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Vietnam ERA veteran or Vietnam COMBAT veteran?

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  • #16
    Era verse combat

    Jim,

    That's what being brothers is all about..

    Semper Fi

    Tom

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    • #17
      Well Put

      Well put Tom, and thanks for the perspective.

      Comment


      • #18
        Tom I think you are wrong in one part. The VA told me I was a vietnam Era vet becuase I had SERVED in the military durning the period of 1965 to 1975 period. Didn't matter what kind of discharge or where I served could have been stateside.
        To claim in country status had to prove I served in country durning that time frame, then I could recieve benifits for the problems caused by being in country.

        Comment


        • #19
          This quote is from the US Dept. of Veteran Afffairs -

          "A Vietnam era veteran is a person who (1)served on active duty for a period of more than 180 days, any part of which occurred between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975, and was discharged or released with other than a dishonorable discharge; (2)was discharged or released from active duty for a service connected disability if any part of such active duty was performed between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975; or (3) served on active duty for more than 180 days and served in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975."

          I can guarantee you that if you received a "Dishonorable Discharge", the VA won't give you so much as a Band-Aid - and rightly so..
          Last edited by Tom Thompson; 01-13-2007, 23:48. Reason: Spelling

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          • #20
            Hair Splitting

            I'd like to point out that sometimes a dishonorable discharge had extenuating circumstances, like being coerced to sign up for another in country tour and refusing. I have heard some stories and seen some vets with dishonorable discharges ultimately get benefits when their stories were verified.

            I have also seen some vets with honorable discharges behave in ways that were anything other than honorable. Implying directly, or through omission, that they had served in combat brought them attention and respect they didn't deserve, not to mention the free drinks, pats on the back, and other considerations.

            I respect all veterans, but I reserve a special place for those who were warriors; they earned it.
            Last edited by widow1; 03-21-2007, 18:58. Reason: grammar error
            Deborah

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            • #21
              We know inside.

              There is one place everybody knows if they served honorably or not. Whatever one says, does, or claims is all to no avail if one isn't honest with himself and his maker. God bless America and all who have donned the uniform to protect it.
              Bob Dagley

              Comment


              • #22
                Combat Veteran??

                In 1966 I was 23 years old and somehow had avoided the draft. I knew my time had to be coming so if I was going to go I was going as one of the best trained fighting men in the world. In December 66 I joined the Marine Corps and left for boot camp at PI. I was assigned a MOS in communications and attended Comm School at C&E Btn in San Diego. In late April 68 I reported to the MMAF, MAG16, MABS16 Communication Ctr for duty.

                My Vietnam experience is different than most of the members of this association. The comm ctr was responsible for sending milstrip requisitions to Subic Bay for everything from soup to nuts in support of the squadrons assigned to MMAF. We also transmitted aircraft incident and after action reports, daily intelligence summaries and maintenance bulletins. The message that was the hardest to send was the death message. I would sit there with the transmission prepared ready to send and think about the grief the message was going to cause to the family yet to be notified..

                I have a Vietnam service Medal patch on my motorcycle vest. It reads Vietnam Veteran across the top and U.S. Marines below. Occasionally someone will ask about my service when they see the patch and I proudly tell them I was with Marine Air Group 16 since most people don't know what MAG stands for. Some people seem disappointed that I was not at Khe Sanh or some other more recognizable LZ. I went where I was told to go and did what I was told to do. I did not set the agenda or have a say in what my job was.

                When I came home being a Vietnam Veteran was not a popular thing. I went back to work and continued on with my life and never said much about my service. In the last 10 years or so my service has seemed to become much more important to me. I sat down with my Son and showed him my platoon picture and other photos and explained what I did in the war. I have a copy of my DD-214 and a list from St. Louis of the ribbons I am authorized to wear. I joined the VFW and the VVA and I have been visiting the Wall each year on Memorial Day and some years on Veterans day as well. I have been viewing your web site for a year or so but just recently became a registered user but still not a full member. For some reason I don't feel like I qualify to join a organization named the USMC/COMBAT Helicopter Association.

                Am I a Combat Veteran or a Combat Era Veteran? I don't know but I am proud of my service. I was shot at, not directly with small arms fire, but with mortars and rockets. I never got to fire back and this really used to pi** me off. I joined the Marine Corps to fight but never fired a legitimate round while in country for 16 months (more than a few rounds were expended on the 4th of July and News Years eve). Just a few days ago I got an email from someone selling a T-Shirt with Combat Wings on the shirt. I didn't buy the shirt because I don't feel I should wear a t-shirt with a combat air wing insignia.

                Why am I writing all this? I wanted to try and explain how although someone might technically qualify as a Vietnam Combat Veteran still really not feel like a combat veteran in the same sense as most members of this organization.

                Semper Fi and thanx for allowing me to post my comments.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Combat Veteran

                  Gerry,
                  You were in RVN under combat conditions whether or not you fired a shot in anger. You are a Viet Nam Combat Veteran, in every sense of the word. NOT just a Viet Nam Era veteran. A lot of Marines that served with me in my squadron never flew, didn't earn the Combat Air Crew wings and never shot at anybody. Our squadron won a Presidential Unit Citation and other decorations for exemplary service in combat. Were they any less a part of the citation because they didn't fly? Some typed and filed, some repaired weapons, some repaired aircraft! We sure as hell couldn't have done it without them.
                  Thanks for your service.
                  Semper Fi
                  Joe
                  Semper Fidelis
                  Joe


                  Phu Bai tower:
                  YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
                  Remember, These are "A" models!
                  YW-11 BuNo-151939
                  '65 Model CH-46A

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Ditto to Reed

                    Gerry,

                    What Reed said. My commentary applies to those who never saw Vietnam, or even its coast line, yet proudly announce that they were/are Vietnam Veterans, implying directly and/or indirectly that they "saw" combat. I have had the distinct misfortune to know several, one that comes to mind spent his "forced" service in Germany living the good life.

                    Again, what Joe Reed said. You have my respect, you earned it.
                    Deborah

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      RE: Combat Veteran ??

                      To: Gerry Haas

                      Gerry - Your children should be just as proud of you as we are. You did your DUTY and that's that! Joe Reed is 100% correct - we could not have done our jobs without the support of Marines like yourself. None of the armed services can survive without people like yourself. Don't cut yourself short, YOU ARE A MARINE, you served your country and were in-country for more time than most (i.e 16 months).

                      I work with a professional colleague who was in the Air Force and spent the majority of his 4 years of service stationed in England during the Gulf Wars, etc. His job, 12 hours per day, was to receive our dead brothers, from all the armed services, in their caskets, process them for the return flights to the US and ensure that they received the priority and respect which they so highly deserved and not as just another item of cargo on a manifest.

                      I have seen his DD-214. He has received some of the highest non-combat commendations in the Air Force for his "dedication and initiative" during that time. But, he does not have any "combat" ribbons, cannot join the VFW, or any other veterans combat organization, etc. He has expressed his envy after seeing my Combat Aircrew Wings, ribbons and memorabilia from my 6 years in the Corps. I have told him that I feel he deserves just as much respect as anyone who was ever in a combat situation.

                      Many, many of these unknown "defenders of our Nation" go unknown, unappreciated and ignored.

                      I salute you, and all them wo go unknown!
                      Joseph "Jake" Jacobs
                      HMM-262 Combat Helicopter Association

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Right on!

                        You got it, Jake! They also serve, who type and clean, but moreover, with out them, we'd have had to do it instead of flying in harms way resupplying, inserting, extracting and med-evacing the real war veterans, the Ground Pounders!
                        Semper Fidelis
                        Joe


                        Phu Bai tower:
                        YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
                        Remember, These are "A" models!
                        YW-11 BuNo-151939
                        '65 Model CH-46A

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Viet Nam Veteran Classifications

                          Government definitation:

                          Vietnam Era Veteran:
                          (1) Served in the military, ground, naval or air service of the U.S. on active duty for a period of time more than 180 days, and was discharged or released therefrom with other than a dishonorable discharge, if any part of such active duty occurred:
                          I) in the Republic of Vietnam between 2/28/61 and 5/7/75; or
                          II) between 8/5/64 and 5/7/75 in all other cases; or

                          (2) Was discharged or released from active duty for a service connected disabliity if any part of such active duty was performed:
                          I) in the Republic of Vietnam between 2/28/61 and 5/7/75; or
                          II) between 8/5/64 and 5/7/75 in all other cases.


                          I found the previous definitation over and over but nowhere in my research did I find anything that documented the government making a distinction between a Viet Nam Era Veteran and a Viet Nam Veteran. That greatly surprised me because I was always under the impression that a Viet Nam Era Veteran was anyone who served anywhere in the Armed Forces during the period between 8/5/64 and 5/7/75. I also thought that to be a Viet Nam Veteran, you had to be "boots on the ground" in Viet Nam or aboard a U.S. Naval vessel off the shores of Viet Nam supporting the war effort during that same period. Imagine my surprise.

                          As far as a "Viet Nam Combat Veteran", this is the first place I've seen that label used. I can only assume ya'll are refering to a Viet Nam Vetern who qualifies for the Combat Action Ribbon (CAR).

                          The CAR was instituted in 1969, retroactive to 01Mar61 and later, by order of President Clinton, to 7Dec41. The principal eligibility criterion is that the individual must have participated in a bona fide ground or surface combat fire fight or action during which he was under enemy fire and his performance while under fire was satisfactory. Air combat does not qualify for the CAR. (It doesn't make sense to me but that's what it said. I didn't make that up.)

                          As for the Presidental Unit Citation (PUC), The 1st Marine Air Wing in Viet Nam was awarded the PUC and the citation reads "and all subordinate units". That means that anyone who served in Viet Nam in a unit whose parent unit was 1st MAW, rates the PUC.

                          I served with 1st LAAM Bn from 31Aug65 until 22Aug66 at Da Nang, on Monkey Mtn. Because 1st LAAM Bn was attached to 1st Maw, we rate the PUC.

                          I know this thread is rather old but I just surfed in and noticed some confusion over these issues. I hope I haven't bored ya'll.

                          Semper Fi
                          The Few. The Proud.
                          Jerry D.

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