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Vietnam combat photos
Old 07-20-2012, 07:59 PM   #1
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Vietnam combat photos

I am always amazed how black and white photos can jump out at you.

Seems like only yesterday...

These are very powerful shots taken by award winning German photographer Horst Faas dedicated to Vietnam combat veterans.

For those that did not serve in Vietnam, it might give you a little
insight to this period in our nations history.

The comments at the end are also very interesting.

http://blogs.denverpost.com/captured/2012/05/15/photographer-collection-horst
-faas-vietnam/5689/#more-5689
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:23 PM   #2
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This was very hard to look at. But we must remember.
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:51 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting these. They are compelling photos, and it is well that we remember the horror and suffering of war.

When I was in grade school, my dad was in the Navy and we lived in Pearl Harbor. Every year from 1966 through 1970, for 7-8 months at a time, he deployed to Vietnam. I recall that he rarely talked about what he saw and did there. Living in the base housing, I remember that periodically the big, black car with two officers in uniform would show up in front of someone's quarters to tell them that their dad was killed or captured. We never saw them in school again; they always moved back to the states. I also remember going to Tripler Army hospital for medical care, and seeing the guys missing limbs who were back from the war.

It was not until well into adulthood that I realized the terror with which my mother lived - wondering if her husband would return from the war. I recall that she was particularly freaked out in January 1968, during the Tet Offensive, when the news on TV made it seem as if the VC were everywhere. She was otherwise good about keeping us kids ignorant of the danger.

Oddly, I always expected to end up in Vietnam. That was just what happened with people I knew -- you graduated from high school, you got drafted and then you went to Vietnam. My mother had elaborate plans to keep me and my younger brother from being drafted. She never told my father about them. In the end, both of us voluntarily joined the Navy. Fortunately, the war was over by then.

Just some odd musings inspired by your photos. Thanks again.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:04 PM   #4
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What is wrong with the human race that causes us to inflict such inhumanity upon each other over and over again?

Maybe the existence of these horrible events means absolutely nothing other than just another day on planet Earth since we seem to have been killing and inflicting evil upon each other since the beginning of time.

I just don't understand why.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:28 PM   #5
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Lost a bunch of buddies to that war. The guy I was with when I met DW was killed there.

Maybe some day we can keep our noses out of other peoples business.
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:34 AM   #6
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Very tough photos to view. Those and others I've seen always prompt me to say "there but for the grace of God, go I". I was the right age for the Vietnam was but was married and had a child in 1960 which gave me a 3A classification.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:17 AM   #7
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I got a draft number when I turned 18. The number was 16 which means that I would have been drafted except they they stopped the draft shortly afterwards. I am thankful for that.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:36 AM   #8
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I was stupid enough to volunteer for the draft as I couldn't get a decent job and wasn't ready for college. Spent a year in Nam as a grunt with the 1st Cav. 70-71. In retrospect it was a life changing experience that I wouldn't wish on anyone but nonetheless one I wouldn't give up for anything. It is amazing how people can come together and be so compassionate, yet so un-compassionate at the same time, if that makes any sense. In talking with fellow vets who had a similar experience, seems we all still carry the scars and share the same demons even forty years later. I guess some of us just have the capacity to manage it better than the unfortunate others.

All and all I am proud of my service but I wish our country had enough sense not to be a policeman for the world at the expense of our youth.

Just my two cents and thanks for the posting the pictures. The only things missing are the heat and stench of death.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
What is wrong with the human race that causes us to inflict such inhumanity upon each other over and over again?

Maybe the existence of these horrible events means absolutely nothing other than just another day on planet Earth since we seem to have been killing and inflicting evil upon each other since the beginning of time.

I just don't understand why.

Just remember, it is the polite folks in suits in nice surroundings who decide when and where there will be encounters up close, personal and bloody for those wearing uniform. While the gentle folks sit around at state dinners, with fine liquors, clean table cloths, properly served on the finest china the taxpayers bought, discussing the shape and size of tables for negotiating peace.


Edit add: US Army 67-70. Became US citizen 1970.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:45 AM   #10
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Just remember, it is the polite folks in suits in nice surroundings who decide when and where there will be encounters up close, personal and bloody for those wearing uniform.
Nam - '68-'69 (7th AF, 377th CSG. No, I don't want to talk about it, but your words ring true).

The only thing I'll add is that those today that did not serve, understand the difference and treat our homecoming vets with a more respect. They understand that those who go "in harm's way" are not the same folks that make the decision to put them in the situation.

If any good came out of Nam, that would be it, IMHO.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:29 AM   #11
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I have not looked at the pictures. Maybe I should but it is just too painful to me. Also pictures and movies of the Holocaust, don't want to go there any more.

Some wise words said above in other's posts.

We must try to use wisdom to avoid unnecessary conflicts. I don't think it is possible to generalize about when to get into conflicts. Unfortunately, some war is necessary -- guys like Chamberlain found that out. It just should be a last resort.
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:53 AM   #12
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Outstanding photographs.
Painful memories.
Enough said.
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
What is wrong with the human race that causes us to inflict such inhumanity upon each other over and over again?

Maybe the existence of these horrible events means absolutely nothing other than just another day on planet Earth since we seem to have been killing and inflicting evil upon each other since the beginning of time.

I just don't understand why.
I ponder that same question at times.

As a human race, we have enough to feed everyone and wipe out hunger, but at times it seems we are closer to wiping each other out.

I suppose the answer may be that if we don't learn from our mistakes then we are destined to repeat them.

Or perhaps as a species, we aren't so advanced after all?
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:35 PM   #14
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...
Or perhaps as a species, we aren't so advanced after all?
I think this is closer to my feelings. It's a jungle out there and there are people who actually want to do me in. It's always been like that. But at least in the USA we have some decent defenses.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:30 AM   #15
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The only thing I'll add is that those today that did not serve, understand the difference and treat our homecoming vets with a more respect. They understand that those who go "in harm's way" are not the same folks that make the decision to put them in the situation.

.
In the '60s and early '70s I had people curse, spit, and throw things at me when in uniform back home. When I was called back to active duty due to 911, I actually had people on numerous occasions thank me. What a change.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:50 AM   #16
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In the '60s and early '70s I had people curse, spit, and throw things at me when in uniform back home. When I was called back to active duty due to 911, I actually had people on numerous occasions thank me. What a change.
As a veteran, I much prefer the way soldiers are treated today but unfortunately it seems the supportive feelings for the soldiers have reduced the public's anger and activity with respect to ending wars.

The change in attitude is a big upside for soldiers on the one hand but a big downside on the other hand. The reduced overall anger, including the anger directed at soldiers, may ultimately allow more soldiers to be killed and wounded because the wars go on longer than they might have with greater public anger.

I would happily volunteer to be spit on if it ended the war even one life earlier.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:05 PM   #17
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As a veteran, I much prefer the way soldiers are treated today but unfortunately it seems the supportive feelings for the soldiers have reduced the public's anger and activity with respect to ending wars.

The change in attitude is a big upside for soldiers on the one hand but a big downside on the other hand. The reduced overall anger, including the anger directed at soldiers, may ultimately allow more soldiers to be killed and wounded because the wars go on longer than they might have with greater public anger.

I would happily volunteer to be spit on if it ended the war even one life earlier.
Do you think the fact we don't have the draft has a bearing on this?
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:21 PM   #18
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Do you think the fact we don't have the draft has a bearing on this?
The military doesn't necessarily want every Tom, Dick, and Harriett but if I was in charge, the draft would kick very soon after troops were deployed. The draft generates both anger and fear since it potentially gets skin in the game from everyone, either directly or via a family member. IMO, it also properly distributes the burden across many instead of a few.
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:20 PM   #19
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The draft generates both anger and fear since it potentially gets skin in the game from everyone (snip)....
Unfortunately, that's not true due to the "rules" being changed along the way.

During the Nam draft of the early 60's, you could get an exemption if you are married and later due to having children. By the mid 60's, this exception was eliminated.

In 1969, the draft lottery system started in order to let eligible draft age know of where they fell in the "mix".

When I received my physical notice (one step before the draft notice) in 1966, a few weeks after my 18th birthday, there was no way out for the "poor folks" (e.g. those that didn't have a college deferment or able to run away to Canada - or any other country that did not have "skin" in the action) and since my birthday was in early January, I knew that I would be going. However, in my case I enlisted (through a deferred enlistment program) at age 17 that would allow me to finish up the tech school I was attending at the time which was non-accredited and would not result in a deferment until I finished up when I was 18.5 years old. As someone who went through the period, I felt that there was a true distinction and a great hated for those that avoided the call due to their personal circumstances - having the money to flee or being able to go to college which was not my option, due to the "family dynamics" I was raised in.

If there was a draft (and I don't believe there will ever be another in my lifetime), I don't think it would, or could ever be made "equal". Heck, even in the Civil War, there were exceptions due to being immigrants and men with few resources http://www.civilwarhome.com/conscription.htm
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Old 07-22-2012, 03:52 PM   #20
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Unfortunately, that's not true due to the "rules" being changed along the way.

During the Nam draft of the early 60's, you could get an exemption if you are married and later due to having children. By the mid 60's, this exception was eliminated.

In 1969, the draft lottery system started in order to let eligible draft age know of where they fell in the "mix".

When I received my physical notice (one step before the draft notice) in 1966, a few weeks after my 18th birthday, there was no way out for the "poor folks" (e.g. those that didn't have a college deferment or able to run away to Canada - or any other country that did not have "skin" in the action) and since my birthday was in early January, I knew that I would be going.[/URL]
We had the "Cadillac exemption" with our local draft board.

It worked like this. The head of the local draft board had a Cadillac dealership. It your daddy went in and bought a new Cadillac at full price, no dickering, then the odds that your pending request for an exemption or deferment would be approved became very good indeed. It was one of the more interesting aspects of small town laissez faire capitalism...
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