(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
Important Note: You will need to click this icon to download the free needed to view most of the images on this Web site - just a couple of clicks and you're "good to go." For reasons why - go here.
A listing and access link to all:
song lyrics and mp3 audio files http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/ (all of which are a part of this Web site) can be accessed simply by selecting the "htm" file for the song you want;
quotations http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations.htm; and
essays written by Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/articles_larry_blakeley.htm,
all of which are used to tell the story in this Web site, can be accessed by going to each respective link set out above.
My son, Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/larryblakeley_photos_jpeg.htm manages this Web site and the following Web sites:
Larry Blakeley (Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
Leslie (Blakeley) Adkins - my granddaughter
Lori Ann Blakeley (June 20, 1985 - May 4, 2005) - my granddaughter
Evan Blakeley- my grandson
Major Roy James Blakeley (December 10, 1928 - July 22, 1965) - USAF (KIA)
When I was young my dad would say
Come on son let's go out and play
No matter how hard I try
No matter how many tears I cry
No matter how many years go by
I still can't say goodbye
- "I Still Can't Say Goodbye," Performer: Chet Atkins
MP3 audio file/lyrics http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/still_cant_say_goodbye.htm
For a larger image click on the photograph.
[Note: this is an extenuation of a piece of Vietnam history that is already covered on other Web pages such as http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/marines_wade_ashore.htm and, of course, my father's letters describing what he experienced there.]
For those that want to search casualty records (both deceased and wounded) for Vietnam, as well as other records of the Access to Archival Databases gateway maintained by the U.S. National Archives & Records Administration http://aad.archives.gov/aad/ - I can recommend two databases stored online there. Here is a description of the archive database. http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/access_archival_database_described.htm
Title: Data File from the Casualty Information System, 1/1961 - 12/1981
Creator:Department of Defense. Department of the Army. The Adjutant General Center. Casualty and Memorial Affairs Directorate. Casualty Services Division.
Level of Description: Series from Record Group 407: Records of the Adjutant General's Office. A print view of this database is here. http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/army_casualty_database.djvu
For example here is a copy of the report using the above database limiting the time period to between July 1, 1965 - July 15, 1965. http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/army_database19650701_19650715.djvu
Title: Unit Information for Vietnam Casualties Database, ca. 1983 - 6/19/2002
Level of Description: Series from Collection COFF: Richard Coffelt, Richard Arnold, and David Argabright Collection. A print view of this database is here. http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/coffelt_database.djvu
For example here is a copy of the report using the above database limiting the time period to between July 1, 1965 - July 22, 1965. http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/coffelt_database19650701_19650722.djvu
These two databases will serve to get you headed in the right direction for your research.
And here we are ten thousand miles away from home fighting for the so-called freedom of the Vietnamese people when we have not even put our own house in order. - Martin Luther King, Jr.,"Remaining Awake Through A Great Revolution," http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/
"It is said that if the United States were to stop shooting and withdraw its troops from Vietnam, the Viet Cong would then stage a great purge of the people who we have been seeking to protect—have pledged to protect. First of all, so far they have been getting precious little protection from us. The Vietnamese people as human individuals have been shot at by the French, by us, by Communists, by guerrillas for years. Maybe, if only somebody would stop shooting at them that would be something to the good." - A. J. Muste here, http://www.ajmuste.org
"To Western eyes, it seemed inconceivable that Ho would make the tremendous sacrifices he did.
But in 1946, as war with the French loomed, he cautioned them, "You can kill 10 of my men for every one I kill of yours, yet even at those odds, you will lose and I will win."
(Note: Hanoi acknowledges 1.1 million battle deaths among communist forces. South Vietnamese battle losses came to 254,000. America's total battle deaths were 47,378. This figure equates to 23 Vietnamese (communist forces) to every American. - Larry Blakeley)
The French, convinced of their superiority, ignored his warning and suffered grievously as a result.
Senior American officers similarly nurtured the illusion that their sophisticated weapons would inevitably break enemy morale. But, as Ho's brilliant commander, General Vo Nguyen Giap, told me in Hanoi in 1990, his principal concern had been victory. When I asked him how long he would have resisted the U.S. onslaught, he thundered, "Twenty years, maybe 100 years — as long as it took to win, regardless of cost." The human toll was horrendous. An estimated 3 million North and South Vietnamese soldiers and civilians died." - "Ho Chi Minh: He married nationalism to communism and perfected the deadly art of guerrilla warfare" http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/ho_chi_minh/ho_chi_minh.htm , Stanley Karnow, April 13, 1998.
For further evidence that America's leaders study on Kennedy and Johnson go to the Miller Center of Public Affairs' scholar, Kent Germany here http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/experts/kent_germany/kent_germany.htm.
"The Miller Center gathers new knowledge about the American presidency and our government, shares that knowledge with scholars, officials and the public, and contributes to the contemporary debate about public policy." http://millercenter.virginia.edu/about/index.html
"Our speculations about what a surviving Kennedy would have done in Vietnam should not obscure the fact that his actions while in office reduced his options and those of his successor, and made the later escalation more likely. The key decisions came under Lyndon Johnson, but they were decisions that followed - not inevitably, but certainly logically - those made by Kennedy. At the end of Kennedy's presidency, victory in Southeast Asia was no closer than it had been at the beginning, despite the fact he had dramatically expanded the US presence in Vietnam and publicly vowed to see the conflict through to the end. Regardless of what he might have done had he lived beyond 22 November 1963, the Vietnam problem he left behind that day was much larger than the one he inherited." - "Vietnam and the Question of What Might Have Been" http://www.royblakeley.name/logevall_vietnam.djvu (DjVu format), by Fredrik Logevall, an essay appearing in "Kennedy: The New Frontier Revisited," edited by Mark J. White, Assistant Professor of United States History, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston. http://faculty.virginia.edu/sixties/jfk/readings/logevall_vietnam.pdf
Note: There is still much controversy among historians to this day why the United States did not succeed in its operations in Vietnam. But there is no disputing that our involvement progressively increased after the unanimous approval (416-0) in the House of Representatives and 98-2 in the Senate to grant President Johnson the authorization to virtually wage war in Vietnam (August 7, 1964, Tonkin Gulf Resolution (see transcript here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/transcript_tonkin_gulf_resolution.htm and the original U.S. National Archives & Records' digitized copy can be viewed here http://ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=98).
"Thus the U.S. bombing of North Vietnam went forward based on the mistaken belief in a second attack in the Gulf of Tonkin. In a certain sense, because the resolution that passed Congress was used to justify the U.S. military commitment, the entire Vietnam War can be said to have been based on a misunderstanding. Just over a month afterward, when another pair of American warships in the Gulf of Tonkin also thought they had come under attack, LBJ began to express doubts about the reality of the August incident. In 1997, in Hanoi, Robert McNamara, in a conversation with Vietnamese Commander General Vo Nguyen Giap, also concluded that the August 4, 1964, incident had never occurred. That is now the general consensus among historians of the Vietnam War." - "August 1964: The Gulf of Tonkin Incident Continues - President Johnson Discusses Bombing North Vietnam with Robert S. McNamara" http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/white_house_tapes_tonkin.htm (In Four Conversations), LBJ Tapes on the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.
For further information on the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and the USS Maddox see: Online Library of Selected Images, U.S. Navy Ships, USS Maddox (DD-731), 1944-1972, Actions in the Gulf of Tonkin, August 1964 here http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-m/dd731-k.htm .
After President Johnson was re-elected on November 3, 1964, marked the beginning of the end of the lives of tens of thousands of Americans (the "Vietnam Tragedy") The Tonkin Gulf Resolution stated that “Congress approves and supports the determination of the President, as Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repeal any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent any further aggression.” As a result, President Johnson, and later President Nixon, relied on the resolution as the legal basis for their military policies in Vietnam.
"His colleagues ignored (Wayne) Morse (Oregon), as did the full Senate when it convened on the afternoon of August 6, 1964, to debate Johnson's proposed resolution. Speaking to an almost empty chamber, Morse asserted that 'the place to settle the controversy is not on the battlefield but around the conference table.' He was joined in opposition by only one other senator, Ernest Gruening of Alaska, a veteran liberal who warned that 'all Vietnam is not worth the life of a single American boy.' But their voices were drowned out by a din of patriotism. Even Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, who had long harbored reservations about the U.S. pledge to Southeast Asia, cast aside his doubts. 'We cannot and we will not shrink from defending it.'
... So the Senate approved the resolution with only Morse and Gruening dissenting, while the House of Representatives passed it unanimously. Morse predicted that its supporters 'will live to regret it, and he was vindicated in May, 1970, when the resolution was repealed - on the initiative, ironically, of a loyal Richard Nixon disciple, Senator Robert Doyle of Kansas, who figured that it had become obsolete."
- "Vietnam: A History," Stanley Karnow, The Viking Press, 1983, ISBN-0-670-74604-5 pages 375-376.
"Some historians hold that events enveloped Johnson in the war. Others portray him as the victim of duplicating aides, while still others contend that he consciously chose involvement. No single theory tells the entire story, yet each contains a grain of truth.
Johnson was an immensely complicated figure, confronted by a challenge of enormous complexity. Vietnam was not his kind of problem, and he constantly tried to mobilize a consensus among his advisors before he acted. The specialists may have deceived him - but only to the extent that they deluded themselves. Ultimately, though, he bore the responsibility.
Given his view of America's position in the world, Johnson could not envisage anything less in Vietnam than an outcome that stopped Communist 'aggression;' in that respect he shared the same hope that had guided Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy. His purpose was to compel the leaders of North Vietnam to abandon the insurgency in South Vietnam - in short, to deny them victory. And he insisted that he was waging only a 'limited' conflict, saying again and again: 'We seek no wider war.'
What limitations? Johnson began by exerting gradual pressure on North Vietnam, though he was uncertain the strategy would work. With each new step, he perceived that additional manpower, money, and material might be necessary. So he entered the war fully aware of the dangers ahead. He eventually failed because he misjudged the enemy's capacity to withstand pain, believing there was a threshold to their endurance. But, as Ho Chi Minh had warned the French, the Vietnamese Communists would risk annihilation rather than capitulate. That concept was beyond the comprehension of Johnson and his advisors, who mistakenly imputed their own values to the Communists. Paul Warnke, an assistant secretary of defense, was to reflect on this crucial error after leaving office: 'The trouble with our policy in Vietnam has been that we guessed wrong with respect to what the North Vietnamese reaction would be. We anticipated that they would respond like reasonable people.'
Johnson's strategy had an inexorable downward curve. Having discarded diplomacy, he narrowed his choices to only one option - war. He was not blind to the tragedy. But he closed his eyes to the possibility of other alternatives, and seemed to have persuaded himself that his plight was inevitable. As he told his press secretary, Bill Moyers, 'I feel like a hitchhiker caught in a hailstorm on a Texas highway. I can't run. I can't hide. And I can't make it stop.'"
- "Vietnam: A History," Stanley Karnow, The Viking Press, 1983, ISBN-0-670-74604-5, pages 395-396.
.".. A year before, seeking to measure the cost of 'victory,' the joint chiefs of staff had conducted a 'war game' code-named Sigma I. Its outcome was discouraging; at least a half-million U.S. combat troops would be necessary. Now, in September (1964), they organized a sequel, Sigma II, to gauge the potential impact of an air offensive against North Vietnam. The players, which included McGeorge Bundy, (John) McNaughton (McNamara aide), (General Earle) Wheeler (Joint Chiefs of Staff), and General Curtis LeMay, formed two teams, one representing the United States and the other North Vietnam. Again the results were depressing: no amount of American pressure could stop the Communists.
The conclusion should have been self-evident. North Vietnam, a predominately rural society with an apparently inexhaustible people prepared to die for the cause, could not be blasted 'back to the Stone Age,' as Curtis LeMay wanted to do. Neither Britain nor Germany had been bombed to its knees during World War II, and Japan had succumbed only to the atomic weapon - hardly an option in Vietnam. Some senior officials, McNamara among them, later recognized this reality. But in late 1964, despite the lessons of the 'war game,' the Washington planners continued to refine their program for air strikes.
- "Vietnam: A History," Stanley Karnow, The Viking Press, 1983, ISBN-0-670-74604-5, pages 399-400.
"The presidency has made every man who occupied it, no matter how small, bigger than he was; and no matter how big, not big enough for its demands." - Lyndon Johnson
The first American soldier to lose his life in Vietnam was SP4 James T. Davis on December 22, 1961. He was a member of the Army Security Agency (ASA) troops and was assigned to the 3rd Radio Research Unit. Their primary mission was to locate Viet Cong transmitters operating in the south. This mission was in its early stages when SP4 James T. Davis, a direction finding (DF) operator was killed in a Viet Cong ambush on a road outside Saigon. Go here for a historical overview of the evolution of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
"Executive Order No. 11231, July 9, 1965, established the Vietnam Service Medal. The period of service is July 4, 1965-March 28, 73; however, a member awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for Vietnam service (July 1, 1958-July 3, 1965) can apply to have that medal converted to the VSM. Recipients served in combat or with a unit directly supporting a military operation or combat in Southeast Asia; or they served in Vietnam on temporary duty for at least 30 consecutive or 60 days nonconsecutive days. A person received a Bronze Service Star for each campaign credit, or Silver Service Star for every 5 campaigns.
"The USAF designate 17 campaigns for Vietnam Service. As explained in the Introduction, the USAF campaigns in this conflict differed in title and dates from those of other services. The USAF campaigns appear in chronological sequence from November 15, 1961, through January 28, 1973, with 1 exception: the Vietnam Air/Ground Campaign overlaps in time the campaigns immediately preceding and following it, and its designated campaign area is limited exclusively to South Vietnam (Republic of Vietnam). The designated campaign area for the remaining 16 campaigns is Southeast Asia; that is, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam- the Theator of Operations for Vietnam Service. The first campaign summarized is the Vietnam Advisory Campaign." - "Vietnam Service: 1958-1973:, Vietnam Medals, Streamers, and Campaigns." This document can be accessed at the Research Division, Organizational History Branch, Air Force Historical Research Agency http://afhra.maxwell.af.mil/, The Vietnam section of the Research Division http://www.maxwell.af.mil/au/afhra/wwwroot/vietnam_war/vietnam.html
United States Army
Total Served - 4,368,000
Battle Deaths - 30,922 (0.71%)
Other Deaths - 7,273 (0.17%)
Wounds (Not Mortal) - 96,802 (2.22%)
United States Navy
Total Served - 1,842,000
Battle Deaths - 1,631 (0.09%)
Other Deaths - 931 (0.05%)
Wounds (Not Mortal) - 4,178 (0.23%)
United States Marines
Total Served - 794,000
Battle Deaths - 13,084 (1.65%) - The way Vietnam was conducted it was predominately a ground war. To make it into an "airpower" war would have required the slaughter of millions of innocent civilians with the deployment of the "nukes" on a scale that has never been seen before, and leveled the jungle of trees and brush, then gunned down those left climbing out of the "tunnels" dug over the many decades of fighting and hiding in this country.
Just can't imagine a country doing this to innocent people just to stop the establishment of a Communist government in a small country that represents a "blip" of the total world governments.
Other Deaths - 1,753 (0.22%)
Wounds (Not Mortal) - 51,392 (6.47%)
United States Air Force
Air Force Memorial Foundation http://www.airforcememorial.org/index.htm
Total Served - 1,740,000
Battle Deaths - 1,741 (0.10%)
Other Deaths - 842 (0.05%)
Wounds (Not Mortal) - 931 (0.05%)
Grand Total Served - 8,744,000
Grand Total Battle "Deaths" - 47,378
Grand Total Other "Deaths" - 10,799
Grand Total Wounds (Not Mortal) - 153,303
American Indian: 184 (0.04%)
Caucasian: 40,798 (86%)
Malayan: 205 (0.4%)
Mongolian: 94 (0.2%)
Negro: 5,913 (12%)
Unknown, Not Reported: 175 (0.37%)
Providing manpower for the American war effort proved to be a chronic problem. According to the Oxford Companion to American Military History,
"By 1967, almost 50 percent of the enlisted men in the army were draftees. By 1969, draftees comprised over 50 percent of all combat deaths and 88 percent of army infantrymen in Vietnam. No war since the Civil War produced so much opposition to the draft. Part of the problem had to do with its perceived unfairness. Undergraduates, and until 1968, graduate students could defer military service until they completed their programs. In addition, many young men, often from the middle class, joined the National Guard and Reserves on the likely gamble that they would not be called up for duty in Southeast Asia. Consequently, the Vietnam War appeared to many to be a "working class war," with draftees and enlisted men coming disproportionately from blue-collar backgrounds. At first, from 1965 through 1967, African Americans especially served and died in Vietnam in disproportionate numbers."
... Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
Lord, don't they help themselves, oh ...
Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask them, "How much should we give?"
Ooh, they only answer More! more! more! yoh
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no military son, son
It ain't me, it ain't me; I ain't no fortunate one, one ...
- "Fortunate Son MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/fortunate_son.htm," John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival), Album: Willy & The Poor Boys; Release Date: 11/2/1969 http://www.johnfogerty.com
"Approval for his (President Johnson) handling of the war dwindled steadily from the summer of 1965. Now, for the first time, opinion crossed a significant barrier; a survey published in October 1967 showed that 46 percent of the public regarded the commitment to Vietnam as a 'mistake,' while 44 percent continued to back it. Still, the overwhelming majority of Americans opposed withdrawal and favored tougher attacks against North Vietnam. The studies disclosed another phenomenom: endorsement of the war was strongest among the college-educated, upper-income middle classes whose sons were least likely to be conscripted for combat under the deferment system. Even so, the confused and uncertain national mood at the time was probably best summed up by the housewife who told a pollster: 'I want to get out, but I don't want to give up."' - "Vietnam: A History," Stanley Karnow, The Viking Press, 1983, ISBN-0-670-74604-5 page 488.
I used the percentage of Total Battle Deaths of 47,378 (which represents 81.4% of the 58,193) and adjusted the figures (percentages between the races and ages are not affected by doing this - just the totals) for Race and Age at Time of Death downward.
Why? Because, unquestionably you could have that "other death" number (possibly much mor) just by walking down the the streets of America over a 7-1/2 year period of time). But, arguably the percentages between Race and Age could be in different proportions.
Age at Time of Death/Declaration of Death Number of Records
Age 17: 12
Age 18: 3,103
Age 19: 8,283
"Eighteen," Alice Cooper here.
Age 20: 14,095
"The youngest of the young adults - in between being "Children" and trying to move to the 'Young Adult' group. In the summer of 1972 they can't drink a beer legally."
Age 21: 9,705
Age 22: 4,798
Age 23: 3,495
Age 24: 2,650
Age 25: 2,018
"Young Adults - Starting to See the Reality of Life. Predominately what race? Predominately what "social class?" Predominately what "economic class" Predominately who?"
My hypothesis, "predominately the disposable for a complex array of reasons" none the least of which most probably include: their bodies are up to the task, they are all longing for this new "attention" they can receive from other Americans, they are less apt to know the whole story, they are from the poorer familes of America, in today's youth that have cut their teeth on video 'war games' - this is the next 'rush' - 'killing' is fun, and 'killing' for your country is better - what better reasons than this?" And, of course, let's not overlook the genocide of the heart, mind, and soul of gangsta rap. http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/larry_blakeley_cyberspace.htm
So, the Dad that has never given him much attention says, "Son, I'm proud of you. You're a man to be giving to your country," but, it's Mama - that birthed and raised him that is the key to sending him off to war - so, her heart is telling her something's wrong with this, but everything 'outside' of her is conflicting with her basic soul of goodness. She lets go, her neighbor's mother let's go, and so on down the block - the mothers of the house are letting go and giving the final, OK, as she stands at the screen door quoting her beloved scriptures in silence, so nobody else hears - all the while looking at herself walking away down the sidewalk of 'manhood.' A road she has no understanding of whatsover. Guess what ..... duped, again. Manhood wins, again. You snooze, you lose. That's the rules of the game. It's accepted as the way to survive, but if you snooze - you will lose. Manhood takes no prisoners - no sir -eeeeee..... it's lives they need.
Dad goes back to the refrigerator for another beer and sits back down to watch the Sunday game - just like last week's game, and the week before that ..... and so on."
What does it take to prevent, or rather to stop, unnecessary wars based on the unproven political ideology that the global expansion of democracy is what the world needs, or rather what seemingly most professional politicians view as the solution to preventing other countries' tyranny from reaching the shores of America by way of internal terrorist subversion within our own borders? Well, I would think that the first step to be taken would be for the masses of our society to come to the realization that we have been duped. Duped into buying in to this flawed ideology promoted by the rich and powerful elite that unquestionably rule America. Yes, duped. Duped from failing to recognize and expose the subtle methods these egoistic elites use to fool us into believing that we are in dire danger from these outside evil forces and thus need to attack to protect ourselves.
"We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.
'Why, of course, the people don't want war,' Goering shrugged. 'Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.'
'There is one difference,' I pointed out. 'In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.'
'Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.'" - An extract of a conversation between Hermann Wilhelm Göring and Allied prison psychologist Dr. Gustave Mark Gilbert, as relayed in Dr. Gilbert's Nuremberg Diary (ISBN 0-306-80661-4; New York: Farrar, Straus and Company, 1947), pp. 278-279), an account of and interviews he conducted during the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi Leaders, including Hermann Göring, involved in World War II and the Holocaust.
So called facts are fraud
They want us to allege and pledge
And bow down to their God
Lost the culture, the culture lost
Spun our minds and through time
Ignorance has taken over ...
And to counteract
We gotta take the power back ...
Yea, we need to check the interior
Of the system that cares about only one culture
And that is why
We gotta take the power back...
To expose and close the doors on those who try
To strangle and mangle the truth
'Cause the circle of hatred continues unless we react
We gotta take the power back
Yeah, we gotta take the power back
Come on, come on!
We gotta take the power back
No more lies ...
- "Take The Power Back," Rage Against the Machine, Album: Tool, Released: 1992 MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/take_power_back.htm
... Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out? ...
- "Revolution," John Lennon
Photograph of peaceful protestors, 1968. NYU Archives Photo Collection.
That was our grandmothers then. Over 40 years later they are still here. http://www.grandmothersforpeace.org/index.html
War, huh, yeah -
what is it good for?
Ohhh, war, I despise
because it means destruction
of innocent lives.
War means tears
to thousands of mothers' eyes
when their sons go to fight
and lose their lives...
War, it ain't nothing
but a heartbreaker;
war, friend only to the undertaker.
it's an enemy to all mankind.
The point of war blows my mind.
War has caused unrest
within the younger generation -
induction then destruction.
Who wants to die? ...
War, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker;
war, it's got one friend
that's the undertaker.
Ooooh, war, has shattered
many a young man's dreams;
made him disabled, bitter and mean.
Life is much too short and precious
to spend fighting wars these days.
War can't give life.
It can only take it away...
War, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker -
war - friend only to the undertaker.
Peace, love and understanding;
tell me, is there no place for them today?
They say we must fight to keep our freedom,
but Lord knows there's got to be a better way.
Ooooooh, war, huh
good God y'all -
what is it good for?
You tell me.
Say it, say it, say it, say it.
good God y'all -
what is it good for?
Stand up and shout it -
- "War," MP3 Audio File/Lyrics http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/war_edwin_starr.htm
As public resistance to the war heightened, the resolution was repealed by Congress in January 1971.
Age 26: 1,414
Age 27: 917
Age 28: 768
Age 29: 710
"Have Accepted Where They Are? Unquestionably, more Mature Decision-Making Skills, but it takes a little longer than the group below. "
Ages 30-39: 4,927
Ages 40-49: 1,156
"They know, this is a mistake. They are predominately fathers and career military."
Ages 50-59: 121
Ages 60-62: 4
Unknown, Not Reported: 17
Total: 58,193 (note: includes "other deaths")
Hanoi acknowledges 1.1 million battle deaths among communist forces. South Vietnamese battle losses came to 254,000. America's total battle deaths were 47,378. This figure equates to 23 Vietnamese (communist forces) to every American using this reported figure, but I would not be surprised in the least if this number is understated by Hanoi. Why would anyone believe their figures? The fact remains - we left, North Vietnam took over South Vietnam, but the "America military beat the hell out of them" - even with both their hands tied behind their backs by the U.S. Presidency and his military advisors. The morality of this conflict is a separate issue.
Who keeps Vietnam in the public? Those in the groups above that were "left behind."
Why? Because they remember those above - and, because of that a part of them will always have died over there with them - just as our family. And, if you didn't. Well, I would get your heart checked-up - for you may already be dead!
Vietnam Conflict for the period August 4, 1964, through January 27, 1973, (date of cease-fire). Wounds (Not Mortal) exclude 150,332 persons not requiring hospital care.
Known status of casualties is as of September 30, 1995. http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/southeast_asia_combat_casualties.htm
A sign with an arrow pointing the way to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/the_wall_arrow_sign.djvu and my father's name on the wall here http://www.royblakeley.name/vietnam_memorial_roy_blakeley.jpg. My sister, Karen took these photographs.
Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO). The information assembled on the following pages is to assist readers in understanding the U.S. Government effort to achieve the fullest possible accounting of our missing in action -- from all wars. U.S. military and civilian personnel are at work daily in locations across the globe, seeking information from our former enemies. The information here is the result of years of painstaking analysis and intelligence reporting. Additional case-specific information, both classified and unclassified, is available to the primary next-of-kin of our missing Americans. - http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/index.html
for more information.
For further information about the United States involvement in Vietnam see the following:
The Web page of Vincent Ferraro, (The Ruth C. Lawson Professor of International Politics, Mount Holyoke College - Documents Relating to American Foreign Policy - Vietnam http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/vietnam.htm
The History Place - Vietnam War http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/vietnam/index.html
Edwin E. Moïse's Vietnam War Bibliography at http://www.clemson.edu/caah/history/FacultyPages/EdMoise/bibliography.html
"Reporting Vietnam: American Journalism 1959-1969: Volume One," Jonathan Z. Larsen, Library of America http://www.loa.org, ISBN: 1-883011-58-2 (858 pages) http://www.loa.org/volume.jsp?RequestID=128
"Reporting Vietnam: American Journalism 1969-1975: Volume Two," Jonathan Z. Larsen, Library of America http://www.loa.org, ISBN: 1-883011-59-0 (857 pages) http://www.loa.org/volume.jsp?RequestID=129
For Vietnam War Bibliography accummulated by The Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace Web site go here. http://www.nixonfoundation.org/Research_Center/Vietnam/VIETNAM_BIBLIOGRAPHY.shtml
And, of course - there is some atrocities committed by units such as the Tiger Force. Tiger Force was created in the fall of 1965 as a special highly trained reconnaissance unit to find the enemy and report enemy positions to U.S. air and ground forces. Here is a map showing their trail of atrocities and a chronology of the events that occurred from May through November, 1967. http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/tiger_force_trail_map1967.djvu
The story of these war crimes were published by the ToledoBlade.com on October 19, 2003 and can be found here. http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=SRTIGERFORCE and is described by this news agency as follows:
"This series reveals for the first time anywhere that members of a platoon of American soldiers from the 101st known as Tiger Force slaughtered an untold number of Vietnamese civilians over a seven-month period in 1967.
After a 4 1/2 -year Army investigation concluded that at least 18 Tiger Force soldiers committed war crimes, the matter was dropped by the Army. The official files were buried in the Army's archives since 1975, and to this day military officials continue to withhold them from the public." - http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20031020/SRTIGERFORCE/110190136
Is this story important today - after so many years? In my opinion the truth about anything is important and should always be revealed to others that have a right to know.
And, another good Web site for historical information on the Vietnam War, among others, is eHistory at The Ohio State University. http://www.ehistory.com/
"War Stories" by Charles Bernstein http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/poetry/war_stories_charles_bernstein.htm
President Johnson did not get us into Vietnam, John F. Kennedy did, but he certainly escalated America's involvement that killed thousands of Americans - believe what you want to about your favorite president - but the history substantiates this comment beyond any doubt whatsoever.
And, further the Tonkin Bay resolution, and the power it gave to the presidency is still with us in 2004 (go here http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Gulf_of_Tonkin_Resolution.html for further reading on this subject).
And, for us - one Texan disposing of another.
Why? What went wrong? How did this happen? Those questions have haunted my family since that fateful day of July 22, 1965.
And, the side of this that a lot of people may overlook is that the pain runs through us to my mother's family and my father's family and their friends. You take 47,000 (note: this figure comes from the time period of August 4, 1964 through January 27, 1973 - date of cease-fire - go here http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/southeast_asia_combat_casualties.htm) and multiply that by the total number of wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmothers, grandfathers, and friends - then you have millions of Americans hurting. So, no matter what the number of deaths - that number is always incorrect and way low to use in trying to understand the effect to Americans - and that only covers the families of those killed.
These are "America's sons." This Web site is a story of more that my father - it is about "America's sons." Some of their names are here as evidence. Their fate determined by a few politicians and their advisors.
President Lyndon B. Johnson listens to tape sent by Captain Charles Robb from Vietnam, July 31, 1968. Photo credit: Jack Kightlinger
I don't know about you, but as long as I have been walking this earth I have yet to know anyone else on earth that I would trust with this amount of power.
And, it is for those poor American male souls that have lost their way: "Initially, "Jarhead" delivers some jolts. Marine barracks are not known for their decorum, but Swofford describes his mates and himself as brutal, petulant, thoughtless, wretched, sadistic, wrathful and sometimes borderline sociopathic. He remembers being beaten mercilessly by a sergeant, holding a gun to the head of a fellow Marine until the other man wept uncontrollably, fantasizing for hours about the "pink mist" resulting from a properly-aimed shot to an enemy's head, contemplating suicide, auctioning off seminude photos of his unfaithful girlfriend, looting the corpses of Iraqi soldiers for trophies and consuming impressive amounts of cheap booze and porn.
.... Rough stuff, but not exactly unexpected in a group of young men who are first holed up together in close quarters and then thrust into extreme and immediate danger." - Review dated March 10, 2003 by Laura Miller http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/jarhead_review_laura_miller.htm, senior writer for Salon of Anthony Swofford's book, "Jarhead." She summarizes the book as Mr. Swofford's "self-lacerating memoir, an ex-Marine sniper who fought in the Gulf yearns to escape from the myths of warfare and the sadism of military life."
How can you expect a young American woman to have any clue as to what the American male is, or should be representative of when the typical young American male she is seeing doesn't even now - or, possibly he does. The American woman will pay the highest price for this misunderstanding and confusion. Some will want to enter this room of evil - the door will be locked behind her - and then she will see just as Mr. Swofford that she is way over her head. She wants out immediately, but nobody on the outside hears her screams for help. And, there is no way out.
This is the most dangerous misunderstanding an American woman can make. Don't believe me - well, go ahead - by all means, go through that door! Find out for yourself.
What about me? Am I afraid. Yes, for you. But, I know what to do.
"There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one side and up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she was ever to get out again.
... but, alas for poor Alice! when she got to the door, she found she had forgotten the little golden key, and when she went back to the table for it, she found she could not possibly reach it: she could see it quite plainly through the glass, and she tried her best to climb up one of the legs of the table, but it was too slippery; and when she had tired herself out with trying, the poor little thing sat down and cried. (Chapter I: Down the Rabbit-Hole)
... 'That WAS a narrow escape!' said Alice, a good deal frightened at the sudden change, but very glad to find herself still in existence; 'and now for the garden!' and she ran with all speed back to the little door: but, alas! the little door was shut again, and the little golden key was lying on the glass table as before, 'and things are worse than ever,' thought the poor child, 'for I never was so small as this before, never! And I declare it's too bad, that it is!' (Chapter II: The Pool of Tears)
... Alice went timidly up to the door, and knocked. 'There's no sort of use in knocking,' said the Footman, 'and that for two reasons. First, because I'm on the same side of the door as you are; secondly, because they're making such a noise inside, no one could possibly hear you.' And certainly there was a most extraordinary noise going on within--a constant howling and sneezing, and every now and then a great crash, as if a dish or kettle had been broken to pieces. 'Please, then,' said Alice, 'how am I to get in?' 'There might be some sense in your knocking,' the Footman went on without attending to her, 'if we had the door between us. For instance, if you were INSIDE, you might knock, and I could let you out, you know. (Chapter VI: Pig and Pepper)"
ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/11, Lewis Carroll, The Millennium Fulcrum Edition 3.0
And, even the most educated American female is faced with trying to teach others something that they don't understand themselves, or even where to look for the truth. Or, is this premeditated misinformation? Hopefully, not. Professor Kathryn Statler http://www.sandiego.edu/history/faculty/statler.php, University of San Diego http://www.sandiego.edu/ in her curriculum of a history course she has taught to her students:
"This course explores armed conflict and its effects on U.S. society. In other words, we will closely examine the nature, course, and consequences of war from the American Revolution to the present. We will focus on three themes: the effects of war on the individual, the intended and unintended consequences of armed conflict both at home and abroad, and the changing nature of warfare and of the U.S. armed forces.
PART III: AMERICA DURING THE COLD WAR & BEYOND
WEEK 11: Hot Spots in a Cold War
Date: 11/18 PAPER DUE IN CLASS The Origins and Course of the Korean War
11/20 The Origins and Course of the Vietnam War
Reading: Course Reader Week 11, Begin Dispatches
WEEK 12: Approaching Vietnam
Date: 11/25 Quiz & Student Led Discussion of Dispatches
11/27 NO CLASS: HAPPY THANKSGIVING
Reading: Dispatches, Course Reader Week 12
WEEK 13: Kicking the Vietnam Syndrome?
Date: 12/2 The Lessons of Vietnam
12/4 The Gulf War
Reading: Course Reader Week 13, Begin "Jarhead"
WEEK 14: Making War, Thinking History
Date: 12/9 Quiz & Student Led Discussion on Jarhead
12/11 The Nature of War and American Society in the 21st Century
Reading: "Jarhead" - Professor Kathryn Statler http://www.sandiego.edu/history/faculty/statler.php
The full course description here. http://www.royblakeley.name/roy_james_blakeley/statler_h173syllabus.djvu
No. This is not representative of the effects on the individual of the Vietnam conflict - there is no mention of the wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmothers, grandfathers, and friends then you have millions of Americans hurting.
How many kids across America are being taught the same thing? How many foreign students are being taught the same thing? And, taking this limited view back to their homeland?
Does anyone know where to study the true effects to the "individual" of Amerca's Vietnam conflict? Do they want to teach the truth of pain and despair some of us were left with? Have they looked for us? And, can you teach pain and despair?