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Old 12-31-2019, 12:55 AM
 
6,068 posts, read 4,967,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Thanks guys, it's been bothering me all day. Indeed mortality is part of it, my sister says he is going to church now and questioning if he was a good enough husband (my mother passed away a couple years ago).

What is still troubling is that his hearing aid went out that day (batteries) a few days ago. So he couldn't hear a thing. So here we all a huge family having dinner, children, grandchildren, great grand children, friends, celebrating Christmas, laughing, cheering - peace, good will to men, all that. And my father sitting in silence, not hearing a thing, thinking back 67 years ago to a Christmas spent in a cockpit of a cold metal B-26 flying 100 feet off the ground, maybe lower, sweating in fear in spite of the cold, dodging everything from flak to small arms fire, maybe after lighting them up with a napalm run, seeing humans run around like so many matches, pushing the .50 cal machine gun release, and reigning death down to people on the ground that were simply trying to do a job and make it home alive just like him. Seeing the human matches drop. And then me, with my damn gift - a damn B26 coffee mug.
Focus on the bold. He may not have heard things but he was surrounded by LOVE. Whatever things your father may have been thinking on, perhaps of the past, he was surrounded by a loving family. There is nothing more important or more valuable than that.
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Old 12-31-2019, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Central Illinois -
23,075 posts, read 15,131,557 times
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Echoing what others have said, that is a great story to share with us here, thanks for that.

I've read a lot about WWII, and also some on Korea, Vietnam and Iraq, and what sets apart WWII from the other wars was the sense of duty and inherent justice in fighting Japan and Germany, whose abuses were widespread and well known. And then things got a little cloudy in Korea, we were not attacked, and instead intervened in a civil war in order to fight communism.

The inherent sense of justice was not there like it was less than 10 years earlier, but most veterans thought that communism posed a serious threat, and handled the horrors of this war fairly well, like the WWII veterans did.

In Vietnam and Iraq, this sense of justice and duty was absent. The truth is, we put veterans into a violent maelstrom that they will deal with for the rest of their lives, and before they go to war they must know they are going for the right reasons, because when they return home, they all will question if they did the right thing. There is a reason that 22 veterans a day kill themselves, this guilt can be too much to bear for many.

Not surprised your father is thinking about his time there, being at his age and he is doing a lot of recollecting. I've known WWII veterans who could not, and would not, talk about their service. I've also read about, in my area of the country, multiple 20-something Iraq veterans taking their lives. War is not glamorous, and the truth is, WWII was the last justified war this country has ever fought in.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:14 AM
 
1,632 posts, read 520,969 times
Reputation: 3737
Quote:
Originally Posted by odanny View Post
Echoing what others have said, that is a great story to share with us here, thanks for that.

I've read a lot about WWII, and also some on Korea, Vietnam and Iraq, and what sets apart WWII from the other wars was the sense of duty and inherent justice in fighting Japan and Germany, whose abuses were widespread and well known. And then things got a little cloudy in Korea, we were not attacked, and instead intervened in a civil war in order to fight communism.

The inherent sense of justice was not there like it was less than 10 years earlier, but most veterans thought that communism posed a serious threat, and handled the horrors of this war fairly well, like the WWII veterans did.

In Vietnam and Iraq, this sense of justice and duty was absent. The truth is, we put veterans into a violent maelstrom that they will deal with for the rest of their lives, and before they go to war they must know they are going for the right reasons, because when they return home, they all will question if they did the right thing. There is a reason that 22 veterans a day kill themselves, this guilt can be too much to bear for many.

Not surprised your father is thinking about his time there, being at his age and he is doing a lot of recollecting. I've known WWII veterans who could not, and would not, talk about their service. I've also read about, in my area of the country, multiple 20-something Iraq veterans taking their lives. War is not glamorous, and the truth is, WWII was the last justified war this country has ever fought in.
My father-in-law fought in WWII and my father who fought in the Korean War never talked about it.

If countries will do anything to win or anything to keep from being killed, can any war be considered a "just war?" Maybe with the exception of WWII.
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Old 01-02-2020, 07:47 PM
 
5,703 posts, read 2,479,207 times
Reputation: 4547
Quote:
Originally Posted by odanny View Post
Echoing what others have said, that is a great story to share with us here, thanks for that.

I've read a lot about WWII, and also some on Korea, Vietnam and Iraq, and what sets apart WWII from the other wars was the sense of duty and inherent justice in fighting Japan and Germany, whose abuses were widespread and well known. And then things got a little cloudy in Korea, we were not attacked, and instead intervened in a civil war in order to fight communism.

The inherent sense of justice was not there like it was less than 10 years earlier, but most veterans thought that communism posed a serious threat, and handled the horrors of this war fairly well, like the WWII veterans did.

In Vietnam and Iraq, this sense of justice and duty was absent. The truth is, we put veterans into a violent maelstrom that they will deal with for the rest of their lives, and before they go to war they must know they are going for the right reasons, because when they return home, they all will question if they did the right thing. There is a reason that 22 veterans a day kill themselves, this guilt can be too much to bear for many.

Not surprised your father is thinking about his time there, being at his age and he is doing a lot of recollecting. I've known WWII veterans who could not, and would not, talk about their service. I've also read about, in my area of the country, multiple 20-something Iraq veterans taking their lives. War is not glamorous, and the truth is, WWII was the last justified war this country has ever fought in.
I would like to think that you misspoke when you said Vietnam and Iraq veterans had no sense of justice and duty...………….you do millions of veterans a grave disservice at the least...……….
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
6,249 posts, read 4,003,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdoorgunner View Post
I would like to think that you misspoke when you said Vietnam and Iraq veterans had no sense of justice and duty...………….you do millions of veterans a grave disservice at the least...……….
I believe the poster meant that the Vietnam and Iraq wars lacked the sense of justice (as in "a just war") that World War II had, not that the veterans themselves lacked a sense of justice and duty.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:37 PM
 
1,632 posts, read 520,969 times
Reputation: 3737
Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post
I believe the poster meant that the Vietnam and Iraq wars lacked the sense of justice (as in "a just war") that World War II had, not that the veterans themselves lacked a sense of justice and duty.
No, it is our politicians who sent our decent young people off to war knowing it was unwinnable.

The French told us that Vietnam was unwinnable after years of rule as a colonial power there.

Quote:
confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graph...ial-documents/

It is so heartbreaking.
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:48 PM
 
3,017 posts, read 2,880,800 times
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Thanks for sharing your dad's story from Korea. It's the realities like he shared that hopefully help others to understand the impacts to everyone involved.

I concur with what bus man said, don't beat yourself up. Humans have an amazing ability to partition the good memories from the bad and a brief memory of something bad during war should hopefully give one more joy by being surrounded by loving family and his progeny during the holidays. The melancholy type reaction is normal and often cathartic if he had never shared that with anyone.

Too often war is glorified when those involved in the action would rather it was portrayed as the hell it is no matter the formal declared war or police action.

I recall in my youth when my father was young (middle age) his disdain for talking about anything that would glorify war. Yet, in later years as part of family history documenting I managed to get him to reminisce of his war years, and while he deftly avoided the bad as best he could, it still was something he needed to share. I can still recall the far off look he would get and thought it made him feel a young man again.

An old thread comment that may be of interest
//www.city-data.com/forum/histo...l#post35410885



The best to you and all those who take the time to share family experiences and in turn help others understand history.
I recently read Gerald Astor's Operation Iceberg about the taking of Okinawa in spring of 1945 and it helped me get a better understanding of the ww2 south pacific activities my father did not want to talk about.

You may be interested in finding an equivalent type book on the Korean War.
Happy 2020.
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:35 PM
Status: "wishy-washy liberal" (set 19 days ago)
 
1,514 posts, read 403,290 times
Reputation: 720
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdoorgunner View Post
I would like to think that you misspoke when you said Vietnam and Iraq veterans had no sense of justice and duty...………….you do millions of veterans a grave disservice at the least...……….

there was a controversy in England when it was revealed boys as young as 15 and 16 were serving in ww1
as Winston Churchill said the first casualty of war is truth...its natural when you are young and idealistic and thinking you will live forever to believe all the propaganda that is fed to you..they thought they would be home for Christmas in the civil war and ww1..a glorious adventure..


one cannot blame a young man for believing what is natural to him and he has not yet developed the cynicism that comes with age...
the "domino" theory died in 1960 when china and Russia butted heads..no more monolithic communism
France traded their support of NATO if we paid for Vietnam even after the Atlantic charter guaranteed free dom for independent nations..when the US went into Vietnam it is very hard to get out..blame the french for Vietnam...
no thinking person blames a young man for the period of time he was born into...blame spinless statesmen if you blame anybody
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Old 01-09-2020, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Roaring '20s
1,901 posts, read 493,809 times
Reputation: 7417
In the 1990s there was a song from the band Cake titled I Bombed Korea.

The lyrics are from the point of view of an older veteran at a bar, telling about his service. About watching explosions far below his bomber and observing that they were killing people who 'didn't even know us'. About the moral conflict he felt. About the fear of not knowing if they would survive, and how the stories he told could never convey the terror of combat. Given the period of the song, it's obvious the band members had nothing to do with the Korean War, so I always figured the story came specifically from a veteran of that conflict.

When I first saw this thread a couple of weeks ago, I immediately thought of the song.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOnQ-xqpKpU
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Old 01-09-2020, 12:55 PM
 
12,818 posts, read 19,046,378 times
Reputation: 20741
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
In the 1990s there was a song from the band Cake titled I Bombed Korea.

The lyrics are from the point of view of an older veteran at a bar, telling about his service. About watching explosions far below his bomber and observing that they were killing people who 'didn't even know us'. About the moral conflict he felt. About the fear of not knowing if they would survive, and how the stories he told could never convey the terror of combat. Given the period of the song, it's obvious the band members had nothing to do with the Korean War, so I always figured the story came specifically from a veteran of that conflict.

When I first saw this thread a couple of weeks ago, I immediately thought of the song.
Interesting song. I know the band Cake but never heard this song before.
A quick search on "songmeanings.com" suggests the inspiration was a drunken discussion one of the cake member had with a veteran in a bar.
One of the lines sounds familiar: "My Engine Sang into the Salty Sky"...my father's airbase was in Pusan on the coast. The crude strip ended at the coast line. He wasn't always vocal, until the recent episode, about his missions but he had mentioned that the scariest part was taking off with that heavy bomb-laden B26 just feet above the ocean. Many pilots and crews lost there lives just at that point.
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