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BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans

GUEST 13 Nov 04 - 10:51 PM
SINSULL 13 Nov 04 - 11:08 PM
GUEST 13 Nov 04 - 11:32 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Nov 04 - 01:03 AM
GUEST 14 Nov 04 - 01:25 AM
Dead Horse 14 Nov 04 - 04:14 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 Nov 04 - 06:15 AM
Little Hawk 14 Nov 04 - 09:12 AM
Rapparee 14 Nov 04 - 10:59 AM
Amos 14 Nov 04 - 11:07 AM
Rapparee 14 Nov 04 - 11:26 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Nov 04 - 11:46 AM
selby 14 Nov 04 - 12:13 PM
GUEST 14 Nov 04 - 12:18 PM
GUEST 14 Nov 04 - 12:42 PM
Peace 14 Nov 04 - 03:14 PM
Little Hawk 14 Nov 04 - 04:30 PM
Peace 14 Nov 04 - 04:33 PM
artbrooks 14 Nov 04 - 05:07 PM
Peace 14 Nov 04 - 08:58 PM
artbrooks 14 Nov 04 - 10:54 PM
Peace 14 Nov 04 - 10:55 PM
mack/misophist 14 Nov 04 - 11:46 PM
Joe Offer 15 Nov 04 - 02:49 AM
Dead Horse 15 Nov 04 - 10:59 AM
MarkS 15 Nov 04 - 12:21 PM
Uncle_DaveO 15 Nov 04 - 12:58 PM
frogprince 15 Nov 04 - 01:24 PM
beadie 15 Nov 04 - 01:51 PM
mack/misophist 15 Nov 04 - 02:02 PM
PoppaGator 15 Nov 04 - 03:06 PM
GUEST 15 Nov 04 - 03:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Nov 04 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,Chief Chaos 15 Nov 04 - 03:40 PM
mg 15 Nov 04 - 05:49 PM
GUEST 15 Nov 04 - 06:57 PM
NH Dave 15 Nov 04 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,Chief Chaos 15 Nov 04 - 07:08 PM
Padre 15 Nov 04 - 11:32 PM
Shanghaiceltic 16 Nov 04 - 01:53 AM
Cllr 16 Nov 04 - 05:10 AM
DougR 16 Nov 04 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,Norton1 16 Nov 04 - 02:45 PM
LynnT 16 Nov 04 - 04:18 PM
Chip2447 17 Nov 04 - 01:24 AM
GUEST 17 Nov 04 - 09:34 AM
Rapparee 17 Nov 04 - 09:44 AM
GUEST 17 Nov 04 - 01:30 PM
darkriver 17 Nov 04 - 02:48 PM
Barry T 17 Nov 04 - 08:52 PM
GUEST,Chief Chaos 18 Nov 04 - 12:25 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 01:09 PM
Shanghaiceltic 18 Nov 04 - 07:26 PM
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Subject: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Nov 04 - 10:51 PM

I'm guessing I'll likely get slammed for daring to post this question, so I have saved it until after Veteran's Day/Remembrance Day. Some of you may or may not know that I am morally opposed to war, and have never supported a war my nation has fought in my lifetime. I have no agenda in posting this, other than satisfying my own and I'm sure other Mudcat posters' curiousity about the military veterans among us.

Now, before I posted this, I had a look see in the archives. I don't recall ever seeing, and did find in the archives, a thread where all the Mudcat military vets tell about their personal military service, in the same way that people have posted to threads about what they do for a living, how old they are, how they came up with their Mudcat name, that sort of thing.

I know we've had stories from here and there throughout the threads down through the years about some posters' military service, but never in one thread. I was thinking it need not be complicated or anything, perhaps just "I'm from the US/UK/Aus or wherever, I served in this branch of the military from 19XX-19XX, during the _____ War, in ________ (country or place name where served). I'm not interested in who saw combat and who didn't, or war stories or anything. Just curious about peoples' military service.

I believe there are a number of veterans who are regulars here, not just from the US, and it would be interesting to hear what their military background is.

Starting with myself, I have never served in the military. I came of age during the Vietnam War in 1970, had no college deferment, but was never drafted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Nov 04 - 11:08 PM

"Some of you may or may not know that I am morally opposed to war, and have never supported a war my nation has fought in my lifetime."

How the hell would we know that? You haven't got a name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Nov 04 - 11:32 PM

OK, this isn't starting out so well. Bad idea, never mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 01:03 AM

So you'll give up the thread idea rather than claim a name in this discussion so people know who they're talking to? You're asking for some candid and perhaps painful dialog from Mudcatters who have identities. Take the plunge. Give yourself a name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 01:25 AM

NO, that isn't what I asked for at all. I said I was curious about posters here who are military vets, and I'm guessing most posters who are vets have already identified themselves as such.

I specifically said I was NOT looking for candid or painful dialog, not war stories, or anything like it.

I said I was curious as to what nation they served, what branch of the military, their time of service, what war they served during and country they were stationed in. Very simple, not a request to divulge anything beyond that, and if they divulge anything, only if they wish to do so.

I am certainly not trying to coerce information out of anyone. It just occurred to me reading over all the Veterans/Rememberance Day stuff, that I couldn't recall ever having seen a thread here for Mudcat posters to share that bit of information about their military service. Mudcat posters often have these types of threads. One that is currently running asked for peoples' ages, for example.

Really, that was all I meant. I have no interest in debating yet again, my choice to remain an anonymous poster. People can either participate in this thread or not. I am giving up the thread though, because of the silly focus on my anonymity instead of the subject at hand. Fine, so forget about the thread. We'll just drop it. End of story, end of thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Dead Horse
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 04:14 AM

So what is your nation, and when is your lifetime?
I do hope, that unlike many other "moral objectors", your morals didn't tell you to spit on the veterans that came back in one piece, or to ignore those that didn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 06:15 AM

Its not a bad idea. Not a bad idea at all. Lets face it history books get written about generals and war novels always have an agenda - even if its only to entertain the reader.

As I've said before on Mudcat quite recently, my Dad had a bad war (WW2) in a tank in the Irish guards. His death this year has brought home to me all the rotten stuff he went through in his life and made me wish I could have made it up to him better.

He always said if you weren't there you wouldn't understand - he added, phrases like wholesale slaughter take on a special meaning - and he couldn't bring himself to talk about it.

Perhaps veterans who find it difficult to talk would find it easier to e-mail.

I can't really understand your reluctance to tell us who you are. After all its not an indecent or illegal thing that you're proposing.

There always one or two clowns around who will sneer at pain, and belittle gallantry. You see that even with the dogbrains who say nasty malicious things about great performers, whilst they would never be brave enough to stand up on a stage as long as they drew breath. I don't think that can be avoided with an open forum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 09:12 AM

I've served in any number of armies, both winners and losers of past wars, probably navies too, and in at least one air force, but it was in other lives, not this one. I have scrupulously avoided military service in this life, having finally learned my lesson... :-) I'm a pacifist now.

I still take a great interest in military history and wargaming, but I recommend avoiding the playing of this particular game anywhere but on a tabletop or a computer screen. The suffering is not worth the glory, and your "enemy" is not really your enemy at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Rapparee
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 10:59 AM

Actually, it's not a bad idea at all -- I quite agree with GUEST, this info should be posted. But I've been flamed here and elsewhere because of my military service, and I don't want to get into it again. But my service is no secret, so I'll repost the story.

On my 18th birthday in 1963, my mother took me down to the local National Guard and I signed up. She strongly suggested this, for, in her words, "There's going to be another war one of these days and I heard too much from your father [a WW2 veteran] of soldiers sent into combat without much training. I don't want that to happen my boys."

The next year, my brother Tony also signed in the Guard.

Fast forward to April, 1968 and the riots that followed the murder of ML King. Our Guard unit was on standby, waiting in the Armory in case we had to deploy somewhere. We were going home for showers and such, but were still sleeping in the Armory, and one day the CO called us all together -- not in a formation, but as a bunch of guys gathered 'round. He was in sweatshirt and cutoff jeans; LBJ had just made his "I won't run again speech". The CO said, "We've received word that we'll be out of here within 24 hours."

Then, when we'd quieted down....

"We have received word from the Chicago Daily News, and confirmed it throught the AG's office in Springfield, that the 126th Supply and Service Company is ordered to a period of up to two years federal active duty, commencing 13 May 1968. We'll get more word to you as we know more. There'll be a drill this coming Tuesday night. You are all dismissed from riot duty. Go home."

And there was dead silence.

On May 13, 1968 we were mustered into active federal service. On May 14, 1968, Tony and I went to the bus station to see our brother Ted off to Air Force basic. On May 12, my mother had had 5 people living in the house; 48 hours later she had only my sister and herself there.

To make a long story short:

The 126th served at Chu Lai, Vietnam, where it earned another meritorious unit stream. Several people, those with Infantry MOS's, myself included, were seperated -- some served in Vietnam, some served in Alberta, I went to Korea and served with the 7th Infantry Division.

We were deactivated in August, 1969, as part of Nixon's "Secret Plan" to end the Vietnam war. I wasn't hurt (in Korea the killing was retail), Tony got a Purple Heart, the ARCOM, and a Bronze Star. Brother Ted ended up flying airborne voice intercept over North Vietnam, including air intelligence for the Son Tay raid -- while he's not officially a Vietnam veteran, I wouldn't suggest that you tell him to take off the ribbons he wears OR the 125 Air Medal awards he has.

Basically, Tony summed the whole thing up best: I'm glad I did it, but if I had it to do over I'd just as soon pass on it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Amos
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 11:07 AM

Beats the hell out of me why anyone should want to flame you, Rapaire, but thanks for the story.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Rapparee
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 11:26 AM

By the way, it's because of my own experience that I become plumb hostile when someone says, "Of course, the National Guard was a way to avoid Vietnam." Yes, I know that that was true most of the time, but it still gets my hackles up. So do those who jumped the waiting lists for Guard enlistment through political connections.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 11:46 AM

Guests who start threads and dismiss the objections of Mudcat members to speak at length to anonymous posters have an agenda of their own that makes the thread suspect. Fine if GUEST is now gone and regular Mudcatters choose to participate, but GUEST, for you to suggest that you aren't part of an ongoing problem or that your anonymity is my problem and not yours is disingenuous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: selby
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 12:13 PM

Any body can ask about experiences, my Father was awarded the Burma Star he was a Royal Marine but never talked about his part in the war.
My father in law, hated war with a passion, again he never discussed the war, he was at Dunkirk and Monte Casino.He never claimed his medals after the war. On his death we located a number of medals and "keepsakes that he taken from bodies".From my experience the one's that have been in the thick of it, don't talk much about it and would rather live with their own memories or ghosts
Keith


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 12:18 PM

Thanks Rapaire, you've gone much farther than anything I'd asked for, and that's terrific and very generous of you. That's exactly the sort of information I thought others might enjoy sharing too.

I didn't initiate the thread to get into this with anybody, it was simply a public service to the forum sort of idea, when I realized last night reading through the Veterans Day threads (someone always seems to end up by giving a wee blurb on where they served and when in those threads it seems), that I'd never seen a thread for just this sot of thing (that Rapaire has done). I checked the archive, and didn't find anything there either. So I started this thread.

Again, the reason I thought it would be kinda cool to start this thread was that there isn't one that gives those who served and feel like sharing the information here (like they do information about their pets, their families, their age, their jobs, etc) a chance to do so like this:

"I (Rapaire) served in the US Naional Guard from his 18th birthday in 1963 until being deactivated in Augst 1969. Was sent to Korea on active duty w/the 7th Infantry Division after being released from riot duty in Chicago."

Rapaire, I hope you don't mind my using your info as an example. Really folks, I just thought that with all the other "tell us about yourself" sorts of threads we've seen at Mudcat, that this sort of thread about people wasn't there, and I was surprised by that given the number of folks I seem to think are military veterans here. Thing is, my feeble mind can't remember who most of them are, when and where they served, that sort of thing.

You know, I just thought it would be interesting to have a thread where people who have served in the military, to tell what their service record was. I apologize for not saying in my opening post that I came of age in the US during the Vietnam War era, did not receive a college or any other deferment, but was never drafted.

That is as much information as I am willing to share. That includes my choice to remain anonymous. I am dismissing no one's objections to my choice to remain anonymous SRS, I'm just not going to answer them. I choose to remain anonymous, and that's the end of it for me. If other posters wish to complain in this thread about my choice, that's just fine. But it won't change my mind.

If others want to use this thread to share the information on their military service record, that's great. If they don't, that's great too. If someone wants to start another thread for doing what I've tried to do, that's great. If folks want to let this thread die, that's great too.

It was just an idea. You don't have to play along. You are all free to stay and play, or to take your ball and go home.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 12:42 PM

Keith my father passed away last year. And like your father in law he was at Monte Casino for the duration. He had leave and went back to it again and again.

We also found a few mementoes amongst his belongings. A pristine war journal diarising the battle day by day. I still am unable to finish reading it. The conditions he endured were horrific. There were a couple of Nazi medals and bits of uniform decorations. And a postcard written in German. We never knew who gave it to him and why he didnt post it.

He also hardly ever spoke about it. In all the time I knew him he mentioned it twice. At his funeral the priest made reference to his exemplary service and all the decorations he recieved. None of his neighbours or former colleagues knew he had ever served in the Army. Once when I asked for the tale, he began to talk and talk and carried on until he cried. Never saw him cry again.

The second time was when the BBC showed the World at War programme on Monte Casino. He sat us all down and made us watch it. Then he debunked the propaganda bit by bit. He told us about the innocent women and children he and his comrades murdered as they cowered in the church. It was an accident, but what an accident.

He told us that the footage of the allied troops marching up the village street and kicking open the doors to liberate the civilians was all faked. They had done that earlier and killed more innocents as they mistook them for hiding Germans. The BBC got them to do a rerun of that scene while the cameras were rolling and after the womens and kids bodies were removed.

He was the most compassionate man you could hope to meet. His experiences coloured his whole life in a silent way. He never glorified his role and despaired at every war that raged. He knew that the truth seldom is reported. He also knew firsthand the suffering being inflicted by both sides. I miss him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Peace
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 03:14 PM

GUEST:

You will miss him for the rest of your life. I know I do my grandfather, and he died in 1960. Seldom a day goes by when I don't think of him. However, it is seldom with sadness that he enters my mind. It's usually a thought of him and something he did or said, maybe a way he smiled or a principle he upheld. You ever want to talk, message me. I can keep my mouth shut--altough it often may not seem so.

Bruce M


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 04:30 PM

Your story is a familiar one to me, GUEST. It is normal for the winners of these various wars to sanitize and propagandize every incident in their own favour after the fact. Some of their soldiers who were there at the time know better... The truth is that all the armies involved committed murders and atrocities. Sometimes by accident. Sometimes by carelessness. Sometimes by deliberate policy. There could hardly be anything more deceitful than the chest-thumping propaganda concocted by the victorious powers following the horrors they have perpetrated in a war. Watch for it daily on CNN...Propaganda Central.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Peace
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 04:33 PM

The Clearly Not News group, huh? I agree. What do ya want the people to think and then we'll know what to tell 'em.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: artbrooks
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 05:07 PM

Is GUEST 12:18 PM the same as GUEST 12:42 PM? Sorry, but I'd just as soon not make my service fodder for an anonymous ghoul. If some identified Mudcatter would like to start a thread with the same question, I'd be glad to participate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Peace
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 08:58 PM

What question is that, Art?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: artbrooks
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 10:54 PM

GUEST 11/13/04 10:51 PM said "I believe there are a number of veterans who are regulars here, not just from the US, and it would be interesting to hear what their military background is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Peace
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 10:55 PM

Thanks, Art.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: mack/misophist
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 11:46 PM

It's hard to see how the question, as asked, could interest any one but a statistician. I served in the Navy and got out on 21 Mar, 1966. Nothing of interest there. If it matters, I joined when I realized my mother was never going to let me save enough money to move out of her house. Nothing more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 02:49 AM

I didn't believe in the war in Vietnam, but at the time I didn't think I could qualify for conscientious objector status. To keep myself out of Vietnam, I enlisted in the U.S. Army and used my college degree to get a guarantee of German language training and assignment to Germany. So, I was in the Army Oct 70 to Oct 73, and served two years in radio intelligence as a German linguist in Berlin. It was a good, interesting job, and kept me out of Vietnam.
Now I'm a complete pacifist, so they'd better not try to draft me.
-Joe Offer-


In brief:
U.S. Army, 3 years, 1970-73, Specialist E-5,
German linguist/voice intercept operator,
U.S. Army Security Agency Field Station Berlin


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Dead Horse
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 10:59 AM

Joe wrote ".....used my college degree to get a guarantee of German language training and assignment to Germany."
If you'd have tried that tactic in the UK, you would have wound up in Malaya :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: MarkS
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 12:21 PM

Vietnam, Army, October '68 to October '69.
2/12 CAV, Mostly out by the Cambodian border in war zone C
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 12:58 PM

After 4-1/2 years at the University of Minnesota, in art education, I left, with no degree. I took a number of courses I didn't need, had more than enough credits, but had avoided physical education and history of education. I had decided in my last quarter of practice teaching that I wasn't going to spend my life teaching, so I quit, to take some time to figure out what I was going to do.

But what was I going to do instead?   I had brain-fag at the time, and decided that Uncle Sam was going to take me away sooner or later anyway, so let's get it over with. I looked at signing up with either the Navy or Air Force, but both of those organizations wanted four years of my life. No way; two years was already too much. I wrote a letter to the draft board: "I am no longer a student at the U of M; please include me in your next induction call."   Can you imagine, those cooperative people at the draft board did just that!

Trained at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri (that's pronounced "misery") in engineer training. Got sent to a refrigeration technician school at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Luckily, I didn't go to FECOM (Far East Command), for the Korean mess which was going on, but was sent to Germany, where I was assigned to a quartermaster company which had, counting me, three refrigerator technicians; One set of refrigerator tools; and no refrigerators other than the ones in the mess hall. That's the army. During the time I was in that company I was never called on to service a refrigerator.

After a few months the local Army Finance office, which paid the troops in that area, needed help, and my quartermaster company loaned me to them until I returned to the U.S.

The upshot is that no-one ever fired a shot at me, I'm pleased to say. What's more, two things happened to me that were NEVER supposed to happen to a soldier in his time in the army: I never fired a weapon of any kind after basic; and I never spent one night in the field after basic.   A charmed life, I guess.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: frogprince
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 01:24 PM

Electronic Technician, U.S.Navy, 1964-1968. Eighteen months on a submarine tender tied up on Guam. Finished my hitch on a San Diego based destroyer. I missed going to the Viet Nam coast by pure fortunate luck; the destroyer had just come from Nam when I got to it and didn't go back until after dry dock, which took up the end of my enlistment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: beadie
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 01:51 PM

Flunked out of the U of Wisconsin in Mar 65. Enlisted in the USAF in order to avoid the (near) certainty of being drafted into the Army. After basic training, I ended up in medical corpsman school and then was permanent stationed to a SAC base in northeastern Montana. After three years there, Uncle Sugar, in his infinite wisdom, offered me a choice of going to Puerto Rico and getting out on my regular discharge date or to Canada (Goose Bay, Labrador) with a small extension on the enlistment. I can't speak Spanish, I hate hot weather, and house lizards are not my cup o' tea, so I went to Goose.    Discharged 19 July 69.   SSgt E-5

Bottom line, I enlisted to avoid the draft and got sent to dodger's paradise without jeopardizing my citizenship.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: mack/misophist
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 02:02 PM

This isn't what was asked. I just can't resist the opportunity to mention 2 of the strangest people I knew.

One was born in Denmark, naturalized Canadian at the age of 14, and dropped out of MIT because he thought the EE courses were too easy. Yes, he really was that smart. After dropping out he thought it would be interesting to acquire triple citizenship so he let himself be drafted. Spent his hitch repairing radars.

The second was an Algerian of German descent. He resented being drafted and was determined not to fire his weapon at anybody. He was sitting on the toilet reading a book it had taken him 3 months to special order from France when the Tet offensive started. A shell fragment destroyed the book and the next thing he knew, he was standing naked in a field, firing blindly in the direction of the attack.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: PoppaGator
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 03:06 PM

I initially refused to comply with the draft, and spent three years "on the lam" after my student deferment ran out. I had a high-enough draft lottery number and was officially "delinquent."

When I finally got busted by the FBI, I prepared an application for discharge as a conscientious objector before presenting myself for induction. I was 25 years old when I went through basic training with a bunch of 18-year-olds at the end of 1972; we were the last "class" of draftees before the draft ended as of January 1, 1973.

Because I had an "administrative action" pending (my request for discharge), I could not be transferred from the site of my basic training, Fort Dix, NJ. After New Years of 1973, Dix was a virtual ghost town -- it had been a training base, and now there were no more trainees. I worked as a clerk-typist (non-combatant) while waiting for my paperwork to be processed. My job was to figure out how to get a couple hundred names off the books -- guys who had disappeared, never been transferred to another base or discharged. It looked like I wasn't getting out of the Army until I figured out how to get all these other guys -- "ghosts" -- out first.

After about six months with no progress toward consideration of my application, I went AWOL for a couple of months. I was married when I came back (still am, by the way, to the same girl). I spent about a half-hour in a cell and went right back to my clerk job. Apparently, I was missed.

Another few months went by before I got my discharge. I was turned down for conscientious objector status, but did receive a full honorable discharge "for the convenience of the government." I had served 11 months active over a period of 13 months (including 2 months absent without leave).

I went into the experience somewhat nervously, and was singled out for some minor harrassment at first. I stood up to it OK, earned the grudging respect of most of my superiors, and influenced a number of my younger fellow-draftees to declare themselves pacifists as well. Especially after training was over and I was working as a clerk, I got to know many officers and NCOs who had been through combat, and I certainly had plenty of personal respect for them and their experiences, regardless of how I may have disagreed with some of their choices and opinions.

I managed to survive, in the end, which was my main concern. The fact that I wound up passing through military service in a deliberately limited fashion was little more than an inconvenience. Technically, I suppose that I am a "Vietnam-era veteran," but I don't represent myself as such. Looking back, it's impossible to say how much of my opposition to the war was moral steadfastness and how much was simple self-preservation; both elements were part of the mix.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 03:31 PM

Wow! These stores are so interesting! Makes ya wonder why we've never had one of these threads before, doesn't it?

My own story about military service is totally dull. I didn't dodge, didn't go through deferment hell, just slid through the end of the war with a high draft number, and never was called up. I was totally unscathed personally, but of course most everyone I knew wasn't. I did draft counseling (as in counseling against it), and I consider that my service to the country. :)

(Note to self: See, it WAS a good idea to start the thread, despite the begrudgers.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 03:39 PM

I thought for a moment that last GUEST might be the same as the one who started the thread?

But that one said he wasn't going to play any more when people politely suggested that for the thread he might adopt a temporary name, and flounced of saying "I am giving up the thread", so clearly it can't be the same one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 03:40 PM

Currently active duty, 16 years.

I joined because I needed a decent job and yes, I actually wanted to serve my country. Three times now (Operation Haitain Vacation between Desert storms) I have faced the possibility of being put "in harms way" without getting selected which I had no control over whatsoever. The funny thing is that my job on a good day was probably more dangerous than being in an armed unit. Because I am active duty you won't get much from me. Always somebody thinks they can cause trouble for you if you post something they don't like.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: mg
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 05:49 PM

I was a WAC(one of the last ones) attached to the Transportation Corps stateside..69-71. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 06:57 PM

Chief Chaos:

Do you mean that some Mudcatters will cause trouble for you in the service, or that people in the service would cause you grief if they found out about something you posted on the Mudcat? I find myself biting my tongue every now and then, and not posting exactly what I'm thinking because as a serving officer I don't have an unrestricted right to comment on matters of government policy: the thread on Canadian submarines is a case in point. More often, I restrain myself because I might be sitting down down some day at a session with the person who has just written something asinine and offensive on a military subject - see the thread on the Black Watch soldiers who were killed in Iraq.

My own service has never put me in harm's way. I have 22 years and 8 months of service, 5 as a reserve logistics officer, and the rest in the Canadian Forces Legal Branch. I have had tours in Bosnia and Haiti. Right now I am serving as defence counsel, which is why I am posting as a guest from Brandon, Manitoba. I will be in court tomorrow.

As far as I can tell, Chief Chaos, Reel Brew, and I are the only Mudcatters still in uniform. I hope I'm wrong.

Edmund


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: NH Dave
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 07:03 PM

My father had been in the Army during WWI, but never left the US . . . seems there was a giant influenza epidemic going on about that time - I understand that more died from "flu" than from combat. Come WWII he tried to enlist, but was deemed too old - 46 - by all of the services, and refused by the FBI although he was an accountant at the time.

I was in college at the end of the 50's but didn't feel that I was doing anyone much good there, myself especially, so joined the Army in the fall of 1960. I had asked for the longest electronics school I could get, and when the paper stopped flying was given my 8th or 9th choice. After I was in for a while and really knew what the graduates of those other schools did, I was glad to have gotten my particular school, Aircraft Electronics or Avionics.

After some time in the states, I was sent to Thailand and later Viet Nam, returned to the US in the spring of 1963, married a girl I had met earlier, when I was in NM., and went to Texas to look at tanks in the 1st Armored Division.

When my the end of enlistment was getting close, I decided to enlist in the Air Force, to wait out the enactment/renewal of the GI Bill, that would allow me to go back to school and finish up with a degree. six years later, I was north of Oslo, Norway, training the Norwegian Air Force folks on the radio systems of the Lockheed Hercules aircraft that they had bought, in a swap-out of older US aircraft deal, between them, the US, and Lockheed Aircraft. Since I had nearly nine years in, I decided to continue on and go for the retirement at twenty years of service.

Various other postings took me through various parts of the US, and then to England, where I got involved with a transportable communications outfit that provided communications assets to help manage airlift, both inter and intra-theater airlift, and came back to the states for another three odd years of the same work, although based in North Carolina. A short tour at the end of the Aleutian Chain was followed up with about four years in New Hampshire, my home state, and my first AF posting managing aircraft maintenance, ground safety, our unit's budget, and the numerous tasks help any organization perform its function. I retired from the AF at 48, with 26 years of active duty for a fair retirement pay, and the determination to finish some sort of a degree.

Another few years later I finally finished a degree in Computer Information Systems, a field that had barely existed in 1960 when I had originally enlisted, and had nothing at all to do with my previous education. Since my active duty spanned such an expanse of years, I drive personnel folks mad when I tell them, quite honestly that I am a Pre-Viet Nam Era, Viet Nam era, and post Viet Nam disabled veteran, material they are bound to report to someone who really cares about these sort of things. Oddly enough, Although I actually served, on the ground, in Viet Nam during the beginning of our activities in that country, that period of time is not considered Viet Nam War service, the eligibility period starting some years later, slim comfort to American Servicemen killed in support of the Vietnamese during those years, an all of my Viet Nam era time was spent in California, and England, training electronics, or managing airlift. Additionally, after serving in many positions halfway around the world, I was returned to a base about 120 miles away from my original home twice, and retired from that base, where I now make my home.

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 07:08 PM

Doesn't matter if they're in uniform, retired vets, or civies.
Because we don't actually have the freedom of free speach fellow servicemen have faced mast or court martial for saying what they felt and believed. It's a sad thing but necessary for good order and discipline. I don't fear my fellow catters, I've never felt like anything but family here (sometimes the weird little brother, but family none the less). But I still have to be careful. As you well know we can not disrespect the President or members of congress and the meaning of disrespect seems to have really shrunken compared to what I used to hear about president Clinton. Also thinking OPSEC keeps me from posting some things. I'm only sorry I can't share what I know sometimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Padre
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 11:32 PM

US ARMY 1964-1967 MOS 92B40
US Army Reserve 1967-1970 (USARCG)

US NAVY Reserve 1973-1993 - Retired as Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman (Fleet Marine Force) (E-8) NEC 8432/8404/9502


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 01:53 AM

I joined the RN as an artificer apprentice Sept 8th (a wet Friday I recall) 1972. I was just a week and a half short short of my 17th birthday.

Both my father and elder brother were in the RN at that time too. My old man initially refuse to sign my papers but relented only when I agreed to do an apprenticeship. I had thought my schooldays behind me. I did not realise that I had signed up to more or less 12 years of constant exams (to get through the apprenticeship) and board exams to gain my various rates.

I do remember that when we were met at Plymouth railway station all the people in the nice uniforms were very very nice. But that changed a few hours later after we had taken our oaths and signed on the dotted line....funny that.

I volunteered for boats (submarine service) when our year of sea training came up. That was when the pressure really started and no pun intended. More course and more exams to pass out of HMS Dolphin the submarine training establishment in Gosport just across the harbour from Portsmouth. Then more exams as you tried to qualify as a true submariner and earn the right to wear the coveted 'dolphins' I still have my first set. If you did not get through your Part III as it was called you had no chance of getting even a hot bunk. So until you passed it was usuaully a bit of deck space in the fore ends. Those deck plates were bloody cold and the makeshift beds on top of the torpedoes were not comfortable either.

I started to get interested in folk music at the same time. There was (and is) a pub called the Queen Charlotte in Gosport. Used to have good folk sessions on a Sunday night. It was known to the matelots as the 'Swinging Tit' on account of the ships figurehead outside the pub, a boxom lady with one breast exposed.

I served on a diesal-electric boat. Cramped, smelly but with a fantastic crew and good officers. We were running out of Singapore and Hong Kong, both places had large naval bases at that time (1975-76). As a 19 year old those places were a sort of paradise.

Later on completion of the apprenticeship and being rated as a Petty Officer I was drafted to the nuclear fleet. I had trained in heavy electrical and control engineering. I was drafted back to Dolphin after a 6 month wait. During that wait I was sailing the navies sail training yatchts for 6 months as I had qualified as a day skipper under the RYA scheme and I pulled some strings so that I would not have to work in the navy dockyard in Portsmouth. I was a mate for 6 months. One of the best times I ever had.

After finishing at Dolphin I was sent to HMS Sultan a marine engineering school, again in Gosport. There I started to learn how to operate nuclear power reactors.

From there I was sent to the fleet. Based in Faslane in the west of Scotland not far from Glasgow I was drafted to a hunter killer (a fast attack boat in the USN terminology).

The boats prime mission was to get intelligence about the Russian submarine fleet in the Kola and Polyarny inlets. So we found ourselves at sea for 9 months a year and in some very tight situations.

I did have a year in San Diego at US Naval Base Ballast Point. I was then on the Conqueror and we had nealry a year of working out of San Diego.

On April 1st 1982 we were in Faslane doing maintenance when we were told to take on extra food and a full warload of torpedoes. Not that unusual as we thought we might be heading north again. It was not until the SBS arrived that we realised we were going south and that the stories about the scrap merchants on Grytvikan might be behind our trip south.

None of us had been to war. We had played war games with other navies but no on was ever killed in those actions. We knew that the Argentines had a submarine capability which although small could take out a enemy submarine.

We went south and we did what we did, which resulted in the loss of one of the Argentines major warships. Their Navy never put to sea again to attack our ships even though they had an aircraft carrier which would have made life even more difficult for our side. Our surface ships suffered many attacks by their airforce, luckily the 500lb and 1000lb bombs were fused short on most occasions and failed to detonate, but they still killed. The loss of the Sir Galahad was truly awfull. Ships were hit by Exocet missiles which again failed to explode, but a solid fuel rocket motor was still burning and killing.

I remember the shock I felt when I saw the casualty lists and recognised names of people from my own apprenticeship entry. Young men who died and in most cases only have the sea as a grave.

On reflection the Falklands War should never have been fought, it could have been prevented, but at the time I did not question my duty or orders given.

I have changed many of my views since leaving the navy. Above all I am proud to have been a submariner and to have worked together with a fantastic bunch of people. I do not miss the navy any more but I do miss a comradeship that can only come from being a member of a very special 'club'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Cllr
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 05:10 AM

Edmund I know of at least one other Mudcatter currently in uniform but it is his choice to say on this thread if he chooses to. Cllr


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: DougR
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 01:26 PM

U. S. Army (2nd Armored Division)July21, 1948 - July 20, 1949, Ft. Hood, Texas. Four years National Guard (36th and 49th Divisions).

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: GUEST,Norton1
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 02:45 PM

USMC - 1962-1970
US Army - 1979-1983


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: LynnT
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 04:18 PM

I am third-generation US Navy, retired only last year; I still work as a civilian for the Navy. My grandfather was a Chief Machinist's Mate who went to work for Ford when he retired from the Service; he made the collar rank insignia that my Dad wore as he worked his way up the officer ranks. I still have the full set, from ensign bars on up, each with the Union eagle on the backside -- I really wanted to make Captain so I'd have to buy one set of my own, but I ended up retiring at CDR as my Dad did.

I joined up via Officer Candidate School (Newport RI) in 1979 after spending two years post-college as a busker drifting around Europe; I am one of the few I know who joined the Service for stability rather than for travel. Accordingly, I did my best to follow the advice in HMS Pinafore, and indeed have been a successful staffie most of my career, with the exception of air crew work over Kosovo in the Balkan situation and one month setting up a LAN on the USS MT Whitney (my sole shipboard assignment in 24 years). I did computer or personnel systems work most of my career. The biggest task I worked on was probably the Y2K Project -- we repaired and tested hundreds of systems and successfully avoided anything but very minor glitches at the start of Year 2000. It's been a good career, and I now work as a civilian doing the same kinds of stuff. Mostly I'm an information broker, a translator between techies and end-users.

Funny, but every time the Navy transferred me, it wasn't the Navy I turned to for community in my new posting -- it was the local folk music, contradance, and horse people -- plus the SCA. I love the Navy, but my best friends are from outside it.

Lynn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Chip2447
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 01:24 AM

U.S. Navy 1978-1982
Crash crew/firefighter
E-4 ABH3
The Cold War


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 09:34 AM

Chip2447, I think you are the first person here I've seen describe their war as the Cold War. Is that common amongst military folks?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 09:44 AM

I've heard my time of service in Korea called "The DMZ War."


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 01:30 PM

USAF 02Nov83-19Apr91 ... Avionics tech, Grenada and Desert Storm.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: darkriver
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 02:48 PM

I respect all of you who served.

I didn't--4F because of profound hearing loss.
However, my father was in WWII, and its effect on him affected me.

So for him:
US Army, 1943-45
ETO, beginning with Anzio beachhead landing
Stretcher bearer
Ended up PFC

Postwar:
Endless nightmares and depression and near-suicidal drinking


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Barry T
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 08:52 PM

'Went to Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, out of high school. After grad and air nav training, spent thousands of lovely hours in a maritime patrol aircraft chasing Russian subs all over the North Atlantic. Flew a desk as a Logistics Officer in the latter half of my 23 year career, which ended in '86.

I'm finding it more challenging to be the parent of a soldier! My son is in a British Infantry Regiment going on high alert for Iraq right after the New Year. I'm having trouble with just the possibility of him going. I can't imagine the anxiety of those parents whose kids are actually there!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 12:25 PM

I think the "cold war" while obviously a very stressful time in the lives of all Americans, has been recently over glorified simply because Ronald Reagan called on the Soviets to tear down the wall. It did come down and then the Soviet Union crumbled soon after during George the 1sts presidency. Most of the changes didn't come about because of ideological change or any real battles aside from the arms race ending in the bankruptcy of the Soviets. Given a few more years of high levels of military spending I'm pretty sure it was only a matter of time before we wnet bankrupt. I have never heard a vet refer to himself as a "cold warrior" or any such description.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:09 PM

Right, history will show the Cold War bankrupted the Soviets, and the War on Terror bankrupted the US.

And of course, the idea that Ronald Reagan was responsible for the wall coming down, or killing off the Soviet empire, is laughable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious About Mudcat Veterans
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 07:26 PM

The 'Cold War' was not just something that affected the US. All of the NATO countries were involved in it in some way. And being on any ops during that period was stressfull for all involved.

The USN and RN ran regular probes into Russian water using their submarines. The Norwegians did a lot of obs on Russai too.

Most of the NATO airforces where either chasing Russian aircraft out of NATO countries airspace or doing their own covert overlooks on Russian ports and military instalations.

In 1979 Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse, who was skipper on HMSm Dreadnought (the first nuclear powere boat in the RN) visited a submarine I was serving on and said that he thought that the next big conflict would not be started by Soviet Russia but would start in the Middle East. How true he was.


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