The Vietnam War series & thoughts on it’s parallels to Iraq & Afghanistan

Marines in Afghanistan
Marines in Fallujah, Iraq
Marines at Khe Sanh

One of the discouraging things about the Ken Burns series “The Vietnam War” (which just finished airing on PBS) is that it appears that the United States forgot the lessons of the Vietnam War and worse yet, we’ve repeated these mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mike Musselman and Mike McNamara discuss the final episode of the Ken Burns series, (1) the Vietnam Wall, (2) the fate that was left to the South Vietnamese people and (3) the sad parallels they see between what they saw in the Vietnam War series and what they’ve seen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

America’s “GREATEST GENERATION” Fought in Vietnam

Marines in Vietnam

The Gunner briefly gives his thoughts on the “protest” controversy in the NFL (he’s not watching any more) and then the Boys discuss their thoughts on watching the Ken Burns series that is airing on PBS entitled “The Vietnam War.”

There are things from the series that have made an incredible impression on them: (1) the lies that Cabinet Secretaries told, (2) the nobility of those who believed and fought, (3) a flaming B-52 falling from the sky at night, (4) POW reunions with their families, (5) Jane Fonda making broadcasts about American POW’s and called their execution justifiable, (6) the lies of three Presidents and (7) Richard Nixon’s criminality.

Mike Musselman and Mike McNamara agree on one thing, the American’s who fought in Vietnam, who came home to be treated terribly, who became our teachers and coaches ARE “THE GREATEST AMERICAN GENERATION” — no other group has been asked to give as much as they given.

With three combat deployment to Vietnam, Tom Draude watches with interest

Capt Tom Draude, USMC
Republic of Vietnam, 1970
Advisor to Vietnamese Marines
With 1stLt Tri (who had graduated from the The Basic School, Quantico VA)

Tom Draude, BGen USMC (ret) has watched each episode of the Ken Burns series “The Vietnam War” that is airing on PBS he joined us to share his thoughts on the series.  Like many, he has watched with interest the interviews with North Vietnamese Army soldiers and Viet Cong fighters; he’s also been keenly interested in how the experience of those who lost family members has been conveyed to the audience.

Draude also talks candidly about post-Vietnam Marine Corps life and how many officers put the experience away and didn’t speak of it, even with subordinates, which in retrospect was a mistakes.

 

CON THIEN & SSGT’S AS INFANTRY SQUAD LEADERS & THE TOP EQUIPMENT NEEDS OF USMC INFANTRY: Mike & Mac

Con Thien
1967

Con Thien is one of the subjects of the 5th Episode of the PBS documentary “The Vietnam War.”  We’ll talk about 19 year old squad leaders leading 18 year old Marines and the pounding those battalions of the Marines took in 1967-1968.

There is discussion of making SSgt’s infantry squad leaders due to the growing complexity of that job, we’ll talk about it; and the Modern Marine Expo is currently ongoing, we’ll get the Gunner’s opinion on the most pressing equipment needs of infantry Marines these days.

 

FOODTALK: All Marine Radio Head Chef Talks Draft Cards, “1Y” Status and Vietnam

Kim Holmes
ALL MARINE RADIO
OFFICIAL CHEF

Kim Holmes is the ALL MARINE RADIO Head Chef and is also the son of a C-47 pilot who flew in the Normandy Operation on June 6, 1944.  We discuss his thoughts about his responsibility to fight in Vietnam, to registering for the draft and what life was like for a son of a World War II veteran during Vietnam.

MIKE ARCHER WAS A USMC RADIO OPERATOR AT KHE SANH, HE’S WATCHING “THE VIETNAM WAR” ON PBS

Mike Archer
Radio Operator
Khe Sanh Veteran
USMC, 1967-1970

Mike Archer’s father and brother were both Marines. His father fought in the Pacific during World War II and his brother is a fellow Vietnam Veteran. Mike was a Marine radio operator at Khe Sanh and was there for the entire battle.  As the author of three books (two on Khe Sanh) he’s also a storyteller.  We wanted to get his thoughts as a Vietnam Veteran and as a storyteller on the Ken Burns documentary — The Vietnam War.

You can find Mike’s books here.

 

IS KEN BURNS BEING TOO KIND TO ROBERT MCNAMARA IN HIS PBS SERIES ON THE VIETNAM WAR?

Robert S. McNamara
Secretary of Defense
1961-1968

I received an email from Ohio that asked if Robert McNamara being treated with kid gloves by Ken Burns?  He was the arrogant architect of the Vietnam War — is he being given a pass.

We’ll talk about it.

 

DISCIPLINE & LEADERSHIP WHILE DEPLOYED AT SEA OR ON LAND & THE LONGEST PUBIC HAIR I’VE EVER SEEN: Mac & Phil Smith

Basic Maintenance
US Navy

Phil Smith, Col USMC (ret) joined the program to talk about the 100 Hour Work Week while deployed that was such a large issue at yesterday’s Senate Armed Service Committee Hearing on Recent Ship Collisions at Sea.  Along the way we get into a discussion about discipline, leaders who enforce discipline and the longest pubic hair I’ve ever seen.

Smitty also talks about his trepidation relative to an “anit-war” agenda in Ken Burns’ PBS Documentary, The Vietnam War.