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Re: Some questions for Vietnam War veterans...
Posted by: Gary O'Keefe (ID *****3018) Date: November 25, 2003 at 15:46:12
In Reply to: Some questions for Vietnam War veterans... by Matt Henry of 1009

I served in Vietnam in the Infantry in 1965-66, first at VungTau on adisory team 78 from July thru Dec 1965. I then transferred to the 28th Inf. Regt. in Jan 66. Company A, 2nd platoon. I was wounded twice, once in face and chest, later on I broke my right leg chasing a cong sniper. Neither wound was that serious. That is my basic background in Vietnam.
To answer some of your questions, Basically, we were fighting for each other. I felt, at the time, that we were doing what was right. That is, protecting Vietnamese civilians from the Viet Cong. We looked upon the Viet Cong as terrorists. After we went into the "Iron Triangle", or war zone D, about 20 miles north of Saigon, and spent 2 weeks of saturation patrolling. My mind began to change about our basic mission. After taking around 15 or 20 casualties, clearing the area of enemy troops,and securing the region for the vietnamese farmers, we picked up lock, stock and barrel, and left! We gave it right back to the Viet Cong. A two week operation, with 20 casualties, for no real reason. As the troop buildup continued, our missions became less clear. Our attitude was: "If this war is worth commiting 300 thousand troops, then let's try to win it. If it's not worth all the troops and casualties, then let's get the hell out!"
In later years, with 20/20 hindsight. Vietnam was a terrble waste of good people.
If you want to continue this discussion, or have further questions, you can email me at:
Good luck with your project.

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