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(Charlotte Observer)   Forty-three-year-old letters from Vietnam soldier killed in action just reached his family. They are very, very dusty   (charlotteobserver.com) divider line 52
    More: Sad, Vietnam, South Vietnam, Richland County, North Vietnamese, CIA Director Leon Panetta, Airborne Division, U.S. Defense Secretary, South Carolina  
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8436 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Jun 2012 at 4:17 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-07 10:13:05 PM
Jesus Christ. 22 years old. Trite comments about dust don't really do this justice, does it?
 
2012-06-08 04:20:23 AM
Why would they be dusty submitter? I assume the Vietnamese took cook care of them, at least the article makes no such mention.

I mean, you didn't pull of the stupidest headline meme ever did you?
 
2012-06-08 04:23:12 AM
If Dad calls, tell him I got too close to being dead but I'm O.K.


PS: I may have been hasty in writing this...
 
2012-06-08 04:27:02 AM
lol, pwned.
 
2012-06-08 04:27:35 AM
Could be worse, could be napalm dust
 
2012-06-08 04:35:04 AM
Wow, the tards really bring the derp in the comments.
 
2012-06-08 04:38:13 AM
That's not dusty. When I worked in archives, an old man said he found these letters in a box stuffed in some rafters in his attic. They were written by a GI during WWI and delivered to his girlfriend back stateside. This boy poured his heart out to this girl, every vile thing, every action, he described things in detail that would make Robert Jordan seem succint. He also went on and on about how much he loved her and needed her to be there for him. Turns out, there was an influenza epidemic. The girlfriend died. The GI was notified. He kept writing the letters and mailing them until he died in the mud and was buried in a mass grave.
 
2012-06-08 04:51:36 AM
 
2012-06-08 04:59:18 AM

gadian: That's not dusty. When I worked in archives, an old man said he found these letters in a box stuffed in some rafters in his attic. They were written by a GI during WWI and delivered to his girlfriend back stateside. This boy poured his heart out to this girl, every vile thing, every action, he described things in detail that would make Robert Jordan seem succint. He also went on and on about how much he loved her and needed her to be there for him. Turns out, there was an influenza epidemic. The girlfriend died. The GI was notified. He kept writing the letters and mailing them until he died in the mud and was buried in a mass grave.


- Was that allowed? There was no censoring of letters, so the enemy wouldn't get their hands on information, no matter how small? Or did the tech exist to pull the 'black out' stuff, but it wasn't considered civilized to do it? There wasn't anyone intentionally read the letters sent out and then made sure that some letters never reached their sender?

- If he's notified that his girlfriend has died, but he keeps writing and mailing the most graphic letters imaginable about what he's doing, where's he doing it and who he's doing it with.................... is it possible the 'girlfriend' part never existed, and those letters were routed elsewhere intentionally? or, if she did exist, took a detour before reaching their destination, and the detour still needed those letters?

- The old man never said who owned the house before him?
 
2012-06-08 05:03:22 AM
Hey, if the submitter didn't use the "dusty" meme, someone else would have. Now everybody's mad that they were beaten to the punch.
 
2012-06-08 05:03:42 AM
But... I don't get it. How is a Vietnamese kid supposed to write 43 letters?
 
2012-06-08 05:04:32 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: Soldier letters. NSFW


Hahhahhah great shiat at 5am...I lolled I lolled
 
2012-06-08 05:12:35 AM

ExperianScaresCthulhu: - Was that allowed? There was no censoring of letters, so the enemy wouldn't get their hands on information, no matter how small? Or did the tech exist to pull the 'black out' stuff, but it wasn't considered civilized to do it? There wasn't anyone intentionally read the letters sent out and then made sure that some letters never reached their sender?

- If he's notified that his girlfriend has died, but he keeps writing and mailing the most graphic letters imaginable about what he's doing, where's he doing it and who he's doing it with.................... is it possible the 'girlfriend' part never existed, and those letters were routed elsewhere intentionally? or, if she did exist, took a detour before reaching their destination, and the detour still needed those letters?

- The old man never said who owned the house before him?


Those are just the facts as I know them. The letters were not censored, but he didn't give away any military details that I hadn't seen in hundreds of other letters. Maybe he just knew what he could say. The girlfriend existed. This guy bought the house from the girlfriend's parents when they went to retire somewhere or another. He thought the name sounded familiar and I did some digging and found her obituary where the GI was mentioned. (small town archivists can be creepy that way).

As for whether or not the news of the girlfriend's death really reached him, I think it did. I know the effort was made. The tone of the letters did seem to change in a way that coincided. I found the story sort of horribly tragic in a "that guy is completely farked in the head now" sort of way. I think it's almost better that he didn't come home to no one.
 
2012-06-08 05:15:19 AM

gadian:
As for whether or not the news of the girlfriend's death really reached him, I think it did. I know the effort was made. The tone of the letters did seem to change in a way that coincided. I found the story sort of horribly tragic in a "that guy is completely farked in the head now" sort of way. I think it's almost better that he didn't come home to no one.


are these letters on display somewhere, or available for viewing? every time i hear about WWI letters i want to read every word. in a way that may actually lead me to do so.
 
2012-06-08 05:42:08 AM
The best thing about this is that there's forty of them.
 
2012-06-08 05:49:30 AM

gadian: Those are just the facts as I know them. The letters were not censored, but he didn't give away any military details that I hadn't seen in hundreds of other letters. Maybe he just knew what he could say. The girlfriend existed. This guy bought the house from the girlfriend's parents when they went to retire somewhere or another. He thought the name sounded familiar and I did some digging and found her obituary where the GI was mentioned. (small town archivists can be creepy that way).

As for whether or not the news of the girlfriend's death really reached him, I think it did. I know the effort was made. The tone of the letters did seem to change in a way that coincided. I found the story sort of horribly tragic in a "that guy is completely farked in the head now" sort of way. I think it's almost better that he didn't come home to no one.


That's cool. As long as the girl actually existed, the details in his letters was allowable, and the family didn't consider him a stalker. I guess it really was a different time. Thank you for sharing the info about the letters.
 
2012-06-08 06:02:11 AM

thoughtpol: are these letters on display somewhere, or available for viewing? every time i hear about WWI letters i want to read every word. in a way that may actually lead me to do so.


They're not on display. They are a dozen or so of a hundred like them that, last I saw of them, resided in a blue hollinger box on a dusty shelf in a basement with flickering lights. That's the problem with small town archives / museums / what have yous - so much really interesting stuff is tucked away in basements or storage units that no one but a lonely archivist with too much time on their hands will ever see. At one point, I was doing a paper on some really interesting Civil War letters we held because I thought it was important for someone to know something about this particular kid, but I put it down for some reason or another. Sad really.
 
2012-06-08 06:07:11 AM
So in 40 years time some former, old taliban is going to pick a dusty iPhone off his shelf and have it sent to the states in a gesture of reconciliation.

'They were tough enemies...great people....I was never able to beat his [the fallen American soldier] highscore on Angry Birds..'
 
2012-06-08 06:30:07 AM
"it's always the old who lead us to the war, always the young to fall"
Phil Ochs
 
2012-06-08 06:39:33 AM

spawn73: Why would they be dusty submitter? I assume the Vietnamese took cook care of them, at least the article makes no such mention.

I mean, you didn't pull of the stupidest headline meme ever did you?


They would be dusty because they've been on a shelf for 22 years.
 
2012-06-08 07:05:49 AM
I wish there was a link to read them, I would have quite enjoyed that. Well okay if not enjoyed, then been illuminated by.
 
2012-06-08 07:13:59 AM

GiantPeon: spawn73: Why would they be dusty submitter? I assume the Vietnamese took cook care of them, at least the article makes no such mention.

I mean, you didn't pull of the stupidest headline meme ever did you?

They would be dusty because they've been on a shelf for 22 years.


I'd think the Vietnamese dusted them of prior to giving them to USA then, to make a good impression and all.
 
2012-06-08 07:16:50 AM
"Memories of the Vietnam War are fading for many Americans, and the war is the stuff of textbooks for others."

Fading? Textbooks? What the Fark??
 
2012-06-08 07:19:25 AM

Buffet: "Memories of the Vietnam War are fading for many Americans, and the war is the stuff of textbooks for others."

Fading? Textbooks? What the Fark??


Whoa, gramps. Some other stuff has happened in the last 45 years.
 
2012-06-08 07:33:03 AM

Molavian: Buffet: "Memories of the Vietnam War are fading for many Americans, and the war is the stuff of textbooks for others."

Fading? Textbooks? What the Fark??

Whoa, gramps. Some other stuff has happened in the last 45 years.


My American History textbooks, as I recall, as well as the courses, seemed to end at Yalta.

Most kids were aware that some stuff happened afterwards, but were ultimately left thinking everything was OK and we beat the bad guys. No wonder Americans are so stupid.

//I graduated HS in 2004. I certainly hope things have changed.
 
2012-06-08 07:53:13 AM
www.wildsoundmovies.com

Fine, I'll do it.
 
2012-06-08 07:57:53 AM
The last letter was about a soccer game.
 
2012-06-08 08:20:05 AM

Molavian: Buffet: "Memories of the Vietnam War are fading for many Americans, and the war is the stuff of textbooks for others."

Fading? Textbooks? What the Fark??

Whoa, gramps. Some other stuff has happened in the last 45 years.


Gramps?? Your bio says you're a former marine. Hmm....
I'm 31. Just how old are you little man?
 
2012-06-08 08:31:46 AM

Babwa Wawa: Jesus Christ. 22 years old. Trite comments about dust don't really do this justice, does it?


I believe the average age of those killed was 19. That is farking sad.
 
2012-06-08 08:36:36 AM

ModernLuddite: Molavian: Buffet: "Memories of the Vietnam War are fading for many Americans, and the war is the stuff of textbooks for others."

Fading? Textbooks? What the Fark??

Whoa, gramps. Some other stuff has happened in the last 45 years.

My American History textbooks, as I recall, as well as the courses, seemed to end at Yalta.

Most kids were aware that some stuff happened afterwards, but were ultimately left thinking everything was OK and we beat the bad guys. No wonder Americans are so stupid.

//I graduated HS in 2004. I certainly hope things have changed.


Y'all didn't get to the civil rights movement. or was that taught out of chronological order, in february? (WW2 is the Last Great Thing To Be Proud Of in Black and White. Very easy to teach. The stuff in gray afterwards, not so much.)
 
2012-06-08 08:40:08 AM

gadian: That's not dusty. When I worked in archives, an old man said he found these letters in a box stuffed in some rafters in his attic. They were written by a GI during WWI and delivered to his girlfriend back stateside. This boy poured his heart out to this girl, every vile thing, every action, he described things in detail that would make Robert Jordan seem succint. He also went on and on about how much he loved her and needed her to be there for him. Turns out, there was an influenza epidemic. The girlfriend died. The GI was notified. He kept writing the letters and mailing them until he died in the mud and was buried in a mass grave.


Cool Story, Bro!

Man, that kind of stuff makes my mind hurt. Did he actually get the notification? Was he so traumatized and shell-shocked that he retreated into the only routine that allowed him to express his anguish.

This is the kind of stuff that needs to be published - might make people rethink war.
 
2012-06-08 08:42:21 AM
Just an open question. Are there any letters written by, say, an innocent North Vietnamese woman to her North Vietnamese soldier sweetheart just before her village was overrun by American soldiers and she was raped and murdered? Just throwing that out there.
 
2012-06-08 08:45:40 AM

ModernLuddite: Molavian: Buffet: "Memories of the Vietnam War are fading for many Americans, and the war is the stuff of textbooks for others."

Fading? Textbooks? What the Fark??

Whoa, gramps. Some other stuff has happened in the last 45 years.

My American History textbooks, as I recall, as well as the courses, seemed to end at Yalta.

Most kids were aware that some stuff happened afterwards, but were ultimately left thinking everything was OK and we beat the bad guys. No wonder Americans are so stupid.

//I graduated HS in 2004. I certainly hope things have changed.


My high school textbooks didn't contain much about the war. We glossed over it real quick but like what usually happens to "modern" history (I'm referring to1950s - present) gets skipped or cut down because teachers run out of time. Such is life in American public school.

I didn't get properly educated on the war until college when one of my History professors, who was a former anti-war protestor, thought it would be of the upmost importance to teach us the entire conflict. Was an excellent lecture that pulled no punches. It wasn't until I actually traveled to Vietnam that I saw it for myself and how scary that country must have been for those soldiers who were about my age. I gained a deep appreciation for how difficult it must have been.

/Uncle who served in Vietnam
//He has had many many health problems since, was exposed to Agent Orange
///I thank him and all Vietnam vets for their service, was an ugly war with very little public appreciation.
 
2012-06-08 08:57:13 AM
Flaherty was a high school baseball star and received a baseball scholarship to Bryan College in Tennessee, where he was named to the all-conference team as a freshman.

The Cincinnati Reds were interested in Flaherty, relatives said. Instead, he surprised his family by choosing Army green.

Gibbons said they thought Flaherty was joking. "He said he felt obligated to serve his country because it had given him a home."


*facepalm*
 
2012-06-08 09:13:44 AM

herrDrFarkenstein: [www.wildsoundmovies.com image 640x426]

Fine, I'll do it.


thank you
 
2012-06-08 09:17:33 AM

Cat Food Sandwiches: Babwa Wawa: Jesus Christ. 22 years old. Trite comments about dust don't really do this justice, does it?

I believe the average age of those killed was 19. That is farking sad.


Why?

The vast majority of the military is generally at or near that age, and it's no mistake that they are: At that age you are (likely) at your physical peak, and killing people and breaking stuff has been traditionally a very physical activity. Plus, you are young enough to be influenced to kill some other poor schlub wearing a different shaped helmet, and you aren't yet old enough to deeply internalize your own mortality, which is a fancy way of saying that you think you are invincible. Add to that the testosterone poisoning that comes with being a young male, and the fact that the ones that learn the lessons of each war quickly generally live longer than those who don't, and if you also remember that when you rise in rank, you generally don't have as much potential direct contact with the enemy, and you've then got all the reasons why that average would be so low.

It's kind of a sacred bond, young men killing other young men. One might almost call it poetic, if poetry wasn't the last refuge of the bearded, cricket-hating Sodomite.
 
2012-06-08 09:18:16 AM

Baron Harkonnen: Just an open question. Are there any letters written by, say, an innocent North Vietnamese woman to her North Vietnamese soldier sweetheart just before her village was overrun by American soldiers and she was raped and murdered? Just throwing that out there.


Very few North Vietnamese women were in South Vietnam, and very few US were in North Vietnam, so chances are slim.
 
2012-06-08 09:18:21 AM

Baron Harkonnen: Just an open question. Are there any letters written by, say, an innocent North Vietnamese woman to her North Vietnamese soldier sweetheart just before her village was overrun by American soldiers and she was raped and murdered? Just throwing that out there.


Ha ha....no.
 
2012-06-08 09:25:27 AM

Baron Harkonnen: Just an open question. Are there any letters written by, say, an innocent North Vietnamese woman to her North Vietnamese soldier sweetheart just before her village was overrun by American soldiers and she was raped and murdered? Just throwing that out there.


You sound like you know too much...

newspaper.li
 
2012-06-08 09:25:59 AM

dittybopper: Cat Food Sandwiches: Babwa Wawa: Jesus Christ. 22 years old. Trite comments about dust don't really do this justice, does it?

I believe the average age of those killed was 19. That is farking sad.

Why?

The vast majority of the military is generally at or near that age, and it's no mistake that they are: At that age you are (likely) at your physical peak, and killing people and breaking stuff has been traditionally a very physical activity. Plus, you are young enough to be influenced to kill some other poor schlub wearing a different shaped helmet, and you aren't yet old enough to deeply internalize your own mortality, which is a fancy way of saying that you think you are invincible. Add to that the testosterone poisoning that comes with being a young male, and the fact that the ones that learn the lessons of each war quickly generally live longer than those who don't, and if you also remember that when you rise in rank, you generally don't have as much potential direct contact with the enemy, and you've then got all the reasons why that average would be so low.

It's kind of a sacred bond, young men killing other young men. One might almost call it poetic, if poetry wasn't the last refuge of the bearded, cricket-hating Sodomite.


What a load of crap. You obviously weren't around when 18 year olds were drafted and sent to war against their wishes.
 
2012-06-08 09:40:28 AM

Baron Harkonnen: Just an open question. Are there any letters written by, say, an innocent North Vietnamese woman to her North Vietnamese soldier sweetheart just before her village was overrun by American soldiers and she was raped and murdered? Just throwing that out there.


I did pick up a North Vietnamese female nurse once. She had been wounded and then captured, and apparently raped by several of the men who captured her before they called for a medevac.

They were ARVN's, tho, no US troops were involved.

If you mean to point out that both sides in a war do things that aren't nice, that's really not necessary.
 
2012-06-08 09:42:13 AM

Cat Food Sandwiches: dittybopper: Cat Food Sandwiches: Babwa Wawa: Jesus Christ. 22 years old. Trite comments about dust don't really do this justice, does it?

I believe the average age of those killed was 19. That is farking sad.

Why?

The vast majority of the military is generally at or near that age, and it's no mistake that they are: At that age you are (likely) at your physical peak, and killing people and breaking stuff has been traditionally a very physical activity. Plus, you are young enough to be influenced to kill some other poor schlub wearing a different shaped helmet, and you aren't yet old enough to deeply internalize your own mortality, which is a fancy way of saying that you think you are invincible. Add to that the testosterone poisoning that comes with being a young male, and the fact that the ones that learn the lessons of each war quickly generally live longer than those who don't, and if you also remember that when you rise in rank, you generally don't have as much potential direct contact with the enemy, and you've then got all the reasons why that average would be so low.

It's kind of a sacred bond, young men killing other young men. One might almost call it poetic, if poetry wasn't the last refuge of the bearded, cricket-hating Sodomite.

What a load of crap. You obviously weren't around when 18 year olds were drafted and sent to war against their wishes.


OK, so you are saying that back then that young men were drafted for reasons *OTHER* than:

1. They are at their physical peak at that age
2. They are more easily influenced
3. They are young enough that the don't think about their own mortality as much
4. They are more aggressive due to higher testosterone levels?

As for the last part, it was a humo(u)rous statement directly stolen from this.

/Standard.
 
2012-06-08 10:02:52 AM
FTA: "When Army Sgt. Steve Flaherty of Columbia was killed in 1969 during a battle in South Vietnam's A Shau Valley, U.S. soldiers could not recover his body immediately."

cineplex.media.baselineresearch.com

/in A Shau Valley, when your time's up, your time's up
//hot like Mama San
 
2012-06-08 11:26:45 AM

Buffet: "Memories of the Vietnam War are fading for many Americans, and the war is the stuff of textbooks for others."

Fading? Textbooks? What the Fark??


The war ended (in terms of US involvement) 39 years ago. South Vietnam fell 37 years ago. Walk down the street, if you see somebody under 40, they probably have zero memory of the war. If they are under 50, it's at best something they knew of from the news when they were a little kid.

The last soldier who originally entered as a draftee (and decided to stay) retired two years ago, I read a news article about him (I think he was a CSM at retirement). I personally know of only one soldier still in service who fought in Vietnam (might be a handful of others, but I know of one aviator who was a young WO-1 in the twilight of Vietnam who's now a grizzled old CW-5 with days left until retirement).

Just to be a Vietnam vet you are pushing 60 these days, at the least.

America has been through several wars since then: Gulf War, Iraq War, Afghanistan War (in progress).

For many/most Americans, it is the stuff of history books now, the things our parents told us about and we learned about in school or from movies (I know some people whose main concept of the Vietnam war comes from the films Forrest Gump, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, and Platoon).
 
2012-06-08 01:33:31 PM

Silverstaff: Buffet: "Memories of the Vietnam War are fading for many Americans, and the war is the stuff of textbooks for others."

Fading? Textbooks? What the Fark??

The war ended (in terms of US involvement) 39 years ago. South Vietnam fell 37 years ago. Walk down the street, if you see somebody under 40, they probably have zero memory of the war. If they are under 50, it's at best something they knew of from the news when they were a little kid.

The last soldier who originally entered as a draftee (and decided to stay) retired two years ago, I read a news article about him (I think he was a CSM at retirement). I personally know of only one soldier still in service who fought in Vietnam (might be a handful of others, but I know of one aviator who was a young WO-1 in the twilight of Vietnam who's now a grizzled old CW-5 with days left until retirement).

Just to be a Vietnam vet you are pushing 60 these days, at the least.

America has been through several wars since then: Gulf War, Iraq War, Afghanistan War (in progress).

For many/most Americans, it is the stuff of history books now, the things our parents told us about and we learned about in school or from movies (I know some people whose main concept of the Vietnam war comes from the films Forrest Gump, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, and Platoon).


When I was in (1985 - 1989), the Vietnam vets I met still on active duty were all getting close to their 20 years. Needless to say, while they may have been originally drafted, all had voluntarily re-upped several times by then.
 
2012-06-08 01:43:26 PM

Baron Harkonnen: Just an open question. Are there any letters written by, say, an innocent North Vietnamese woman to her North Vietnamese soldier sweetheart just before her village was overrun by American soldiers and she was raped and murdered? Just throwing that out there.


You should probably just fark the ones that cough
 
2012-06-08 02:20:13 PM

Fano: Baron Harkonnen: Just an open question. Are there any letters written by, say, an innocent North Vietnamese woman to her North Vietnamese soldier sweetheart just before her village was overrun by American soldiers and she was raped and murdered? Just throwing that out there.

You should probably just fark the ones that cough


Roughly 50% of them.
 
2012-06-08 06:53:25 PM

Buffet: Molavian: Buffet: "Memories of the Vietnam War are fading for many Americans, and the war is the stuff of textbooks for others."

Fading? Textbooks? What the Fark??

Whoa, gramps. Some other stuff has happened in the last 45 years.

Gramps?? Your bio says you're a former marine. Hmm....
I'm 31. Just how old are you little man?


How'd you know I was short?
 
2012-06-08 07:33:23 PM

Molavian: Buffet: Molavian: Buffet: "Memories of the Vietnam War are fading for many Americans, and the war is the stuff of textbooks for others."

Fading? Textbooks? What the Fark??

Whoa, gramps. Some other stuff has happened in the last 45 years.

Gramps?? Your bio says you're a former marine. Hmm....
I'm 31. Just how old are you little man?

How'd you know I was short?


Nice to know you have a sense of humor. I believe we're both essentially on the same page, with perhaps a few subtle differences.
Truce?
 
2012-06-08 08:25:36 PM

Buffet: Molavian: Buffet: Molavian: Buffet: "Memories of the Vietnam War are fading for many Americans, and the war is the stuff of textbooks for others."

Fading? Textbooks? What the Fark??

Whoa, gramps. Some other stuff has happened in the last 45 years.

Gramps?? Your bio says you're a former marine. Hmm....
I'm 31. Just how old are you little man?

How'd you know I was short?

Nice to know you have a sense of humor. I believe we're both essentially on the same page, with perhaps a few subtle differences.
Truce?


Always, man. I poke more fun at myself than anyone else, and I don't think my brand of humor comes across on the 'net very well.
 
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