Skip to main content

General Martin Dempsey

General Martin Dempsey
Last night while we were watching the PBS Memorial Day ceremony, they introduced the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey. My eyeballs almost popped out and I blurted:
"He doesn't have either Vietnam medals!"

I guess the man was too young to make the war.

Republic of Vietnam campaign medal
What does that make me and the rest of us Vietnam Veterans?  Dinosaurs?  Are we now like the vanishing WWII and Korean War Vets to the general public?  I found this very disturbing.  I don't feel all that old and I have both these medals and the DD-214 to prove it.
Vietnam Service Medal

Comments

Anonymous said…
I was thinking about the differences the Nam vets had to face on returning home. Scorn, derision, hatred. At least 75% of these people didn't want to go in the first place yet did their duty and lived to come home again. The didn't have the comforts of today's modern soldier, they didn't have the support of their countrymen, they didn't even have the sense that they were doing the right thing. My Dad was a Viet Nam vet. There was no parade, no party, no people lining the streets to welcome him home. If the American people had seen what I and my friends saw, daily, rows upon rows of pallets of wooden boxes, stacked one upon the other, each containing a young man gone before his time, the war would have ended much sooner. The forklifts worked day and night at Dover AFB, shifting these boxes, sorting them out for the Last Flight Home. These newer Generals have seen action in boardrooms and computer screens. Will they earn their campaign ribbons from a desk? You are now an "old soldier". You were actually there. SW
Anonymous said…
Yep! Not many leaders were around for Vietnam. We were on hand yesterday in Mayport to greet a guided missile cruiser come home after 7 ½ months at sea. Very emotional! 7 sailors met their babies for the first time. We love spending Memorial Day surrounded by Active Duty and retired Veterans. Everyone seems to understand. No explanations necessary. TW
Anonymous said…
Thanks Bert. I'm sore all over from moving my aunt out and in. Now I feel old on top of that! But, it ain't nothing' but a thing and on this day of memories I'm still here. BM
Anonymous said…
Have a great day Bert..... WF
Anonymous said…
General Dempsey was a Vietnam Era Veteran. He was in the Military a year before the war ended, but was never "boots on the ground' in Nam. AD
Anonymous said…
Wow. CB
Anonymous said…
Returning warriors of honor. Semper Fi and thank you for serving sir.
Anonymous said…
Yes you are a dinosaur.

When I was still on active duty at Hill AFB the base newspaper ran an article about people on base's different experiences in the AF. I was the only person on base, officers and enlisted, who had served in Nam. That was in 1989.

Take care. CN

Popular posts from this blog

Camp fires, wood smoke, and burning leaves.

When I was a kid, everyone burned leaves in the fall. I always enjoyed it so much.It was a happy time. Man, that smell was amazing and you couldn’t go anywhere without smelling it. Of course now I know that it is a major source of air pollution and those of us that live inside the city limits are restricted from doing it. I don’t think I would burn them anyway, choosing to compost instead.
The whole family would engage in raking the yard and the reward was burning the leaves. The thick gray smoke would pour out like liquid clouds and we would run through it. Afterward, we smelled like smoke, but we didn’t care. I would wager that most people under the age of 30 have never even raked leaves into a pile, let alone burn them.
Growing up in north Georgia in the late 60’s, my 3 brothers and I would camp out most of the summer and burn anything and everything on our campfire. At the end of summer there wouldn’t be a stick, pine cone, or needle on the ground. We smelled like mountain men a…

Riding the waves

Back in 1974, after coming back to the USA from the unpleasant conflict in Southeast Asia, I was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California. Vandenberg has 20 miles of coastline that is basically closed to the public and people in residence, regardless if you are in the military or not. This rule didn’t seem to affect my fellow airmen and I from going body surfing on a lonely stretch of beach, far from controlling authorities. There was a submerged shelf that ran out a couple three hundred yards from the beach that was flat and about 6 feet deep.You could swim way out there and as the ocean waves came in, they would hit that shelf and make 5 feet high waves that white-capped all the way in. Now mind you, this was pre-Jaws and none of us had ever heard of a Great White shark. Year later I read where this stretch of beach was prime habitat and a couple years ago, an airman was killed right there.
We had been in the 65 degree water for about an hour and I was turning …

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

I wish I could remember who it was that said you can get a basic education in three years, but let us take a look at Ben Franklin as an example of that. We have a family joke that the answer to almost any Jeopardy clue is almost always “Who was Ben Franklin?”
When I am asked who I would most likely enjoy an afternoon with, it is always Ol’ Ben, the only President of the United States, who was never the President of the United States. Did you know he was the master of self-promotion and a man I admire? Even as a young lad, if he spotted a person of higher station, he would grab a shovel or some tool and begin to work diligently. The person would see him and remark, “What a fine worker that young man is!”
I’ve read a couple of books on the man and it still amazes me that he did so much with so little organized education. “From 1714-1716, Franklin attended Boston Grammar School and George Brownell's English School (for one year each) but he was withdrawn due to the expense of formal…