Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara has died.

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TC

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Unread post10 Jul 2009, 22:55

Gen. Horner was Pop's boss on the Wing staff at Tyndall back in the mid 80s. I have a lot of respect for him, and I wish it were somebody like him, or Gen. Myers who could serve as SecDef. I feel that the job of SecDef should go to someone who has actually had boots on the ground, and actually understands the needs of the troops, and all of the services as a whole.

It shouldn't go to some bean-counting suit who only sees the bottom line. This is exactly what McNamara was, and was the biggest reason why he was such a failure in that position.

I guess I'll get off of my soapbox now too.
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JoeSambor

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Unread post11 Jul 2009, 03:20

TC, this is what a healthy discussion forum is all about. Many people with different opinions, able to respect the opinions of the other forum members.

Though sometimes I am dismayed at some of the posts at F16.net, discussions such as this one is why I keep coming back...how can you do any better on a discussion of the mistakes made in Vietnam when you have folks like Gums and Tom Wharton, who were actually there (as I am sure several others on this forum were.)

My oldest brother John was stationed at Tan Son Nhut during the war. He died at age 45 several years ago. I will always believe that Vietnam shortened his life.

Best Regards,
Joe Sambor
LM Aero Field Service Engineer
Woensdrecht Logistics Center, The Netherlands
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Gums

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Unread post11 Jul 2009, 04:10

Salute!

TNX for nice words, Joe.

Unlike many, I had "closure" for that FUBAR war. So I don't wake up at night in a cold sweat. Sure, I lost many friends. My Zoomie class had the most POW's and maybe the most KIA. Of the seven in my A-37 checkout, we lost two that first tour.

Led the last flight of fighter-bombers of the whole damned thing out in Dec 1975. Formed up our six-ship and came screaming over the field at Korat after all reported O.K.

Maintenance troops put down their headsets, gave the keys to the Thai's, and went out to the ramp to climb into a waiting C-141. The thing was over, finally, and ten years of my life had passed.

If we don't learn from our mistakes, then what the hell are we doing?

Gums sends ....
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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Meathook

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Unread post11 Jul 2009, 04:41

Joe - Gums, I think your right, agent "Orange" did as much damage as any fire fight. I think many more "vietnam vets" are here and are watching, reading and reliving moments (of that I am sure). Ever war is terrible but most wars are fought as a last resort (or should be). I dont feel that one was a last resort but a so called "calling by a few wanting to make a name for themselves and they sure did, in a negative way".

I can tell you, to see a friend blown apart in front of you or shot, his bits and pieces of him are on you....you dont forget that crap too easy, if your lucky, you get to make peace with it and become grateful. I am still trying to figure that out, have been trying since 1971. if I ever do, I'll give you my secret. So much went wrong and right all at the same time, brave men and women.

I watched a Red Cross worker and Nurse get shot (they were just feet from me as they tried to help another person out who had been blown up) most folks dont hear about the women that were there either. Even the bullshit reporters trying to get the edge for a report or story, they got hit with the rest of us.

Then one day, the next thing you know, your on a "freedom bird" and you know your headed home and it's all behind you or so you think. I will never forget that feeling of taking off, everybody cheering, knowing I would not have to go back, it felt so good, I can feel it still today. I know if I had not been hurt and later asked to re-up (as stupid as that sounds now) I dont know how I would have turned out. taking that bonus (tax free) and heading to the UK was the best medicine for me.

The rehap visits , talking with shrinks, it was all BS comparred to partying like there was no tomorrow, driving fast, learning to fly and getting into my job and then running the skirts, that I think safed me (I believe that).

As I have gotten older, I find myself thinking back more then I ever did before and sometimes, it is all so real, I just tell myself the "man" must have had other plans for me or why would I have made it home. The Air Force became my focus and I really enjoyed it.

Strange thing is during the early Bosnia campaign (94 Deny Flight UN Resolution effort) , I wanted to be back in the thick if it and (requested and got to) fly numerous AC and EC 130 missions out of Aviano. On one mission we were almost shot down by a Serbian chopper (30 Oct 1994). I thought it was over, but we survived and limped home in a crippled 130 (hit hard too but that crew really had its sh*t together)...I fugure, I must be nuts or one lucky sh*t, in any event, I never forgot my buddies who never made it home, I drink to them often and look at my children and now grandchildren and feel blessed.

God it was all so long ago but just yesterday sometimes, you know what I mean...Salute to all that served anywhere supporting the US, that's all I will say at the moment, how the hell we made it out is still surprizing to me, it sucked there big time.

Gums, my good buddy Charlie Saunders was at the Embassy on the roof during those crazy last hours, pushing people off the chopper so it could take off, kicking and punching people who just wanted to escape but there was no room, what a crazy event that must have been for you all, I would listen to him tell his side of it and it brought tears to my eyes knowing so many had to be left behind (not US thank god). Crazy times for sure...
Last edited by Meathook on 11 Jul 2009, 17:04, edited 3 times in total.
More than likely have "been there and done that at some point", it sure keeps you young if done correctly
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Meathook

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Unread post11 Jul 2009, 04:54

Gums - did you know Thompson, I am sorry to say, I forgot his first name (I think it was Tommy but cant confirm that) but he was my Wing King at Luke in 1985 (Col then), he had been held at the Hanoi Hilton for seven (7) years, the sh*t he must have put up with is beyond me and what a great guy he was, hell of a pilot too.

I often wondered what happened to him after he retired..men like that, they come out standing tall (on the outside) and I know or can only imagine the demons he must be dealing with on the inside, what a man he was, I hope he is still alive today....Hell, even John McCain has done amazingly well, many civilians will never really understand what these folks went through, that is both good and bad I think,,,but sad really
More than likely have "been there and done that at some point", it sure keeps you young if done correctly
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Unread post12 Jul 2009, 18:46

Salute!

Never met Thompson.

Guess the stress of that experience is wearing on a few folks, but most of my classmates that were POW's have died from cancer or something like that. Have lost three or four since our 40th Reunion in 2004. One was prominently featured in "Return With Honer", the PBS special that aired ten or so years ago. In fact, three of my classmates were featured prominently. Stutz, Mechenbier and Bliss.

I checked out Bob Peel, a Thud driver who spent seven years. The guy was a "wild man" and he pulled the "Klinger" routine while a POW. They thot he was crazy. Came out just fine and was a delight to check out in the Sluf. My boss at SOS was a seven year man, as well. He told a story about Peel that makes ya laugh. They were being moved to a new camp and at a stop they could hear Peel talking loudly outside the truck ( canvas covered two-ton jobbie). He was gesturing at one of the Vee guards, but asking "who's in there?", and "here's who I know from xxxx camp", etc. The guard didn't speak a word of English, heh heh. Gotta love those guys for what they endured and realize most came out sane.

later,

Gums sends ...
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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Meathook

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Unread post12 Jul 2009, 19:28

Roger that, some guys just go the head of the class because they can, very smart move by many...outstanding, I saw that Return with Honor, it was amazing...my hats off to the folks who made it back from many a hell hole as the Hilton - thanks for sharing

Meathook...
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Unread post29 Sep 2009, 02:47

If we had done in 65 or 66 what we did during the twelve days of Christmas in 72 there would have been alot less than 58,000 names on that infamous wall and the sole responsibility for that was Johnson and McNamara so no tears hears.

Snake
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