E-5.

  26. Read & Respect all the comments submitted, this is how it was explained to me, I enlisted 21 Feb 1975, was 17 years old & needed parents signature to enlist. I was told the term “Vietnam Veteran” was to be used for Marines that were “in country” & “Vietnam Era Veteran” was to be used for Marines that served between 5 Aug 1964 thru 7 May 1975. This explanation was given to me by my recruiter who enlisted in 1969 but never served in country. When the time comes and all of us will need a veteran’s marker to use at our final resting place the VA is going to check the DD214 for service date’s. Everyone who served between 5 Aug 64 & 7 May 75 is going to say “Vietnam” on the bronze headstone, NO “In-country” NO “era” just Vietnam. I believe it has been this way with the VA & the government for other wartime periods, the reason I say this is because when my Father passed I took my mother too the VA office to do the paperwork for his marker the lady looked at his DD214 & seen his service dates on 1952-1954 & said “Korea”. I told her my Father was drafted but did not serve in Korea the Army sent him to Germany, the lady said “doesn’t matter, its Korea”. I respect & thank ALL veteran’s who served “in-country” & “era” for their service, because if the truth be told the “American Public” did not thank or respect our veteran’s of this period.

  27. whenever i meet a wannabe, i always ask when is the Marine Corps birthday ? i believe every Marine knows that ….Semper Fi one other time a bartender told me was in ONE Corps, not I Corps !!! right away a phony !!!

  28. I served in the 1st Marines, HQ Co s-2 section as an intell scout because I was a 0311primary, 0231 secondary, who after 12 weeks of Vietnamese Southern School at DLIWC got in Aug 25 1966 and out Sept 29, 1967.Our TAOR was south of DaNang from Hoi Ann north and east to the 5th Marines. Spent time at 1/1, 2/1, and 3/1 trying to provide night vision and tactical intell. Was in Operation Union 1 and 2 (Road Of 10,000 Pains gives a good read about it)and earned my combat action ribbon and 2 PUC,s, Union also involved the 5th Marines and I spent some time at An Hoa. More Marines were Killed in Union than any other Vietnam battle. I am a Vietnam Combat Vet. I resent anyone who was not in country (for more than a day) claiming to be a Vietnam Vet. I confront everyone wearing a Vietnam vet designation and what was your MOS, Unit etc are among my first question,. I have told more then one person to remove it or I would. Vietnam Welcome to Sgt Grit. Vet grave markers should say Vietnam Vet and Vietnam Era for those who were available but not sent,If we have

  29. Hello all Marines. I went to PI in 72. I was told in boot camp that I was being trained to go to war (Vietnam). Well by the grace of God I was not sent. I understood that wherever I was told to go, I was going to go. I do where my cover saying (Once a Marine Always a Marine). People ask me if I went to Vietnam and I just reply nicely by say I am not a combat Veteran.

  30. saw this late which does provide the many insights. I was in the Corps, 61-65. I summarize my time as “almost Cuba, almost Vietnam”. and like many, I simply identify myself as Marine, USMC, or the emblem by wearing my hats and shirts. Not vietnam era, or vietnam vet.Though technically I’m a Vietnam vet as I was awarded the ribbon/medal. My personal feeling is that the distinction is “feet on the ground”. I was part of the 9th MEB, 1st stage, which put together the 1st units to be ready to land if given the word/command. So I looked at it on a ship with a few thousand other Marines and sailors. I forget the exact criterion, but awarding the medal was determined by being in the TOC (theater of operations) for X contiguous days…I think it was 60. And we floated there cooking in the sun for quite awhile, eventually replaced by the next stage. I’d find it interesting to know the details on the formulation of the 9th MEB…but the gist of it is the high command sends out orders that basically say “Be ready ASAP..start NOW!. The result is Stage 1 which is quickly assembled by having the Navy scraping up how many buckets of bolts they can throw together, and populating them with as many Marines that can be quickly rounded up…move in and wait. Speed is of the essence. Then Stage 2 kicks in on it’s heels where you get in place the Marines, ships, sailors, MOS’s you really need and start replacing those in Stage 1 that are stand iins or most likely whose time is up. By that I mean when I shipped out the Marines were doing 1 year rotational of individuals replacement , rather than deploying Stateside units. When you’re year was up, it was up, unless you shipped over. I volunteered for the 9th MEB. That’s the way the game was played when Nam began to get serious. So again, I qualified for the medal, but just display Marine…for all the good reasons others have mentioned. And cut some slack for sailors…their “boots on the ground” is when they stick their ships and planes into hostile waters.

  31. “Retired” as an E-7 was in reference to ARMY! Not uncommon to see E-7 retirees in the Corps “back in the day”; Carlos “White Feather” Hathcock and our dining hall mgr. in our bachelor D.I. quarters at P.I. that was an E-5 after 15 years – yeah, he was tough, feared nothing, and was called by his first name by the C.G.

Leave a Reply to Bill 0331 Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *