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Thread: Ken Burn's Vietnam series

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Rinty View Post

    I like Burns' work.
    So do I, and I enjoyed the first half of this series.

    However, it became progressively harder to watch. I would not say Ken Burns editorialized the script, but the usual thought provoking statements were missing and replaced with interviews.

  2. #17
    Registered User Bob_M's Avatar
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    I pulled number 360 in the last year of the draft. I remember the nightly news with the daily body count being a regular feature. What little of the series I have watched I found to be a heavy view that tried to be an unvarnished telling of history. I don't know if it is possible to avoid putting a spin on the telling. It is a story that needs to be told.

  3. #18
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    Lived on Hill 55 outside DaNang...no doubt met numerous father's of those now making shirts for us sold at Kohl's and the like, "Made in Vietnam". I am pleased the French were more successful helping us during our revolution, but then it was not so much a civil war.
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  4. #19
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUGENE View Post
    I remember '72 senior year H.S. listening to draft number being called on the radio in class. Luck had it, I had a high number so it was a no go for me.
    My freshman year roommate got number 1 in the first lottery. I think that was December of 1969. It's the only lottery prize he has ever won. It certainly motivated him to better grades. Another friend pulled something like 355. He took a year off from school and hitchhiked through Europe for a year.

    I got something in the mid 130's. Some years those number got you drafted, sometimes not. During the summer I worked in a machine shop with a number of guys who weren't fortunate enough to have had a student deferment. None of those veterans who had been in Viet Nam recommended the experience.
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  5. #20
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anyname View Post
    My freshman year roommate got number 1 in the first lottery. I think that was December of 1969. It's the only lottery prize he has ever won. It certainly motivated him to better grades. Another friend pulled something like 355. He took a year off from school and hitchhiked through Europe for a year.

    I got something in the mid 130's. Some years those number got you drafted, sometimes not. During the summer I worked in a machine shop with a number of guys who weren't fortunate enough to have had a student deferment. None of those veterans who had been in Viet Nam recommended the experience.
    Predating the lottery system was the old draft, the following from the Library of Congress provides an interesting description. After the lottery system was enacted, I'm not sure how deferments were handled for college students, apprentices and "critical" jobs.

    https://library.cqpress.com/cqalmana...cqal68-1282246
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  6. #21
    I was in the Army from 1983-1994. I can't imagine what the men that served during that time endured and suffered. I've known many Vietnam Veterans, heard some seriously f'd up stories that even I can't fathom. There are just some places we shouldn't be. The Middle East, Vietnam and Korea. While I respect and admire the Armed Services, the men who fought and died, I can't respect the Politicians that play chess with soldiers lives. I still don't regret serving.

    I was deployed to Panama for 3 months for Operation Just Cause with the 82nd. It was a cake-walk in comparison. Even though I saw the result of what we did, the ruins, doing door-to-door. The damage an AC-130 could do, the Stealth bomber I can say it's a very surreal experience. I missed being deployed to the Persian Gulf by one day. I was inflight to Germany. My unit, the 4/325 Airborne Infantry Regiment was one on the first units deployed. I simply lucked out.

    Before I enlisted for the Army I asked my father what the hardest part of being in the Army was, he said "Just being there." I've never heard a better explanation than that. I never knew he fought in Korea until after I left the Army. He was one of 10 people that made it back from his unit. He never talked about it but that one time. It's often referred to as the "forgotten war." Seems he wanted to forget it.

    I wish the "knee-taker" crowd had a better understanding of what Veterans and their families lost and gave. I have vowed to never watch the NFL again. They have no idea how disrespectful they are to fatherless children, widows, veterans who lost life and limb. Not to mention the Police that put their lives on the line. Regardless of their opinions or what they believe at least show respect, that's being men.

    You'll note in the documentary several of the Military leaders showed respect for the effort and resolve of their enemy. If a man can show that under the threat of death I'm sure a football player can show some respect on a feild. Soldiers don't make millions of dollars a year and don't get to protest where they are deployed to. Many don't go home. Football players do.

  7. #22
    As a followup to my earlier post: I was in college 1962 to 1966. I lost my deferment in 1966. I had for a while been in Army ROTC. I had also completed Marine Corps PLC (Platoon Leaders Class) - the Marine version of officer training school - 12 weeks at Quantico, Virginia. When I didn't graduate but was no longer in school (long sordid story of academic misfeasance) I was suddenly faced with the prospect of being a Marine Lance Corporal instead of an officer in the Marines - al la Vietnam, or somewhere else in the military. I was also 21 years old, #1 in my county at the pre-lottery draft, and primed to be drafted. The Air Force recruiter actually went to the March draft board meeting and asked that they defer drafting me for one month so he could finish my paperwork. They did. I was in the Air Force April 6. And I wound up in electronic warfare and radar operations in NORAD. My 30 person radar operations class was spit in two - in alphabetical order - 15 to NORAD, 15 went to TAC in southeast Asia. Being a "G" I went to NORAD for a bit over 6 years including such romantic spots as Iowa, North Dakota and Alaska. We did get to play with the Russians who sent recon planes along our coast so we would scramble F4 Phantoms on them, and then they would scramble fighters on our EC135s. Ah! The cold war.

    I was aware of the reports - faulty as they were - of the war during this time period. The Burns documentary hit every highlight in my memory and did a good job of explaining things. I was able to watch the entire series from an informed outsider's point of view absent the trauma of those actually there. That said, I do understand the pain that participants and survivors wish not to relive by watching the series.
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  8. #23
    Registered User powwow's Avatar
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    Born in '54, I pulled draft lottery number 251. Anyone who pulled 100 or less was required to get a physical, but then Nixon ended the war and nobody actually got drafted.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by anglojaxon View Post
    I wish the "knee-taker" crowd had a better understanding of what Veterans and their families lost and gave. I have vowed to never watch the NFL again. They have no idea how disrespectful they are to fatherless children, widows, veterans who lost life and limb. Not to mention the Police that put their lives on the line. Regardless of their opinions or what they believe at least show respect, that's being men.

    You'll note in the documentary several of the Military leaders showed respect for the effort and resolve of their enemy. If a man can show that under the threat of death I'm sure a football player can show some respect on a feild. Soldiers don't make millions of dollars a year and don't get to protest where they are deployed to. Many don't go home. Football players do.
    I understand that the football players are protesting the use of excessive force, often fatal, used against young black men. I doubt they mean any disrespect to veterans. If they are frustrated by the lack of "liberty and justice for all", I am not surprised. The loudest critic of the protests, is, as I recall, a bit of a draft dodger himself.
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  10. #25
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  11. #26
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    Why is it, when someone actually corrects the many imflamatory misstatements, you bring out popcorn man???




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  12. #27
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anyname View Post
    I understand that the football players are protesting the use of excessive force, often fatal, used against young black men. I doubt they mean any disrespect to veterans. If they are frustrated by the lack of "liberty and justice for all", I am not surprised. The loudest critic of the protests, is, as I recall, a bit of a draft dodger himself.
    I'm still trying to understand how kneeling came to indicate disrespect toward the flag, the military or anything else. I was taught to kneel when entering and leaving church as well as during the service. Knighthoods are accepted by kneeling before the monarch and swearing loyalty. I don't watch football, but as I understand it, "taking a knee" basically means "I'm done, don't hit me", much like a dog showing it"s belly. Kneeling is the stereotypical posture for proposing marriage and other forms of begging.

    So why are so many saying that kneeling indicates disrespect, when in any other situation it actually shows respect and submission?
    Last edited by lkraus; 10-09-2017 at 02:51 PM.
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  13. #28
    I too had a 360 draft number but enlisted in the Army, later served ten years in the Marines. Would you believe I was known as a "hawk?" Sgt 11D40 in the Army and Capt 0802 and 2602 in the Marines. Recently I watched what was in the Pentagon Papers. When at stationed at NSA I was briefed on our history in Iran, we were the bad guys, period. I saw Iran Contra plus our actions in Nicaragua first hand, no white hats there either. It taught me that a sign the Iranians put up during the hostage episode had a lot of validity: "We love the American people, but hate the American government." I believe they were right, our people are fantastic but our government lets us down at every turn. Vietnam was a terrible waste of young men's lives.
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  14. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Anyname View Post
    I understand that the football players are protesting the use of excessive force, often fatal, used against young black men. I doubt they mean any disrespect to veterans. If they are frustrated by the lack of "liberty and justice for all", I am not surprised. The loudest critic of the protests, is, as I recall, a bit of a draft dodger himself.
    http://nflarrest.com

  15. #30
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    There have been some excellent posts to this thread concerning Vietnam and the recent PBS series. I would like to see more of those contributions. I think it has been good, but by no means pleasant, to hear people share their memories of that time.

    Accordingly, would those folks interested in discussing the issue of the NFL protests please start a separate thread. It's a topic worthy of it's own thread.
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