A local story repeated at the Stars and Stripes covers Willard Keith Staneart, who served as an Army chaplain during Vietnam. Faced with the potential of an overwhelming attack by the Viet Cong, Staneart spoke with his battalion commander:
“He said, ‘Chaplain, every one of these young men are like my own sons. Their parents and their spouses are dependent on my getting them home safely,'” Staneart said. “He says, ‘I’ve failed. They’re all going to die tonight.'”
The commander asked Staneart to go around, pray with and counsel the men.
“I took a Bible, went Read more
The Moving Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is a half-scale representation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. The Moving Wall travels around the country, “paying tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
The wall was recently at Desert Hot Springs, California, where a local Marine Color Guard supported its opening ceremony.
The display of the wall has also included, in at least one case, a POW/MIA Remembrance Read more
Just prior to Memorial Day retired LtGen William “Jerry” Boykin wrote a column in the Washington Times entitled “Rolling Thunder, ‘Missing Man’ tables and the Bible.” Rolling Thunder is the annual arrival in Washington, DC, or thousands of motorcyclists at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Gen Boykin notes Rolling Thunder also supports Missing Man or POW/MIA Tables around the country — something certain government agencies have actually made more difficult.
After noting the traditional makeup fo the POW/MIA table, Boykin said: Read more
Guy Gruters recently spoke at a gathering at the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center at Pensacola, Florida. The first words of the official Navy article on the event are fascinating:
Guy Gruters is a religious man. You would be, too, if you’d been in his shoes.
Then-Lt Gruters was an Air Force F-100 pilot in Vietnam who, after his second shootdown, was captured and spent nearly six years as a POW. One of his cellmates was Lance Sijan, and Read more
A local Iowa paper covered Charles Wright, a Vietnam veteran who was drafted in 1966 and entered the US Army as a conscientious objector:
Perhaps the most impressive fact about Wright’s service is that, despite being injured, despite witnessing horrors, despite growing ever-immune to those tragedies, his time in war only strengthened his faith in God.
Read more about Wright, now a pastor, here. Read more
The following video captures the audio of a (genuine) 1966 spoof public affairs interview, in which a fighter pilot gives “real” answers to a reporter’s questions, and a Public Affairs officer then “translates,” with the repetitive lead-in, “what the Captain means…”
Some might say the “filter” from front line reality to the media portrayed in the piece is as true today as it was then.
Warning: The audio contains multiple profanities — in answer to every single question.
The video was reportedly created by two US Air Force PA officers.
The Stars and Stripes chronicles the return of retired US Air Force Col Lee Ellis to the Hanoi Hilton — the infamous POW prison that housed him for more than two of the six years of his capture.
Other memories came floating back — leg irons and handcuffs, rubber sandals to make it difficult to escape, a steady diet of pumpkin soup alternating with months of cabbage soup, and a first meal as a prisoner of fish heads and rice, which apparently was standard fare for new captives. Before missions, pilots used to joke with each other to be careful or they’d be eating fish heads that night. Read more
US Rep Sam Johnson (R-Tx), a Vietnam era Air Force fighter pilot, wrote at the Christian Post that attacks on religious liberty in the United States “resemble my time in the Hanoi Hilton.”
You see, I endured painful torture at the hands of communists. I brutally experienced what it’s like to truly lose the privilege to worship as you see fit. As a prisoner of war in Vietnam for almost seven years, more than half of that time in solitary confinement, I withered away in a cellblock so isolating it could only be called Alcatraz.
Referring to a report by Senator Ted Cruz, Johnson says Read more