Thoughts on the Ken Burn’s Speical

My Thoughts on the Ken Burn’s Special

I watched Ken Burn’s special show about Vietnam with mixed feelings. I was sure that he was going to portray us in the worst possible light, and though some of it reflected badly on the American solider, I think that, for the most part it was an honest presentation.
It was interesting to see the war from the point of view of the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers…who suffered far more than we did. We learned, for example, that the families of the NVN and VC who were killed in battle never got any official notification.

One memory that has stayed in my mind for over a half-century now, was during a recovery operation when a VC sniper began shooting at us. We had an infantry platoon providing security, and they, rather quickly, located, and killed the sniper. They buried him right there, then smoothed down the dirt so that there was no sign of the burial.

We had no idea who he was, of course, and so now, more than fifty years later, he remains in an unmarked grave. Any family he had, had no idea what happened to him . . . as far as they were concerned, he just disappeared.

The part of the show that covered the years 66 and 67, was particularly meaningful to me…I lost six friends during that period. While in Germany, I was on a bowling team, composed of four Warrant officers, all of whom deployed from Germany, to Vietnam. By the end of that Vietnam tour, I was the only one of that bowling team that was still alive.

This is not the normal kind of post for me….I didn’t share any vignette to amuse or inform…I just shared some of the emotions stirred in me by the Ken Burns special.

Here is a photo of our helicopter. This was taken on the flight line of the 56th Trans Company. When a helicopter would go down, we would go to the site and rig it for recovery. Our motto was: “You crash and call…we dash and haul.”
Ken Burns Special - Helicopter


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