Friday, July 07, 2006

60's Culture: Vietnam Vets

Homecoming Party
Hank Haven (Pennsylvania):
I went to Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam as a Phantom II (F4C) fighter pilot in July 67 and returned in July 68. It was a time of anti war upheaval in the United States (The GI’s knew as “The Real World”). Protesters were everywhere demeaning the returning GI’s. I had been home about two weeks trying to get my time zones turned around from the jet-lag of being halfway around the world, when I found out about a ‘small’ party that was being set up in my honor. Mom and Dad, with the help of a lot of family and friends had set up a dance floor, juke box, hurricane lamps, food tables, drinks and chairs. They had invited what seemed about half the town (600 people) to welcome me back home. There was our Congressman, Mayor, family and friends all there to greet me and to show that they didn’t agree with the protesters. It was an extraordinary event that I’ll never forget. Very few people asked me about the war but they did ask me if I had seen “The Graduate” with Dustin Hoffman. They seemed to think I favored him a little. Thank you for your kindness.

This is one of my mission pictures.

Your turn: Comment (below), Blog (at right) or Email (we'll post for you)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Another Vietnam Vet

Walter Ferguson, Dickson, Tn. I was in Vietnam in 68. I was a doorgunner with the 121st Assault Helicopter Co. in Soc Trang. Richard Hodges was there at the same time and we sent a photo to the Times Hearld. Our parents were so surprised. We were standing next to a chopper. J.O. Smith, Keith Harrelson.....I'm not sure who else went. After I got home I remember talking in Mr. Webbs history class to kids about what I did. I'm so thankful to be alive. St. Farncis County has a long history of Veterans. WF

Bogie: Thanks so much for your service. I pray for our guys overseas now and hope that they can come home soon. The freedoms I enjoy come only from one place--our vets!Thanks again and God bless you!


Anonymous Sula said...

Awesome picture Hank. It puts into perspective the terror of war and some tidbit of the awesome demands of your service. Thank you for serving and for returning safely. Great story - looking forward to more posts from you.

Sat Jul 08, 08:48:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Administrator said...

There will never be enough done for our GI's returning from a foreign land fighting for us and others around the world. "No greater love". I did not know of Hank's service until just now. I knew Hank in high school--remember me Hank? Paulette Bogart, class of '62. By the time you and others were being sent away, I was busy getting my family and life here in Greenwood, Mississippi started. I lost track of you guys in other classes, and I'm sure there are others that were sent overseas along with you that we don't know about. How about it guys? Let us hear about your service--it helps us to know about you so we can thank you properly.

Sat Jul 08, 11:14:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Administrator said...

I just heard from a old high school friend of mine that did several tours in Vietnam. His homecoming and visits didn't turn out like Hank's. N.E. Threat, class of '62, was spat on in flight between Dallas and San Fransisco. Of course, that seemed to be the sign of the times--still, it is always uncalled for to treat a soldier that way. Thanks to the "truthful" media that we had in those days, America was snookered into thinking our own vets were the enemy. I still turn off NBC, CBS and ABC.
Thanks to you N.E. and those like you who held your ground. I know N.E. personally and he has served his country well. The class of '62 looks forward to seeing you at our reunions in the future!!

Sat Jul 15, 03:11:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was reading some stuff about Forrest & started trying to think about what it would have been like in the years after the civil war...and then I read the post above...and thought "you know we experienced a very similar experience to the civil war with the opposing positions on the Vietnman war right within our own cities, towns and neighborhoods." It leaves wounds of all kinds to be so divided as a nation. I remember reading about returning men from the Civil War and how in some areas where there were relatives who fought, even brothers, on opposite they wouldn't even walk on the same side of the street...and that went on for decades. Well this site is about growing up -- our childhood...the perspective from a child's point of view...maybe we could stay predominantly focussed on that as our collective positive bonding...and leave for another forum the affairs of grown ups and the sobering journey of adulthood?

Sat Jul 15, 05:12:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Bogie for your kind words. I had combat time in Grenada, Panama, Desert Storm and else where, also. None of which, I was treated like I was upon returning from Viet Nam. Our news media today is in a similar stance as it was in Viet Nam, only the bad and some of that twisted to make it worst is being reported. I am still serving our country as a civilian for the US Army in Atlanta. N. E. Threat

Sun Jul 16, 05:34:00 AM 2006  

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