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-   -   Two MOH Winners say Bush Didn't Serve (http://www.aviationbanter.com/showthread.php?t=9357)

Ed Rasimus June 13th 04 11:22 PM

On Sun, 13 Jun 2004 22:07:21 GMT, Michael Wise wrote:

In article ,
Ed Rasimus wrote:

Burkitt reserves a lot of space in his book to discuss the VA.



Meaning what? Does he claim combat vets and/or disabled vets working for
the VA are less than honest?


"Stolen Valor" is a very worthwhile read. It covers a lot of urban
myths about the war--things like the average age of the combatants
being only nineteen or predominantly minorities. It covers the poseurs
and wannabes--folks claiming distinctive service, high level awards,
and special status. It also talks extensively about the VA's interest
in perpetuating PTSD to the point of falsifying diagnoses for the
purpose of maintaining high funding levels.

(Please do not jump ahead and suggest that I'm all wet if I deny PTSD.
I certainly do not. Read the book and see what Burkitt documents.)


During Rolling Thunder, I got up each day and went to a briefing with
25 other guys. On average, each and every day for six months, one of
those 25 would be lost. Some days, none. Some days three or four.
Average, one a day. Keep going to the briefing and one day you will be
the one.


Well my hat goes off to you and to all those who paid in blood or risked
that blood doing what their country told them to do. I find it next to
impossible to understand how any vet (especially a combat vet) would
make statements about not "****ing on somebody if they were one fire"
when that somebody also risked their all and shed blood for their
country.


It isn't Kerry's combat experience that can speak for itself whether
you respect it or find it self-serving. It is his conduct during the
Winter Soldier testimony, his categorization of the military still in
harm's way as criminals and guilty of atrocities, his throwing of
someone else's medals over the White House fence, his alignment with
VVAW and offering of aid/comfort to the enemy.

He now seeks to turn the clock back and trade on his combat experience
as that seems to offer more traction in a nation at war.

The odds of completing a 100 mission NVN tour were poor. In '66 an
F-105 was lost every 65 missions over NVN. For every five that started
a tour, three of the five would be lost. 40% survival rate.

There are definitely ground units from the war that suffered similar
rates, but that is the exception.



I don't doubt what you're saying for a minute. Never having been in
combat, I can't speak from experience, but numbers on paper be
damned...I'll take fighting from above over eyeball to eyeball at close
quarters any day.


So will I.

Didn't you say a while back that you were in the CSAR business? Never
got to employ your skills?



Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
Smithsonian Institution Press
ISBN #1-58834-103-8

Michael Wise June 14th 04 01:14 AM

In article ,
Ed Rasimus wrote:

...It also talks extensively about the VA's interest
in perpetuating PTSD to the point of falsifying diagnoses for the
purpose of maintaining high funding levels.



Fair enough. I guess I'll have to read the book to find out the details.
However, if the VA has falsified diagnoses for financial gain as the
author apparently claims, it hasn't been very successful. Both Bush Sr.
and Jr.'s admins have slashed VA funding tremendously. It seems like the
leaders who beat the war drums the loudest and lavish money on the
military the most...also have no qualms about screwing over the people
who answered the call and paid for it in blood.

The latest shining example is maimed vets (returning from Iraq) at
Walter Reed actually being charged for their food (because the
government didn't want to pay for it).


(Please do not jump ahead and suggest that I'm all wet if I deny PTSD.
I certainly do not. Read the book and see what Burkitt documents.)



Sounds like a worthwhile read. The only book I've ever read concerning
Vietnam was Chickenhawk....which being a helo type, I enjoyed immensely.


...
It isn't Kerry's combat experience that can speak for itself whether
you respect it or find it self-serving.


I don't find ANYBODY's combat experience to be self-serving. If you put
your ass on the line and/or shed blood, honor is merited.

It is his conduct during the
Winter Soldier testimony, his categorization of the military still in
harm's way as criminals and guilty of atrocities,


Did he say that all military personnel in Vietnam were criminals and
guilty of atrocities?


his throwing of
someone else's medals over the White House fence


What of it?

his alignment with
VVAW and offering of aid/comfort to the enemy.



How did he offer either aid or comfort to the enemy?


He now seeks to turn the clock back and trade on his combat experience
as that seems to offer more traction in a nation at war.



He was silent on it for a long time, but the media kept bringing it
up...over and over again. Is he supposed to remain quiet about his
honorable service to country?

The Republicans made such a big deal about Clinton not having served and
avoiding serving. Now that their opposition served in combat and served
with honor while their candidate and many of the people in his admin
(the people who really run this country) did everything in their power
to avoid putting their asses on the line is on the table...they do
everything to discredit honor where honor is due and inflate the service
to country of a chickenhawk administration.

It's bad enough when chickenhawk politicians use such tactics, but its
shameful when real vets do. You don't have to like John Kerry (I
personally don't although the alternative is unthinkable) and you don't
have to vote for him. But to **** on his service because he came home
against the war (like many vets) and was outspoken about it is shameful.


...
Didn't you say a while back that you were in the CSAR business? Never
got to employ your skills?



Nope. About 10 years too young to have served in Vietnam and got out
well before Iraq. I was in the active reserves (HS-246) during the first
Iraq affair, but never got called...and quit the reserved after
hostilities ended (out of disgust over US troops being sent there in the
first place).

My CSAR experience is limited to the Nevada desert around NAS Fallon and
a few close calls with some Iranian gunboats off of Bandar Abbas.


--Mike

B2431 June 14th 04 02:08 AM

From: Michael Wise
Date: 6/13/2004 1:09 PM Central Daylight Time
Message-id:

In article ,
Ed Rasimus wrote:

One interesting thing I've noted is that Vietnam vets who fought
hand-to-hand combat seem to overwhelmingly be far less retroactively
gung-ho on the war than those who flew fixed wing far above. Why do you
suppose that is?


There could be a number of reasons. First, the number who today claim
"hand-to-hand combat" seems unfortunately to be drastically inflated
by thousands of poseurs claiming to be something they were not. See
Burkitt's "Stolen Valor" for some astonishing tales.


I doubt any of us who are or have been on active duty have much trouble
spotting a poseur. I'm speaking based on conversations I had with people
who most definitely fought hand-to-hand, like the people I served with
who flew CSAR, some of the people I worked with at the VA, and more than
a handful of disabled vets who I assisted in getting their benefits.

Why is it that most of those people are far less gung-ho about that
conflict than people such as yourself who flew high above the ground?
I'm not trying to denigrate any type of combat experience, but 24/7
dangers faced on the ground apparently fostered different impressions.


The primary differences between those of us on the ground and those in the air
was we had a shorter distance to fall and they had better quarters. We spent
98% of the time bored out of our minds, they had a lot less boredome time. Are
you under the impression all Ed had to do was hop into his 105 fly for 2 hours
then hop out and go to the club? I assure you between mission planning,
briefing, preflight, ops, debrief etc he had a longer period of activity in his
day than those on the ground. We could relax and watch the grass grow at least.




Of those who served on the ground, the proportion of career to draftee
and officer to lower-rank enlisted could change the perception of
events. Of ground vets from Vietnam, I have seldom encountered any
that went so far as John Kerry in their condemnation of their fellow
warriors.


Are you speak of encounters with them while the war was still going...or
years later?


As for those who flew "far above", you might want to consider the
sustained loss rates of the Rolling Thunder participants in comparison
to those "hand-to-hand" combats. Or, maybe check the proportion of
POWs between the ground and air combatants.



Nobody questions the dangers faced by aircrews who flew missions in
Vietnam. However, in a fast-mover your odds of getting back to base
outside the country for a cold beer and a hot meal are much better than
the grunt in the jungles with an M-16 even surviving.


That's funny. Did you happen to notice the vast majority of the grunts in the
field actually survived?

I don't see how
that can be denied. It's one of the reasons I wasn't a grunt...even
though I knew the chances of surviving any more than a handful of
potential CSAR missions was not good.


And you got this data where?


--Mike


Dan, U.S. Air Force, retired








B2431 June 14th 04 02:16 AM

From: Michael Wise
Date: 6/13/2004 1:24 PM Central


snip

A gazillion trained bodies with a dirty AK's in one hand and white
flags in the other does not constitute a major force.


Mike, trained forces don't have dirty weapons. If you had ever been in the
military and had weapons training you'd know that. The only time I came across
dirty weapons they were either abandoned or USAF aircrew weapons in my last
unit since they tended to not clean their weapons even after firing them,

Now how is a "gazillion trained bodies" with weapons NOT a major force? Would
you go up against them? The VC did pretty good work for a bunch of people with
low tech weapons as did the Soviet infantry in WW2.

--Mike


Dan, U.S. Air Force, retired


Michael Wise June 14th 04 02:42 AM

In article ,
(B2431) wrote:

A gazillion trained bodies with a dirty AK's in one hand and white
flags in the other does not constitute a major force.


Mike, trained forces don't have dirty weapons.


Actually, I meant to say "untrained" as should be apparent within the
context of the sentence.


If you had ever been in the
military and had weapons training you'd know that.


Growing up in a house with several hundred pistols and rifles (my father
is collector); qualifying with .45, 9mm, and M-60 in the military
frequently flying with an firing the (M-60 in the door of my helo); and
visiting the range at least once a month now, I'm quite well aware of
that.

As I said, it was a typo: I meant to say "untrained."


The only time I came across
dirty weapons they were either abandoned or USAF aircrew weapons in my last
unit since they tended to not clean their weapons even after firing them,



Not surprising...given it's the USAF we're talking about. ; )


Now how is a "gazillion trained bodies" with weapons NOT a major force?



Because they were "untrained."



--Mike

Michael Wise June 14th 04 02:55 AM

In article ,
(B2431) wrote:


Why is it that most of those people are far less gung-ho about that
conflict than people such as yourself who flew high above the ground?
I'm not trying to denigrate any type of combat experience, but 24/7
dangers faced on the ground apparently fostered different impressions.


The primary differences between those of us on the ground and those in the
air
was we had a shorter distance to fall and they had better quarters.


And also faced with the day to day real possibilities of close quarter
brutal combat.

We spent
98% of the time bored out of our minds, they had a lot less boredome time.
Are
you under the impression all Ed had to do was hop into his 105 fly for 2
hours
then hop out and go to the club?



Nope. That's not what I said or meant to say.

I assure you between mission planning,
briefing, preflight, ops, debrief etc he had a longer period of activity in
his
day than those on the ground. We could relax and watch the grass grow at
least.



Having flown some 6-7 hundred missions (peacetime) myself, I'm quite
well aware of what is involved outside the actual flight itself. Still,
I would much rather take my chances in the air than on the ground.




Nobody questions the dangers faced by aircrews who flew missions in
Vietnam. However, in a fast-mover your odds of getting back to base
outside the country for a cold beer and a hot meal are much better than
the grunt in the jungles with an M-16 even surviving.


That's funny. Did you happen to notice the vast majority of the grunts in the
field actually survived?


As did the vast majority of aviators.


I don't see how
that can be denied. It's one of the reasons I wasn't a grunt...even
though I knew the chances of surviving any more than a handful of
potential CSAR missions was not good.


And you got this data where?



From the 1/3 of the pilots in my helicopter squadron who flew CSAR in
Vietnam; CSAR training, and real-world CSAR exercises where we were
constantly lit up. Is that a good enough source for you, or do you know
better?



--Mike

Pete June 14th 04 03:13 AM


"Michael Wise" wrote

Fair enough. I guess I'll have to read the book to find out the details.
However, if the VA has falsified diagnoses for financial gain as the
author apparently claims, it hasn't been very successful. Both Bush Sr.
and Jr.'s admins have slashed VA funding tremendously. It seems like the
leaders who beat the war drums the loudest and lavish money on the
military the most...also have no qualms about screwing over the people
who answered the call and paid for it in blood.

The latest shining example is maimed vets (returning from Iraq) at
Walter Reed actually being charged for their food (because the
government didn't want to pay for it).


This condition has been in effect for a very long time.

If a military member is receiving BAS (Basic Allowance for Subsistance), and
is also receiving meals in a military facility (mess facility or hospital),
s/he is required to either pay for the meals at whatever the standard rate
is, or forfiet the per day BAS pay.
You can't receive money to eat, and also get free meals.

See DOD 7000.14-R VOL 7, Ch 25 (Feb 2002)
http://usmilitary.about.com/gi/dynam.../07a/07A25.pdf

------------------------------
2505 Meal collection rate

250501. Any member receiving a full BAS type must pay for all meals and
rations that he or she receives from, or on behalf of, the government. All
meals furnished by or on behalf of the U.S. Government will be charges at
the rates established annually by the Under Secretary of Defense
(Comptroller)

C. All members receiving any type of full BAS and not on per diem orders, in
the following listed categories, will have the collections for meals
deducted from their pay account. The collections will be for full days at
the discouont meal rate, except the first and last day will be collected at
25 percent of the discount meal rate. Exception to pay account collection
will be made for any meals paid in full by the individual in cash.

1. Sea duty or temporary afloat assignment.
2. Field duty or temporary field assignment
3. Group travel
4. Essential messing
----------------------------------------

Let me reiterate - you can't get paid for BAS, *and* eat free meals.

Now...the case may be made that combat hospitalized personnel should be
exempted, but this is not a condition put in place by Bush and Co to screw
the military members over. It would be an exception to the standing rule.

It certainly *sounds* bad to the non-military person! "OMG....you're making
wounded GI's pay for their own meals in a military hospital? You cheap
*******s!"

Of course, I could be completely wrong, and this was a specific change by
the current administration to the previous regulations. But I'd have to see
some proof of that.

It certainly was the case when I enlisted in 1976, and still was when I
retired in 1997.

Pete



Buzzer June 14th 04 03:51 AM

On Mon, 14 Jun 2004 00:14:01 GMT, Michael Wise wrote:

Both Bush Sr.
and Jr.'s admins have slashed VA funding tremendously.


"...John McNeill, deputy director of the VFW, credited the Bush
administration with increasing the VA's health care budget during the
last few years..." ?

The latest shining example is maimed vets (returning from Iraq) at
Walter Reed actually being charged for their food (because the
government didn't want to pay for it).


"The rule was established because most military personnel receive
$8.10 a day as a "basic allowance for subsistence" for food. But when
they are hospitalized, the government tries to recoup the money on the
theory that they are eating hospital food and therefore are
double-dipping."

Military personnel that had to eat in the chow hall, and usually live
on base, pay nothing while in the hospital, but those authorized,
usually to live off base, whether married or unmarried get $8.10 a day
extra to pay for food.

So if they forgive the $8.10 a day one person makes money and the
other gets nothing? And they will probably end up changing the law
because the single person living in the barracks eating in the chow
hall is always the one coming out on the short end of the stick...


Steven P. McNicoll June 14th 04 04:38 AM


"Michael Wise" wrote in message
...

Ed, can I ask when John Kerry ever said that _everybody_ serving in
Vietnam has committed atrocities and were war criminals (verifiable cite
please)?

I don't see him how saying that atrocities were going on translates to
everybody was doing them.


Can I ask who said that Kerry said that_everybody_ serving in Vietnam had
committed atrocities and were war criminals? (Verifiable cite please?)

Kerry said that thousands had committed atrocities in Vietnam, that it was a
policy ordered from the top and known at all levels in the chain of command.

"I committed the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of others in that I
shot in free fire zones, used harassment and interdiction fire, joined in
search and destroy missions, and burned villages. All of these acts were
established policies from the top down, and the men who ordered this are war
criminals." John Kerry, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, April 1971



"I would like to talk on behalf of all those veterans and say that several
months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably
discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to war crimes
committed in Southeast Asia. These were not isolated incidents but crimes
committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all
levels of command." John Kerry, Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement,
April 23, 1971



Steven P. McNicoll June 14th 04 04:53 AM


"Michael Wise" wrote in message
...

So a single person who boasts of being a "staunch Republican"


What boast?



and whose
name was given to the press by "a Republican close to Bush" and who
claims to have witnessed all these appearances which nobody else can
recall constitutes credible evidence on your planet?


Yes, on my planet, Earth, this man is a credible witness. Not so on your
planet?




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