To The Daily Sun,
Very early in 1969 I was watching news on television with my mother. President Nixon was speaking. I sat up and took special notice when he said, "I have not sent troops into Laos." To say the least, I was flabbergasted. I turned to my mother in disbelief and muttered, "But we were there just a couple weeks ago."
I served with a golf company and a hotel company and served once with Echo. I participated in 24 combat operations, so had enough time to understand that there was something terribly wrong with the way the war was fought. Enemy supplies were getting into South Vietnam via the Ho Chi Minh trail. And from what I understood talking to pilots, they were not permitted to bomb it. So what they did was to save one bomb from their missions and stray over to the trail and drop one bomb. Many in my unit knew we would never succeed if we fought the war like we did Korea. It finally turned out that way.
Another thing that bothered anyone who gave any thought to history: during World War II we loaned Russia what we referred to as Liberty Ships. They never returned them. And was now using them to ship supplies to North Vietnam. And we found supplies that had been furnished to North Vietnam via the United Nations.
In late 1968 my unit met up with 3rd Recon in Laos near a road. Russian trucks were found and other Russian battle equipment. Soon the sky was filled with Hu1es, not to assist but they commenced firing upon the recon unit. Luckily the recon Marines were well trained and survived the ordeal. We never knew who sent the helicopters. We had felt that headquarters was infiltrated, perhaps by United Nations personnel.
Another time we were called out on an operation at night. When we landed, a radio operator looked baffled and handed me the handset. It was Hanoi Hanna with these words, "Good morning Gold company, we would like to welcome you to......" We had not known where we were going but the enemy did. General Douglas MacArthur found this same occurrences during the Korean war. That was one reason he made the Inchon landing as secret as possible.
Prisoners had been taken by the North Vietnam Army during the battle of Hue. Hundreds were brought outside the citadel and executed. It did not appear to catch interest of the controlled media. My unit marched three days without water or rations to rescue prisoners who were being taking to Laos. Not minutes after engaging the enemy we were ordered to break off. We bean to feel that we were in the middle of a large chess game being played by some secret government. Pawns in some terrible game.
The summer of 1969 was worse than my time in Vietnam. I was glad I made it home safely. But things got worse. Racial attacks occurred until one night in July a friend was killed by a mob of malcontents. They were given special privileges but still were not satisfied. Life magazine did a story on the killing and leaned toward blaming the victims. Their rationale was ludicrous. I wrote the magazine and explained I was there and gave what I saw. I still have their response. It serves as a constant reminder how twisted the media can be.
I spent time in a Navy Hospital during the summer of 1968 but cannot find any record of it. My mother was contacted three times and a brother and sister remember it well. So to all those who make a claim that if the government doesn't have a record of it, it didn't occur, you have not looked hard enough.
My good friend Bob Smith was a U.S. Senator on a committee with John Kerry and John McCain investigating POWs. They had enough documents to prove there were still POWs being held in Vietnam. So what did Kerry and McCain do. They voted over Smith's objections and had the records destroyed. So does that mean there were no POWs? Even Casey, ahead of the CIA claimed if the people knew this injustice they would be furious.
During Bill Clinton's presidency he ordered all covert action records destroyed. So here again there are soldiers who cannot prove they were in combat or even wounded. Does the destruction of records prove it didn't happen? No, It shows that there is another side to politics and foreign relations.
The Democrats were vociferous over Nixon's missing 18 minutes of tape recordings, but are collectively silent over thousands of e-mails in the Hillary's State Department and missing e-mails and memos within the Internal Revenue Service. So, does it mean that if its been censored, deleted, lost, hidden, misplaced, or stolen it didn't exist? That goes for every department within the federal government, even the Center for Disease Control.
Redact is a familiar term with anyone who has dealt with getting records and information from the government through the Freedom of Information Act. The proper definition is "To Force; to reduce to form." But has become an acceptable substitute for "delete" and "omit."
Gene F. Danforth