Debating a combat veteran


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Monkeyleg
July 23, 2005, 06:58 PM
I recently started a new job, and one of the guys there is a Viet Nam vet. He was drafted, then enlisted, and was in the war for six years, four of them with the Rangers.

He's very much a liberal, but on gun issues he's a moderate. He believes in concealed carry (he carries a pretty wicked knife, and sometimes a derringer), likes to shoot handguns, and for the most part supports gun ownership.

I enjoy debating with him because he's calm and rational, and there aren't any hard feelings if we disagree.

Anyway, yesterday we were talking about guns again. He pressed me on gun laws, and I think I successfully shot down the Brady Law, the AW ban, the Gun Control Act of 1968, and other anti-gun laws.

However, I had a hard time with him on full-auto's. I took the position that thirty rounds from a magazine in seconds isn't much different than thirty from a magazine in twenty seconds. Further, the FOPA of 1986 only raised the cost of full-auto's. And that the GCA of 1934 merely taxed a type of firearm that was never in much demand for civilians to begin with (Auto Ordnance practically was begging people to buy Thompson's). And that, since 1934, only a couple of hundred thousand had been registered, with only one being used in a crime. And that there are many full-auto's in the hands of criminals, but they come through the drug channels.

His positions on full-auto's were: if an untrained person--such as a kid-- got his/her hands on one, they would do more damage than with a semi-auto; that the small number of full-auto's registered means the '34 GCA worked; and that full-auto's are more deadly. He based that last statement on his experience in Viet Nam.

We also got on the subject of "cop-killer" ammunition. I was able to explain that almost any rifle round larger than .22 LR will penetrate Kevlar, that armor-piercing ammunition is already restricted, and that the term "cop killer bullets" is a media creation. I ran down the story of CBS and the KTK ammo story from the 1980's, and how CBS was irresponsible for running the story, a point he especially agreed with. All in all, not too bad.

He then turned to the dreaded Black Talon ammo. I explained that the issue over the Black Talon ammo was more media hype, that the ammo was still available by another name, and that hollowpoint ammo is made by many manufacturers for both hunting and defense. I then explained the purpose: efficiency, less chance of over-penetration, more humane kills when hunting, and more effective stopping power for defense.

He couldn't quite wrap his mind around this, as he's shot some Black Talon ammo, and imagined what it would do to a human body.

I don't think I won him over on that one, although I'm not sure why. After all, if you need to shoot someone, you want your shot to be as effective as possible in stopping the person by shutting down the system.

Here's where I have a hard time: he's been in combat, and I haven't; he's killed people, and I haven't (I would never even presume to ask how many he killed); he's seen the effects of all sorts of weaponry, and I haven't.

So, what I know about killing and ballistics and hollowpoints and full-auto's killing power are from reading. What he knows is from his experience with killing with FMJ's, full-auto's, and other weapons (such as claymores).

I think I could bring him around on the issue of legalizing full-auto's, and I may have brought him around to accept hollowpoints, although I'm not sure.

Any suggestions? I think I may have a chance to create a 100% pro-2A liberal if I do it right.

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Cesiumsponge
July 23, 2005, 07:06 PM
Geez, sounds like you already effectively debated any incorrect preconceived notions he previously had and that the fellow now agrees with 95% of everything you've discussed together. Just keep at it with this last bit and I'm sure he'll come around :D

Is the issue him not understanding JHP ammo in general versus FMJ, or Black Talons in particular?

OH25shooter
July 23, 2005, 07:12 PM
I'm confused. What exactly do you want for him? He's been there, done that. Armed military combat. What's your point?

boofus
July 23, 2005, 07:18 PM
Whats the difference between a 9 round burst from a MP5 and a single round of 00 buckshot? Pretty much the same thing, except the MP5 won't send projectiles flying around at 2000fps like some shotgun loads. If people are responsible enough to handle a shotgun, they should be responsible enough to handle a MG.

Standing Wolf
July 23, 2005, 09:28 PM
It's not the gun that's safe or dangerous, but the shooter.

RoyG
July 23, 2005, 09:42 PM
Not to be negitive but I would question anyone that claimed to have spent 6 years in VN. Lots of fake vets out there. Most of the guys I know don't talk about their time there with outsiders. And those that do usually change their story once they are cornered with a real vet or facts.

Pilgrim
July 23, 2005, 10:34 PM
His positions on full-auto's were: if an untrained person--such as a kid-- got his/her hands on one, they would do more damage than with a semi-auto; that the small number of full-auto's registered means the '34 GCA worked; and that full-auto's are more deadly. He based that last statement on his experience in Viet Nam.
Full-auto is wonderful as long as the shooter has an adequate supply of ammunition and a suitable target. If you examine the North Hollywood bank robbery, the two robbers had an adequate supply of ammo, but no targets to use it on. They shot up a lot of automobiles and buildings, but they really didn't hurt that many people in relation to the amount of ammunition they expended.

He then turned to the dreaded Black Talon ammo. I explained that the issue over the Black Talon ammo was more media hype, that the ammo was still available by another name, and that hollowpoint ammo is made by many manufacturers for both hunting and defense. I then explained the purpose: efficiency, less chance of over-penetration, more humane kills when hunting, and more effective stopping power for defense.

He couldn't quite wrap his mind around this, as he's shot some Black Talon ammo, and imagined what it would do to a human body.
I'm beginning to think your ex-Ranger friend isn't the weapons expert he purports to be. He seems to be hung up on the 'killer buzz saw' effect of a Black Talon bullet. If he brings this up, ask him how many revolutions he thinks that bullet makes as it 'buzzes' it way through the human torseau. Hint: Know the rifling twist of most handguns in use today.

Here's where I have a hard time: he's been in combat, and I haven't; he's killed people, and I haven't (I would never even presume to ask how many he killed); he's seen the effects of all sorts of weaponry, and I haven't.

So, what I know about killing and ballistics and hollowpoints and full-auto's killing power are from reading. What he knows is from his experience with killing with FMJ's, full-auto's, and other weapons (such as claymores).
I'm with RoyG on this one. Six years in an awfully long time. I am aware of some career soldiers who did two, maybe three tours there, but at the most that comes out to no more than three years.

I suggest a more objective look at what he claims to be. Start with his age. Is he in his late fifties to early sixties? How does his age stack up against when he claims to have been in Vietnam?

A good friend of mine was a California Highway Patrolman. He told me one day he was talked out of a speeding ticket by a naval aviator who regaled him with stories of his flying combat over North Vietnam. My friend was suitably impressed with the aviator's stories until I asked my friend how old the naval aviator was. He told me. I said that made him about eighteen years old when the war ended. I assured them there were no eighteen year old naval aviators during the Vietnam War.

If your friend passes the age test, casually ask him some questions about where his Ranger unit operated and when. I had an acquaintance who said he was a Marine and was exposed to Agent Orange, which explained his poor health and recurring bouts with cancer. When I asked him what company, battalion, and regiment he was assigned to, when and where his unit operated, he had a terrible lapse of memory. He couldn't remember.

Said 'Marine' constantly complained the Veterans Administration wouldn't treat his ailments. Every time I showed him the VA was recognizing more and more ailments as service connected due to Vietnam service, he made up new excuses why the VA wouldn't treat him, though he never made a trip to the local VA hospital see if he qualified for treatment under the new guidelines.

Pilgrim

Monkeyleg
July 23, 2005, 11:26 PM
No, this guy definitely served for the time he claims. That's very well established amongst those in our industry here.

Maybe it would be okay to have him 95% of the way there, but I see the potential for him to be 100%. And, for the others in my industry who share his liberal views, his solid commitment to gun rights would be invaluable.

MICHAEL T
July 23, 2005, 11:38 PM
His age is a good place to start. I was a lifer and only did 2 tours and I reenlisted for one of them. Ranger is a school ,I can't remember any true US Army Ranger companys in nam like in WW2 or today. I mean Ranger qualified people were their ,in SF, Regular gunts MP's.Doctors. Several of my Pilots wore Ranger tabs. I just can't remember seeing or hearing of a American Ranger company. But then I am getting old and forgetfull.

RoyG
July 24, 2005, 12:22 AM
FYI
US Army Rangers: History: Vietnam (http://www.ranger.org/rangerHistoryVietnamWar.html)

Monkeyleg
July 24, 2005, 02:29 PM
He's the same age as me, 54. He once told me he was there until the end.

Byron Quick
July 24, 2005, 02:57 PM
Uh, I'm 51. If I had quit school and enlisted at 17...I could have made it to Vietnam. Maybe. I turned 18 in 1972. The year we pulled out 70,000 combat troops before pulling them all in 1973. Your friend would have been 22 in 1973. Six tours is six years. So he'd been posted to Vietnam since the age of 16.

He once told me he was there until the end.

Which end? Saigon fell in 1975. American combat troops left in 1973.

As has already been mentioned there is a difference between being Ranger qualified-a graduate of Ranger School who can wear the Ranger tab- and being a Ranger. A Ranger is assigned to the Ranger regiment. The 75th, I believe.

Crew served fully automatic weapons are more dangerous than crew served semi-automatic weapons would be:) From my own military (non-combat) experience, I really doubt that full automatic capability makes that much difference to the individual rifleman in an infantry unit.

Doctrine changes over time. In basic in 1974, however, I was taught to only use fully automatic in three round bursts in low light situations to increase the probability of a hit. Experimentation on the range at night proved that anything that I could hit at night with a three round burst...I could hit with a single round. And that anything that I could miss with a three round burst...I could miss with a single round.

Much of your friend's firearms beliefs, in my view, follow the gun control propaganda rather than the knowledge gained from expertise.

Have you been to the range with him? If not, invite him. If you've got a 1911; take it. Watch to see if he's familiar with its manual of arms. After the session, start cleaning the weapons. Ask him to clean the 1911. If he can disassemble it; it doesn't prove anything one way or another. However, if he can't disassemble it... Another thing that I've seen the "military weaponry experts" fail at is not knowing how to adjust the sights on a M16.

I was just a Army Reserve truck driver. I did not so much as touch a M16 for over twenty years. Even after that length of time; I still remembered how to set the sights. I've met super troopers who tried to tell me that their M16's had different sights than mine. Nope.

Also, I'd wonder about the expertise of anyone who chose a derringer as a primary carry weapon. It seems to me that anyone experienced with firearms in combat would be more likely to never carry than to believe that carrying intermittently was a viable option.

Monkeyleg
July 24, 2005, 07:00 PM
Hmmm. Thanks to all the vets for pointing out the curious timeframe. Next time I get to chatting with this guy about his experiences, I'll see if I can't get some more definitive answers.

I doubt he's lying about being in Viet Nam--too easy for other vets to trip him up--but he may be "gilding the lilly" a bit.

He makes a better friend than foe, so I don't want to push him on anything.

Pilgrim: "I'm beginning to think your ex-Ranger friend isn't the weapons expert he purports to be. He seems to be hung up on the 'killer buzz saw' effect of a Black Talon bullet. If he brings this up, ask him how many revolutions he thinks that bullet makes as it 'buzzes' it way through the human torseau. Hint: Know the rifling twist of most handguns in use today."

His experience with ammunition is from decades ago. He doesn't shoot rifles, and has an interest in handguns, but not to the extent that most THR members do.

At some point I'll get him out to the range, and I'll see how well he knows the 1911.

All in all, this is a weird place I'm working at when it comes to guns. The owner doesn't even know how many guns he owns, but his interest is confined to cowboy-action shooting. He doesn't pay attention to gun politics.

Then there's the assistant photographer who likes to hunt with both gun and bow, but whose hunting ethics make me cringe: taking shots from too far a distance, taking shots when he doesn't have a clear shot at the deer (hitting trees instead of his target), and then wounding a deer and not being able to find it. When he told me about guessing where to aim his bow at a deer directly underneath his tree stand and out of his line of sight, I wanted to smack him.

Meanwhile, I'm the one who is rapidly becoming known as the studio's "gun nut." At least I know my facts, and follow the rules, though.

magsnubby
July 24, 2005, 07:22 PM
Ask him for his DD-214. All the info should be on there. The numbers don't add up.

Hawkmoon
July 24, 2005, 07:28 PM
I wonder when this gentleman served in Vietnam.

I was there in 1968, with the very first generation of M16s. You might ask the guy if he knows (or remembers) that the reason the M16 was changed from full-auto to 3-round burst fire was that it was basically uncontrollable in full-auto mode. If you didn't hit what you were aiming at with the first round, the following rounds mostly went cloud hunting.

Which tells me that for most gang bangers, a full auto weapon would be less dangerous than a semi-auto because they'd light off the full magazine in a half a nanosecond and not be able to hit anything except by accident. What's the cyclic rate for an M16? Isn't it something like 800 rounds per minute? That's 13.3 rounds per second. At that rate, it takes about 1-1/2 seconds to dump a 20-round magazine.

No, this guy definitely served for the time he claims. That's very well established amongst those in our industry here.
He may have spent 6 years in the Army during the Vietnam era, but it is extremely unlikely that he spent 6 years in theater. Even my most gung-ho Marine captain buddy only did two years in country.

54 years old, eh? Probably born sometime in 1951, then. Add 18 years to get him out of high school (you did say he was originally drafted, and they didn't draft until you were 18 and had completed high school -- and college, if you were accepted) brings us to 1969 as the earliest he could have been inducted. Hell, I had already been home for a year before he even reported for basic training. Add another 8 weeks for Basic and 8 weeks for AIT and the earliest he could have gotten to Vietnam would be early 1970.

There just wasn't enough war left to spend 6 years there even if might have otherwise been possible.

Pilgrim
July 24, 2005, 07:32 PM
I doubt he's lying about being in Viet Nam--too easy for other vets to trip him up--but he may be "gilding the lilly" a bit.
I don't have any use for veterans who "gild the lilly" a bit. They are living a lie. They are stealing the honor that rightfully belongs to those who went in harms way for their country.

If you want to learn about the extent these frauds go to glorify their past, you should read "Stolen Valor" by B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley.

tg_26101
July 24, 2005, 07:38 PM
My brother spent two tours in Vietnam (68-69, home 30 days, and back in 70). He requested a third tour and was denied; anyone requesting a third tour was suspect of losing it. If still alive, he would be 56 next week. Your friend was born in 51. He was 24 when the war ended. The only way he could have been there six years was continuously from the age of 18. Not likely.

I had a friend who was in supply in Saigon. He said for every man in the field there were 7 support personnel. He wondered what happened to all the support folks; he had never met another clerk following the war. Seems everyone else was Rambo.

Don't want to dis your friend, but the story don't add up. Also, don't get me wrong: I have the utmost respect for all Vietnam era personnel; no one knew where they would end up when they went in. All vets who serve honorably deserve to be held in high esteem, wartime service or not. They've all sacrificed the most precious thing they have, time from their lives and loved ones.

DorGunR
July 24, 2005, 08:19 PM
I too can't buy the 6 years in Nam. I was there for two tours but I extended each one for 6 months so the two one year tours became two 18 month tours for a total of three years. I retired in 1972 but I didn't know anyone that was there for 6 years. Someone pass me the salt please.

Brasso
July 24, 2005, 09:12 PM
I'm in law enforcement and work with a guy who was in special forces. I don't know if he was in combat or not. The point is that he is a cop and was in special forces, and is a diehard democrat. That's what boggles my mind. He actually likes Billary. He's a nice guy, but I just can't wrap my mind around his political beliefs enough to feel comfortable around him. When 2+2 equals something besides 4 I get uneasy.

Don Gwinn
July 24, 2005, 09:32 PM
The abilities it took him to serve in Special Forces are nothing but skills and talents. You wouldn't be surprised to find that a skilled basketball player or cigar roller was a Democrat.


I'll say this, though: It's entirely possible that Monkeyleg's friend is lying. It could also be that Monkeyleg misunderstood him (maybe he said he served six years and served in Vietnam, and in the listener's ear those statements blended together.)

Either way, I doubt Monkeyleg has much interest in outing him or confronting him. Asking for his DD214? What's in that kind of insult for Monkeyleg?

I have found it interesting if dismaying, though, how many of the fakers who claim to be SEALs or Rangers or Green Berets actually had very honorable military careers. They might have been truck drivers or crane operators, but they still served honorably and did jobs that needed to be done. . . . but for some people, that isn't enough, and that's when they decide they need to embellish it a little. It's sad when you think about it.

Monkeyleg
July 24, 2005, 11:11 PM
Thanks for that post, Don. My co-worker and I were both born in 1950.

When I "gradiated" high school in June of 1969, I was immediately available for military service.

I was in no rush to go. Sometimes I'm ashamed of that, and other times I feel like I made the right decision, and other times I don't know what to think.

The #1 reason I didn't want to go to Viet Nam, or even screwed up a scholarship to MI Tech engineering school, is that I didn't want to risk losing the love of my life. "Little head" leading the "big head?" Maybe, but we just celebrated 28 years of marriage, and 37 years of being together.

Anyway, I like this guy, and he's unusually calm during debates, especially for a Democrat. Maybe he did a year, then went back to the states, then did a year...I don't know.

What I do know is that I have a liberal Democrat within inches of supporting everything that we on THR are fighting for. If I can bring him 100% into the camp, then his wife and family will eventually follow.

carebear
July 24, 2005, 11:47 PM
Monkeyleg,

You might point out that full auto's were (partly) regulated because of their use by criminals, yet most criminals didn't buy them (due to their proportional great cost) even though they were legal, they stole them from government armories.

The parallel to any other criminal misuse (and legislation) should be obvious.

And as far as the "kids" issue goes, I'm not sure how the misuse by kids of a full auto is truly different than any other firearm. A trigger pull is a trigger pull, it isn't like the kids are going to be able to not-control the weapon any more or less than a semi- or single shot.

Just let him sit and stew and when he brings up the topic again, reiterate the fallacies of his argument gently. It's a bit much to expect someone to do a 180 on any belief, no matter how knee-jerk, all at once.

Let him hang onto his last holdout position and chip away at it slow. You might lend him Unintended Consequences to give him a bit of history in a readable version.

Sleeping Dog
July 25, 2005, 08:07 AM
Before challenging his service, make sure you heard right. The six years may have been the total enlistment, instead of time in Vietnam.

Also, I don't think Black Talons were around during his term, so he may have believed the news hype at the time they were introduced.

Regards.

simon
July 25, 2005, 12:09 PM
Check this out:

http://www.173rdairborne.com/shame.htm

chris in va
July 25, 2005, 01:58 PM
assistant photographer

You guys work for the media?

odysseus
July 25, 2005, 02:07 PM
I'm confused. What exactly do you want for him? He's been there, done that. Armed military combat. What's your point?

I saw this on this thread and had to add 2 cents to it. I have run into it at times, there are some combat Veterans who are very gun-control minded and not supportive of civilian's RKBA rights. I had a coach in Highschool who was a Marine in Vietnam and saw combat. He was pretty much an anti-gun kind of guy, and would share his opinion of that with us kids.

Sometimes, their experiences in combat make them that way when they get home. They may be misguided, but that's how they are. It's just people; many Veterans are not pro-RKBA.

jaysouth
July 25, 2005, 02:10 PM
Four years a ranger in VN?? Hold my nose mode.

In late 68, the Long Range Patrol Companies went from being the lettered company of an infantry regiment(F Co, 58th Inf(101st LRRPS), E Co, 52d inf(1st Cav LRRPS) to a lettered company of the Ranger Regiment. I.E., H Co, 75th Rangers, K Company 75th Rangers, etc. Not knocking the LRRPS, but there is no way that you can compare them to the real rangers of WWII or today.

Four years past that date would have him still serving as a Ranger in 72. Not likely.

Not saying he didn't serve honorably, buy lying about your service can make you less than an honorable person(can you spell jean fraude kerriiee?). Not that lying about your service covers war or sea tales, if well told and there is enough alcohol present.

I am reminded of the comments of an old Navy Seal....Hell, there were never more than 150 SEALs in VN at any one time. Since 1980, I've met at least 5,000 of them.

Time line sucks too, enough to call BS on this 'vet'.

bogie
July 25, 2005, 02:39 PM
Thing is, a lot of vets consider firearms to be _offensive_ weapons. Our job is to encourage them to think of them as _defensive_ weapons.

NoViuM
July 25, 2005, 03:21 PM
I've met several vets who where out hunting charlie on search and destroy missions. I've met one person in Military Intelligence (grandfather), and other paper pusher. Both in Nam, neither any blood and guts combat.

scout26
July 25, 2005, 04:24 PM
My BS meter always starts to twitch when I hear someone say "I was Ranger/Special Forces/SEAL/Force Recon/Sniper/CIA Secret Agent, etc." I guess the only guys who are members of my American Legion Post were the plain grunts and REMF's. No High-Speed types, guess that's because the post has a copy of your DD214. BS'ers get busted most ricky-tick.

Ask him for his DD214. All his schools, times and places served will be on there. If he's a BT/DT (Been There/Done That, The Real Deal), he won't mind showing it. If he's a fraud he will either deny, delay or claim that it's "Classified" (They are never classified).


If someone asked my for my DD214 I have no problem showing it.

Otherguy Overby
July 25, 2005, 06:19 PM
I knew one guy who managed a bunch of tours. He was a clerk and liked REMF duty. He managed to trade favors/cook orders for several extra tours. I didn't meet him until about 1971 when he just couldn't finagle the system anymore.

For me, I know how to search the web and could come up with a plausible history, sheesh, I could have claimed membership in Air America. I actually did have a commercial pilots license when I was drafted in 1970...

However, all I ever did was go to Fort Polk, LA and write newspaper articles and then got an early out so I only served 18 months + one day.

The alternative news source at the time was the "Fort Polk Puke" anyone remember that?

Lastly regarding DD 214s, expecting them to be 100 percent factual is, shall we say, uninformed knowledge... :)

Monkeyleg
July 25, 2005, 06:30 PM
chris in va: "You guys work for the media?"

No, advertising photography. Which means that we work when there's work. Which isn't often.

I'd never press my co-worker to show me his DD214. He's been in the photography business for decades, and his Viet Nam story is regarded as gospel. If I were to dispel that story somehow, even unintentionally, it wouldn't make me look good.

OTOH, if I can get some clues as to his truthfullness just for myself, it will give me some insight into who I'm working with.

Of all the guys I know who served, the one who saw the most combat was also the biggest screw-up, and he'll admit it. He was always assigned to s**t-burning when they got back to base.

And the one who saw no combat (there wasn't much fighting going on in Berlin, was there?) is the one with the stories for the women.

jaysouth
July 25, 2005, 09:14 PM
I was in a unit with a guy that got a MOH. After six months back in the states, he went back to VN. He stayed there until 71 or 72(his first tour began in 65). He did some high profile work in Mike Force and says he was a mail clerk at CCN when in fact he was involved in over the fence operations in Laos. Because of his MOH, the army did not want him in VN and did not want him in high profile activities. Because he has MOH, he could usually get the assignment he wanted, however.

I have not seen this guy in several years but back when he came to reunions, you could get the most engaging stories out of him about how he screwed the system one way or another, or outragious exploits in Asian brothels or bars. But not one word about action or anything that happened outside barbed wire perimeters.


Scout26

I spent a long time tending bar. One recurring story that I heard from 'heros' was that their BS could not be documented because their records got burned up in the fire at the St. Louis Records Center back in the 70s. The real skinny on that one is that some Air Force records were lost, but NO army records got burned up. Someday I could write an annex to B.G. Burkett's book, Stolen Valor.

Pilgrim
July 26, 2005, 01:22 AM
I'd never press my co-worker to show me his DD214. He's been in the photography business for decades, and his Viet Nam story is regarded as gospel. If I were to dispel that story somehow, even unintentionally, it wouldn't make me look good.

OTOH, if I can get some clues as to his truthfullness just for myself, it will give me some insight into who I'm working with.

You don't have to face him off on the DD214 issue. Just start doing some homework and asking some questions which make it clear you know what the Rangers did and when in and around Vietnam. He will get the hint. If he is a phony, he will stop talking about his "GI Joe" exploits around you.

Pilgrim

jaysouth
July 26, 2005, 01:50 AM
QUOTE:
OTOH, if I can get some clues as to his truthfullness just for myself, it will give me some insight into who I'm working with.


Monkeyleg:

Ask him in golly gee fashion "what did the rangers do in VN?"

The Rangers in VN were Long Range Recon Teams operating in 5 to 7 man teams doing recon missions IN vietnam for an infantry division.

Ask him "what division were you in?" Recon teams belonged to an infantry division.

Tell him you heard about the 'recondos', what were they? In fact it was a Theater (MACV) school run by the 5th Special Forces to train division LRRPs.
If he modestly admits attending this school, there is a roster online(god, don't ask me to find it right this moment)

RoyG
July 26, 2005, 06:31 AM
Show him the fake vet web site and ask him if he ever met anyone who was a fake.

Mr.BadExample
July 26, 2005, 09:11 AM
I had a roommate who was a Marine in the 80s, he was anti-gun. He thought only trained military personnel could use them worth a damn. He claimed to be Double Expert but never wanted to go to the range because "he would get too competitive."
We agreed to disagree.

scout26
July 26, 2005, 10:25 AM
Jaysouth,

Ahhh yes, the old ARPERCEN fire excuse.

While a DD214 may not be completely accurate, it should have enough info to either confrim or refute his claims.

I loathe Posers.

Roadkill
July 26, 2005, 12:14 PM
My experience is that anyone who spends a majority of his time today concerned about events which happened thirty plus years ago is either mentally misdirected and in need of the VA or not being truthful. Last damn thing I want to do is allow something I experienced thirty plus years ago to dominate my life today.

rk

Byron Quick
July 26, 2005, 12:30 PM
I know an elderly gentleman who was Special Forces. I was told that he served in Laos in an A Team.

All I've ever heard from him was that he retired from the Army after a career as an enlisted man.

He was a classmate of my uncle who was also career Army during the same time frame. My uncle was a clerk but ran into his friend from time to time during their service. My uncle told me of his combat service. To my knowledge, the gentleman has never told anyone that he was in combat; much less that he was SF.

There's a UPS driver in town. I happened to see some of his military records while helping him move. He was at Ia Drang in 1965. I asked him about it and we talked for a couple of hours about the battle. The next day he told me that he had nightmares for the first time in over a decade. He's never mentioned Vietnam to me again. That was over twenty years ago.

In my experience, the people who have been in combat; don't want to talk about it much.

Old Dog
July 26, 2005, 01:12 PM
In my experience, the people who have been in combat; don't want to talk about it much.
Exactly. At least with people who weren't there with them. This holds true for most folks I know.
On topic, though -- it may be the difference between Viet Nam (a war fought mostly in the country during a more "pacifist" and peaceful era) and Iraq (much combat in urban environments with a generation familiar with violence) -- but, since my career spans the post VN-era (most of the older guys with whom I first served were all VN vets) and OIF, I'm noting that while some of the VN vets I knew (and know) may have no special affinity for firearms, a lot of the OIF vets I know (who may not have been "into" guns before) have come back and seem to be, shall we say, a lot warmer to the idea of either carrying a firearm or at the very least, having one around ...

Monkeyleg
September 26, 2005, 07:23 PM
I just got around to asking my co-worker some questions today, which is why I'm resurrecting this thread.

Hawkmoon: "I was there in 1968, with the very first generation of M16s. You might ask the guy if he knows (or remembers) that the reason the M16 was changed from full-auto to 3-round burst fire was that it was basically uncontrollable in full-auto mode. If you didn't hit what you were aiming at with the first round, the following rounds mostly went cloud hunting."

I asked him about the three-burst fire, and he said that his M16 was full-auto, that his last real training with guns was in Viet Nam, and that any change must have come after 1972, when he left. He said that, in his training, he was taught to fire three to five round bursts, and that his instructor would give hell to anyone who fired more. He then said that the new recruits would often empty a full magazine at a target, and then have to reload, and that maybe that's why the military changed the rifle.

He also said that he kept all the rounds he was issued in magazines, rather than have any loose, that the army didn't issue 30-round magazines until some time after he'd been over there, and that he didn't trust their reliability.

He also said that, depending upon what he was doing, he would either carry his M16 only, or would also carry a shotgun, which he said was the best for going into the tall "elephant" grass, where an encounter might just be a matter of feet away.

Another thing he mentioned was sometimes carrying a Thompson, which he said he had purchased himself. He thought the Thompson was a good weapon, but felt that the M16 was more controllable under full-auto fire (my own experience runs contrary to that, but I shot my Thompson many times, and an M16 only once).

He also trained with the M60, the M207 grenade launcher (don't hold me to that numerical designation), and the M14. He said that the tree snipers favored the M14. He also described the various types of grenades: concussion, grenades loaded with buckshot, smoke, etc.

He's my age and, if he was drafted right out of high school, he would have gone in sometime in late 1969 or early 1970. As mentioned, he said he was there until 1972, which leaves another four years unaccounted for.

I'll gently press him on other points, but thought someone might like to respond to what he'd said today.

junyo
September 26, 2005, 08:56 PM
Reading the thread, i'm asking myself why his or your service or nonservice are relevant. If I'm giving him a job interview or a loan maybe, but how is it relevant to the question at hand? As boofus said, a shotgun puts just as much lead in the air just as fast as a machine gun, especially a quick cycling semi. Does he think those should be outlawed? And better yet, if it came to it, and he was defending his family or his liberty, would he prefer having the fully automatic option on the table on being told by the very people he might be defending against that his choices are limited? That's the argument. There's no need to play junior detective. Trying to dig up dirt to discredit the questioner and avoid the question is something people without an argument do.

C.S.Powell
September 26, 2005, 09:19 PM
First off I am a new guy with this group but I do enjoy reading the intelligent discussions offered here.
I served with F Co. 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines 3rd MarDiv at a place called KheSanh Vietnam, WIA May 9th 1967 in an ambush off Hill 881. That is not trying to tell a war story but only to give my perspective.
For years after returning to ConUs (after discharge, honorable) I wouldn't have anything to do with weapons of any kind even quit hunting. I was never against firearms I just didn't want to be part of it, I became disengaged on the subject. It took until a few years ago when Meth, crack etc. and the associated scum that accompany it started slithering into the mid-west to change my mind on ownership, I now have a ccw and carry all the time. When you have had to take another persons life it will change you forever, seeing what an M-60, .50 cal, 155mm or old iron bombs will do to a body is a life altering experience. The only way he will ever change is if the change comes from deep within his soul. Please just thank him for his service when others were running to Canada, spitting on him, calling him "baby killer" or protesting like today.
My personal feeling are now once again " I would rather stand and fight than be shot, stabbed or clubbed in the back trying to run away. Thank You for allowing this post, for The High Road and the honor of being an American!"
Semper Fi to all.

kikilee
September 26, 2005, 09:45 PM
Reading the thread, i'm asking myself why his or your service or nonservice are relevant. If I'm giving him a job interview or a loan maybe, but how is it relevant to the question at hand? As boofus said, a shotgun puts just as much lead in the air just as fast as a machine gun, especially a quick cycling semi. Does he think those should be outlawed? And better yet, if it came to it, and he was defending his family or his liberty, would he prefer having the fully automatic option on the table on being told by the very people he might be defending against that his choices are limited? That's the argument. There's no need to play junior detective. Trying to dig up dirt to discredit the questioner and avoid the question is something people without an argument do.

Couldn't agree more. As far as asking for a copy of his DD-214; mine is in my safe about 10 ft. from where I sit. In this age of computer generated images and "Photoshop" I could take mine and make it read like I was "Audie Murphy" if I was so inclined. It proves nothing.

I served honorably for 3 years 11 months and 28 days. (1969 - 1973) I have no use for those who would steal the honor of those who served and those who died.


I am a man of my word. It amazes me when I come across those whose word is worth nothing for that is a measure of a man.

"Your word and your honor go hand and hand. If you can't honor your word, you should be allowed to speak no more."

WayneConrad
September 26, 2005, 10:54 PM
All gun arguments based on danger, cost/benefit, or any other practical measure need to be ruthlessly ignored. The sole measure of the ultimate worth of a weapon of any kind is whether or not it is effective in fighting off tyrrany. One should ask the veteran if he would rather have full-auto weapons in his squad. If the answer is yes, then that is why the people need them. Even if they are dangerous to have. Government is far more dangerous to liberty than is the worst of our fellows.

Hawkmoon
September 26, 2005, 11:17 PM
I just got around to asking my co-worker some questions today, which is why I'm resurrecting this thread.

Hawkmoon: "I was there in 1968, with the very first generation of M16s. You might ask the guy if he knows (or remembers) that the reason the M16 was changed from full-auto to 3-round burst fire was that it was basically uncontrollable in full-auto mode. If you didn't hit what you were aiming at with the first round, the following rounds mostly went cloud hunting."

I asked him about the three-burst fire, and he said that his M16 was full-auto, that his last real training with guns was in Viet Nam, and that any change must have come after 1972, when he left. He said that, in his training, he was taught to fire three to five round bursts, and that his instructor would give hell to anyone who fired more. He then said that the new recruits would often empty a full magazine at a target, and then have to reload, and that maybe that's why the military changed the rifle.
Accurate. All we had in 1968 was full auto. I was trained on the M14 (semi-auto mode only) in the States, and handled my first M16 after arriving in Viet Nam. That is exactly why the 3-round burst mode was developed.
He also said that he kept all the rounds he was issued in magazines, rather than have any loose, that the army didn't issue 30-round magazines until some time after he'd been over there, and that he didn't trust their reliability.
Also accurate. I never saw anyone carry loose rounds. We loaded up all the magazines we could get, and slung them over our shoulders in bandaleers.
He also said that, depending upon what he was doing, he would either carry his M16 only, or would also carry a shotgun, which he said was the best for going into the tall "elephant" grass, where an encounter might just be a matter of feet away.
Also accurate. Dunno how they got 'em in, but people did have personal shotguns sent over from home. They were a popular option with guys who walked "point" for exactly the reason your co-worker stated.
Another thing he mentioned was sometimes carrying a Thompson, which he said he had purchased himself. He thought the Thompson was a good weapon, but felt that the M16 was more controllable under full-auto fire (my own experience runs contrary to that, but I shot my Thompson many times, and an M16 only once).
Never saw a Thompson and never heard of anyone using one over there, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
He also trained with the M60, the M207 grenade launcher (don't hold me to that numerical designation), and the M14. He said that the tree snipers favored the M14. He also described the various types of grenades: concussion, grenades loaded with buckshot, smoke, etc.
His training sounds about the same as mine, which comes as no surprise.
He's my age and, if he was drafted right out of high school, he would have gone in sometime in late 1969 or early 1970. As mentioned, he said he was there until 1972, which leaves another four years unaccounted for.
It does sound like he was there, it's just the chronology that doesn't APPEAR to hold up.

Travis McGee
September 26, 2005, 11:31 PM
My BS meter is pegged.
Ask him for his DD214.
If he won't proudly pull it out, if he says he lost it, or it's classified etc, he's lying.
Period.

Walter
September 27, 2005, 12:15 AM
Armed military combat AIN'T the same thing as 'concealed carry', or
'self-defense' carry. I did two tours as a grunt Marine in Viet Nam, and I
have had a concealed carry permit in Texas for the past ten years. I
know the difference.

The "rules of engagement" are much more strict for a civilian with a CCW.
There is not room on this site to detail all the differences in the situations.

Anyone who offers their services to the Armed forces of this country
serves to defend the Constitution of the United States, among other things.
Last I heard, the Second Amendment was still a valid part of the
Constitution.

I don't see where any person in the military service of the United States
has any business disparaging the 2nd Amendment. In fact, I don't think anybody who lives in this country has the right to decide who may or
may not own firearms. That argument was decided more than
200 years ago when the "Right to keep and bear arms" was included in the
"Bill of Rights".

Walter

Taurus 66
September 27, 2005, 12:39 AM
Ask him for his DD-214. All the info should be on there. The numbers don't add up.

Magsnubby's reply is worth consideration (not that any of the others are any less). If he keeps bringing up 'Nam, I guess you could ask him for documented proof, otherwise have him not waste your time and fill your head with that which appears to be undocumented/unproven.

Not so long ago, I was under the direction of a new foreman at my place of business, who has said on several occasions he was a member of an elite Airborne division during Vietnam. On top of it all, he said he was a sniper. It's difficult to believe due to being one on top of so many other tall stories as well. He did bring in a beret and hung it on the hat rack in his office, but he never did show a picture of him with the boys or a DD 214. Oh, and he just turned 50. While it is possible he could have served in the war, it's cutting it mighty close.

His positions on full-auto's were: if an untrained person--such as a kid-- got his/her hands on one, they would do more damage than with a semi-auto

Maybe ... maybe not. Not every bullet that comes out the barrel automatically gets a name assigned to it. How does an untrained person (such as a child) get his/her hands on one in the first place? Is the US Army that sloppy about keeping a tight inventory? If it's a civilian matter, does anyone really believe a law abiding citizen, who fought tooth and nail for all the required licensing is going to leave something like that lying around for little Tommy to fiddle with?

that the small number of full-auto's registered means the '34 GCA worked; and that full-auto's are more deadly. He based that last statement on his experience in Viet Nam.

He sounds like he wants no contest from you, that you should simply yield to all his sheer wisdom, though, if you give him resistance, he won't mind much. If your debates put him on the ropes, he will resolve to confusion tactics. Be aware of this.

TonkinTwentyMil
September 27, 2005, 02:17 AM
Monkeyleg:

As a Vietnam veteran ('68-'70), let me first say I always give my fellow vets maximum respect and the benefit of any doubt (even when they're mis-guided or full of it).

That said, here's some interesting facts:

1. Nearly 2.5 million veterans served "in" that war, i.e., qualified for the Vietnam Campaign medal as a result of serving in the Vietnam "theatre" for a qualifying period of time.

That qualifying time could be in-country, on/from a base in Thailand or Laos, or on a ship in the Tonkin Gulf, just to give some examples. Front-lines or behind-the-lines support, it makes no difference... because nearly ALL who served ANYWHERE there faced various degrees of occasional risk, from direct hostile fire to aircraft operational accidents to ship-board fires/explosions. Likewise, we ALL paid some (often steep) price for our years in the military then, though I wouldn't trade my experience for anything.

2. In the last election, various political polls estimated the Bush-Kerry vote split (for Vietnam vets) at roughly 65%-35%. Broken down, the percentage for Bush was higher among the officer demographic, perhaps approaching 80%.

Here's another interesting political reflection: During the 1968 presidential election, a "straw vote" was held among the Navy officers/pilots aboard my aircraft carrier. Nixon (R) got 30%, Humphrey (D) got 5%, and Wallace/LeMay (I) got 65%! The later combo actually scored only about 11% of the real U.S. vote, but Wallace/LeMay's hard-nosed/no-appeasing/aggressive pro-war stance certainly appealed to those playing a major hands-on part in the "air war."

Accordingly, if your pal was enlisted (vs. commissioned officer, like me), and he tends to go "liberal," then he's arguably part of a demographic cohort of about 875,000 "liberal" Viet vets (that 35% pro-Kerry poll estimate), though that group is certainly diminished by deaths over the intervening years.

Vietnam vets are known to shy away from serious political involvement (only a handful in Congress) and joining veterans organizations... way moreso than vets from WWII and Korea.

After 35 years, I only recently decided to join the local Vietnam Veterans of America chapter. At the first meeting, it quickly became very clear to me that I just didn't "fit" there, because (a) 90% of them were enlisted, not officers -- and their attitudes and perspectives were VERY different than mine, and (b) this particular chapter was overwhelmingly pacifist/anti-war/liberal in its operational tenor and other subtle ways -- to the point of members openly displaying "Get Out Of Iraq" hostility to Bush and those eeevil Republicans. Disappointing, but we ARE in a long-term Culture War now -- one that has deep roots in the Vietnam era.

As to your pal's apparently limited knowledge of contemporary firearms and ammunition (scorning Black Talons? Gimme a break! He's a Ballistic Illiterate), that's no surprise -- even if he's a legitimate Viet vet. Few were Rambos, and I've met many vets who wouldn't know a real "assault rifle" from an axe handle... just like a lot of cops and politicians.

Cosmoline
September 27, 2005, 02:44 AM
The fellow thinks hollowpoints should be illegal? He doesn't have a clue.

Military service does not in itself mean squat when it comes to knowledge about small arms or their use in self defense. I also strongly suspect if you added up all the people who claimed to have fought in elite units during Vietnam, we would have had enough hard-core manpower to take Hanoi in about a week :D And nobody would have been moving supplies or pushing papers.

TonkinTwentyMil
September 27, 2005, 03:47 AM
Ditto what Cosmoline said.

dodge
September 27, 2005, 11:31 AM
I served from '72-'76. I entered at 17 (turned 18 later that year) right out of high school and some of the guys from my basic unit went to Nam. I have a couple of friends that were with the Marines in Nam and you can not get them to talk about at all. One of them and I worked together in a telephone line construction outfit and he talked to me about it only one time. We were taking a short break on a right-of-way and somehow it came up and the woods was quite thick at that time. He asked me how would I like to looking for someone wearing black clothing running through woods even thicker that what we was looking at right then. I replied that wouldn't be any fun at all. In talking with my other friend he told me that the first friend had served in a LRRP unit and your best friend is the tailend guy that can walk backwards and not make any noise doing it. Both friends have told me that for wuite a few years they had nightmares of things that happened over there and they both have my greatest respect for their time there and I don't ask any questions on the subject.

Gunpacker
September 27, 2005, 12:57 PM
Look at action film from Iraq. I can't recall a single incident where the troops are firing FA with M16. I see occasional firing of 3-4 quick shots, but none in burst mode. They seem to universally fire semi. That is the hallmark of trained troops IMO. They want to be as effective as possible.

James T Thomas
September 27, 2005, 08:59 PM
I recently replied in the Handguns Gen> "Trusting an auto vs your revolver"
and thought my vet experience might be valued. I wanted to contribute, but "Rockstar" #4, feels I must be Jed Clampett, or even Gabby Hayes because I promoted one of the salient features of the old retro guns over his technogun.

So, do not feel second class to one claiming to have experience as a vet.
Much of the vets' experience was non combat as another thread states.

Also, for years following Vietnam there were dozens of newspaper articles on this "vet" and that one that had went bezerk on murder sprees, etc.
It turned out later that these fiends were not vets at all but "wannabees."

I turned sixty this year, and had served in the Cavalry, in Vietnam. That's right. The cavalry; just not horses, but helicopters were our iron steeds.
Now, I suppose I will have to reply to "Rockstar," and begin to practice my Gabby Hayes imitation, forget that I ever used those proven design semi -autos, and turn in my Federal 44 mgn, SD ammunition for some new fangled smart bullets pardner!

All of those years has taught me this: The true "liberal" will never change his mind; not for logic, not for facts, so don't drive yourself crazy.

Monkeyleg
September 27, 2005, 11:50 PM
This thread has gone on so long that I almost forgot why I started it. ;)

Oh, yeah. I have a new co-worker whom I now believe was in some serious fighting in VietNam, who believes in concealed carry (and carries a pretty wicked knife), still likes to shoot pistols, but questions whether full-auto's should be legal.

And I was trying to figure out a way to take a vet who's pretty much 100% Democrat, but who's 98% pro-gun, and bring him 100% over to our side.

We talked a bit more today about everything, from politics to drugs to rock to everything else from the 60's and 70's.

I believe him.

So, I just need a way to bring him around to the "official THR stance" on guns, and we'll have another rock-solid 2A Democrat. That's the strategy, right? One person at a time.

I'm not going to insult him by asking for his DD214. If he's lying, I'm Sarah Brady.

Taurus 66
September 28, 2005, 12:33 AM
How about telling him about the site? Give him the URL and hope he checks it out sometime. You can't do much more than that. He needs to jump on the wagon himself. Sure you can continue to debate back and fourth, but it's politics, where even small victories are slow-earnings.

Hook686
September 28, 2005, 01:32 AM
July 23rd, 2005, 03:58 PM #1
Monkeyleg
Senior Member

wrote:
"...

I think I could bring him around on the issue of legalizing full-auto's, and I may have brought him around to accept hollowpoints, although I'm not sure. Any suggestions? I think I may have a chance to create a 100% pro-2A liberal if I do it right.

"


What is your purpose, and why is this important to you ? It sounds to me the man earned his right to think and feel any which way he choses.

Hook686

artherd
September 28, 2005, 02:12 AM
Monkeyleg: I would ask HIM if he'd take YOU to the range to TEACH YOU how to properly handle a pistol. Then proceed to do everything he says as though you're learning it all for the first time. Play the goodhearted student to his sensi.


PS: I know of 2 people who were actually in the Special Forces during conflict in VN.

Both I found out about posthumously.
In my experience, the people who have been in combat; don't want to talk about it much.
That's putting it mildly.

Hobie
September 28, 2005, 08:56 AM
I've known a number of vets due to my own 27 years of service beginning in 1973 at age 18, I'm 50 today AND retired. I served 4 years 9 mo in Korea.

I've had fellows stand in FORMATION telling tales of Vietnam while I was in hearing range with their records in my hand. The two did not jive. A baker in DaNang claimed to have been on multiple LRRP missions. Sort of like a former Presidential candidate. I've had a guy claim authority to wear a SEAL q-badge but was only a washout from dive school. These guys were otherwise accomplished folks. I could be wrong but your guy's story smells to high heaven.

The problem is so bad that there are even a couple of organizations dedicated to exposing these fakes.

Colt
September 28, 2005, 10:53 AM
The fellow thinks hollowpoints should be illegal? He doesn't have a clue.

When I was still in highschool, my grandfather (a WWII army combat vet) told me that some soldiers would cut X's into the nose of their bullets, which would cause them to expand (like hollowpoints). They'd make a little hole in the front of the target, but leave a large exit wound.

I don't remember if he was referring to pistol rounds or rifle rounds, but he went on to tell me that in combat, killing a soldier outright isn't always the most effective method of turning the tide of a battle, and that small, high-velocity bullets that go through their target without outright killing, leave a soldier incapacitated. This in turn requires at least one other soldier to come to his aid, carry him off the field, etc... So ammunition that acted like hollowpoints wasn't necessarily the most effective in the larger view of combat.

He also said that being "caught" with these cut bullets ("dumb-dumb bulllets" I think he called them) could have serious consequences depending on which uniform your wore, and the uniform of the individual that found them on your person.

Had anyone else heard of this?

FWIT, my grandfather never talked about specific battles or whether or not he killed anyone. But when he passed away 2 years ago, my father framed his funeral flag and included in the back of the case his discharge paperwork, along with all the medals and citations it reflected he'd earned. From my father's research, my grandfather had been reassigned twice to different groups due to a lack in numbers of surviving members sufficient to maintain a group designation, ending up finally in Company K. (I'm not sure if that is common or not) He never spoke to my father of his actual experiences, either, but did say that there was no doubt in his mind that prayers from home had kept him alive.

Nicky Santoro
September 28, 2005, 03:17 PM
"Debating a combat veteran"

Something stinks here. Ask the guy when he was issued his DD214 or what his MOS was. If you get a blank stare or "I don't remember" you're talking to a fraud, some pantload claiming military service to give his opinions credibility.

Hook686
September 30, 2005, 11:05 AM
July 25th, 2005, 03:24 PM #30
scout26
Senior Member


wrote "...
Ask him for his DD214. All his schools, times and places served will be on there. If he's a BT/DT (Been There/Done That, The Real Deal), he won't mind showing it. If he's a fraud he will either deny, delay or claim that it's "Classified" (They are never classified).

...."


I can understand your thinking. There is a problem though .... I was involved during the Vietnam eara (1966-1970) in USAF secret operations. My DD 214 shows me as radio repairman, I never saw a radio to repair, let alone repair one. This AFSC was not not what I really was, I was a nuclear chemistry technician involved with weapons of mass destruction. I worked in a secret laboratory and was involved in a mishap that left me contaminated with radioactive material. Since the laboratory was a secret operation, it did not exist ... therefor there can be no accidents at a laboratory that does not exist, nor can a radio repairman be involved with radioactive material (the USAF even told former Senator Pete Wilson that there was no radiation history on file for me to indicate that I ever was exposed to ionizing radiation). Since there can be no accident then there can be no injury, or death, to account for. The USAF denied my story for 25 years until buried plutonium, that I may have worked with, was found on one of the bases closed and turned over for civilian use in 2002. From sgt to General the denials that I ever worked with plutonium was all that was considered ... that is until the actual plutonium sample was uncovered by a civilian environmental sampler.

So do believe this guy ? I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, as the VA promotes veterans are due. Go ahead and doubt a brother, you might be justified in the end. In any event, when it comes to lies, I think my government, from the lowest aid to the President himself, releases more in a week, than any veteran can in his lifetime.

I have a number of firearms, I am not anti gun. However I am anti nuclear weapon, which the current administration is set on expanding for tactical use ... tanks, ships and troops to had limited nuclear weapon capability. This would certainly make my Glock 19 seem pretty insignificant.

Back to our veteran ... I would believe him, unless you have actual evidence to the contrary, hard evidence, not just someones personal opinion.

Hook686

gunsmith
November 24, 2005, 05:52 AM
to something like fake warriors .com or something but I can't google it now...
I found this
http://www.nightscribe.com/Military/SEALs/wannabe_seals.htm

I knew a guy who claimed to be a Navy Seal (he had no clue that I was a vet)
I outed him in front of all his pals (he didn't even know what a dd214 was!:fire: )

my service consisted of collecting article 15's & painting crap , KP , and policing the area of cigg butt's...very glamorous,eh?


I've learned more from THR and folks like Jim March and the NRA then I ever did in my short stint as a idiot teen in the Army

Roadkill
November 24, 2005, 08:12 AM
Face it guys, those of us who were in Vietnam are now the old farts we made fun of when we were kids. As time passes and the stories are embellished the BS meter register stays in the red zone. I quit the war story Vietnam discussion crap many years ago because no one really cares and I couldn't keep the stories straight anymore. The more time spent in the past simply means less time for the present and future. And my future is starting to look a little restrictive in the time arena. Whether the guy is lying or telling the truth really doesn't matter. If its important to him then let it be so.

rk

depicts
November 24, 2005, 08:14 AM
The Geneva convention prohibited use of hollow point ammo in Vietnam (as it does now I beleive). I wouldn't be surprised if because of this many Nam vets think fulll metal jacket rounds are best for combat or anti-personell.

From what I saw in the service most guys didn't have much gun experience when they went in overall. Today even fewer soldiers have shooting experience. Your friend could be a proud vietnam vet, served in combat, (not likely for more than 3 years as I've said before here)...and still not know squat about firearms and weapons. That's why they sometimes called them "trigger pullers"

I carried an M16 for a year in Nam, and the first time I fired one at a range back home I had forgotten, blissfully, almost everything I knew except where the trigger was and where to put the magazine *S*

My primary weapon on patrol was an M79 and a .45. For perimiter guard and special duty and flying with the Cav boys I carried the M16. I am no expert, and neither are many other vets. (I was good enough to get home)

I was mostly a photographer, but we all did a little of everything over there. Hell I even peeled potatoes *G*

depicts
November 24, 2005, 08:21 AM
FYI, the first hollowpoints developed for military use were first made at the Dum Dum arsenal in India, from which they got their name (No kidding)

They were ruled illegal by geneva convention, and the Japanese especially found them revolting and took harsh measures against soldiers and marines found using them

Charlie Oldphart
November 24, 2005, 12:17 PM
Well, well, this has turned into an interesting thread.

I was never in Vietnam and wouldn't know a M16 or M14, full auto or otherwise, if it was right in front of me. I was a front-line Army grunt in Korea in 1950 and learned real fast the difference between the "tinkertoy" M1 Carbine and the .45 "grease gun. 'Nuff said!!

About a vet's prior service: I had an older brother who at the age of 26 and who was married with a child, enlisted in the Army in July 1944. In December 1944 he found himself in Belgium and involved in the Battle of the Bulge. (Aha! Another Battle of the Bulger!) Sorry, no wannabe here.

He was wounded but survived and spent several months in a hospital in England. Now, imagine this. His wife received a POSTCARD in January 1945 saying that her husband was "wounded" in battle and no further information was available at this time.

I now have that postcard--60 years later.

I have his Purple Heart.

I have his membership certificate in The Battle of the Bulge Association.

I have his DD214.

Although he never drank alchol before going in the Army, when he came home he became a chronic alcolohic. It took him over 20 years before he finally overcame it for good. The hard thing was that was a rather nervous type anyway, but in addition to his wounds he had lost the hearing in both ears. He wore hearing aids that helped some . He was receiving a Disability pension when he died in a VA hospital at the age of 77.

I never heard of him speaking of his military service, even once!

Now, thanks to an above poster that mentioned PhotoShop, I have figured out how to get rich! Hell, my wife is a professional digital photographer and she spends 5-6 hours a day working with PhotoShop.

So all you wannabees (not there are any on this board), listen up!

Were you a lowly clerk in the Army stationed at Ft Dix in 1978? How about being a First Seargent in Vietnam in 1969? You were Special Forces, three tours, four Purple hearts and shot down a Russian Mig with you M16 (full auto, of course). No so? Well, we can make it so!

Wasn't even in the service? No problem. Fix you right up with a DD214 fully customized. Even Uncle Sam won't be able to tell the difference. Wave that puppy around, boost the old ego and guaranteed chick magnet.

Here's where I need your help. How should I charge for this va;uable service? Should it be a flat fee or should I charge extra for each ego booster?

Maybe a flat fee of $100 and extra for options.

Extras:

Marines 25.00
Rangers 30.00
Seals 50.00
Fighter pilots 100.00
2nd LT -10.00 (deduct)
Generals 300.00

You get the idea?

Enough nonsense. Highest respect for all who served.

God Bless You and Yours.

Charlie

desert_scorpion
November 25, 2005, 12:30 AM
Hi All, been reading through the last three pages of posts, mostly just for something to do before going to bed. So very heated debating going on, I understand how the vets feel and their responses at the thought of someone that doesn't quite measure up, but makes the claim. To Monkeyleg, if you like the guy and believe him let it rest, move on to more important issues and leave the past in the past. There is plenty of research that has been put out, with everything to bullet dynamics to effective patterning with automatics. You just have to get on the web and do your homework, then present the facts to him, and like others have said before, invite him onto THR. To Colt, my grandfather served in the Pacific theater of WWII in the Navy. He will be 82 this next May, and he does not share much of his experiences from the war. He has told me a few stories about different experiences that he had, but vary rarely any gritty details. He served with an Amphibious Assualt unit that had been formed during WWII and was disolved during the Occupation of JApan. He told me once that the men in his unit would score x's on the bullets, so as to inflict as much damage as possible, he says that they new it was against the Geneva Convention, but they did it any way. He also told me that his unit, only once took prisoners, and only at the express orders of their commander. His unit was in essence a special ops unit formed for island warfare of the South Pacific. He told me that he joined the Navy at the age of 17, and went to boot camp at San diego, and about half way through an officer asked for volunteers, needless to say he was moved to the other side of the fench and finished boot with the Marines. And then went to Coronado Island for several months, afterwards he spent acouple of months in the Aluention Islands before going to the south Pacific. When Grandpa came home in 46' he had been awarded the Purple heart 6 or 7 times,( I can't get him to say exactly) but he left all but one that he kept, he gave the rest to wounded children in a hospital in Yokoska, where he was stationed during the occupation. He has given me a number of his personal items from the war, (pictures, bayonets, and such). Anyhow, getting back to main discussion, I spent time with the 82nd Airborne as a infantryman, and My brother is a Marine that got home from Iraq last summer. We have both have a fair amount of experience shooting various weapons. As a matter of pyhsics, I find it impossible for a CHILD to pick up a Automatic weapon and proceed to open up full auto, it is impossible! Besides the difficulty in a child being able to acquire said automatic, firing the weapon poses some improabilities. I personally have fired a M14 on full auto, and from the shoulder after about the third round the rifle is climbing at a pretty fast rate. Mind you I am a big guy, 6'5" and 251 lbs.(partly the reason I didn't last long in the Army, tore my knees up pretty bad), I had difficulty keeping the rifle down on target. And shooting from the hip, John Wayne style only helped marginelly, I don't see my 11 yr old son being able to fire that weapon on full auto, its just not gonna happen. However my 11yr old can, with his single shot .22 rifle shoot a prairie dog at a 100yds in the head. I guess what I am getting at is, that it has to be put into perspective. Now for the hollow points, what exactly is his hangup??? Granted hollowpoints are capable of doing more terminal damage than FMJ's, but that is what they were designed to do. For example, you will not see any law enforcement useing FMJ's in their duty rig. Why because the department they work for cannot handle the litigation that happens from a round passing through the intended and into a innocent. For the Law Enforcement community, the FMJ ammunition poses a higher threat not only to them, but to innocents involved in firefights. The military uses FMJ to disable combatants, If you kill a combatant his companions are just that much more eager to shoot you, If you wound him, his buddies are going to leave the fight to get him to safety. In the civilian world, the hollowpoints are preferable, because when confronted by a assailant, the desired effect is to resolve the confrontation as quickly as possible without putting any one else in danger. If this friend of yours cannot see this, then you are wasting your time in argueing with him on this subject, and you should maybe ask him how he feels about lake fishing Vs. river fishing.

TrafficMan
November 25, 2005, 12:57 AM
good grief this thread got interesting...

i am only 30, but i have met MANY vietnam vets over the years...with that said, i only seriously believe two.

One Example...

I work with a guy, his name is Jack Savage (maybe one of you fellas out there know him), who did two tours in Vietnam. One as an Infantry Grunt and the other in Air Cav as a door gunner...I think he said somewhere Up North where Air Cav operated. Jack is a news guy for KABC radio here in Los Angeles...He was working nights when the talk show host "Mr. KABC" started inquiring about his experiences in Nam. He went into detail about the LZ Bird situation, and how how he was indirectly involved in it...another Vietnam Vet called in tears and they both shared their experiences...it was quite the deal on local radio here a couple of years ago...

Jack is a pretty mouth shut guy when it comes to his experience over there....he has told me some stuff, because I was interested. He said as a grunt, the first time in a firefight, his M16 jammed. After that he elected to carry an M79...which he praises. He got shot up bad as a grunt, and spent some time in the hospital. He said he got tired of leeches and sleeping in mud...so he got a transfer into Air Cav.

I know Jack is legit. I have seen some old home videos him and his mates made over there...with a super 8 i guess...and lots of pictures.

In short, I know Jack is the real deal....

It seems that there are a lot of pseudo "Vietnam Veterans" out there...and it's a damn shame!!!

MatthewVanitas
November 25, 2005, 02:06 AM
A very, very common misconception: it is not the Geneva Convention which forbade hollowpoint ammunition, but the Hague Accords:


Hague Convention of 1899


Signed on July 29, 1899 and entering into force on September 4, 1900, the Hague Convention of 1899 consisted of four main sections and three additional declarations (the final main section is for some reason identical to the first additional declaration):
I - Pacific Settlement of International Disputes
II - Laws and Customs of War on Land
III - Adaptation to Maritime Warfare of Principles of Geneva Convention of 1864
IV - Prohibiting Launching of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons
Declaration I - On the Launching of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons
Declaration II - On the Use of Projectiles the Object of Which is the Diffusion of Asphyxiating or Deleterious Gases
Declaration III - On the Use of Bullets Which Expand or Flatten Easily in the Human Body

www.wikipedia.org

Note that the U.S. is not a signatory of the Hague Convention. This subject has been covered extensively on THR in the past, for those who are curious.

The Geneva Convention primarily addresses categorization of combatants vs. noncombatants, treatment of the wounded/sick/shipwrecked, etc.

-MV (who is Geneva Convention Category III)

vynx
November 25, 2005, 03:48 AM
Hey Colt - I was in the Air Force 1977 -1981 and I remember hearing from some sargent that we (USA) went to 9mm & .223 to comply with (passify) NATO. He also told us that the rationale behind the 9mm & .223 was that killing an enemy took out one man and made his comrades mad but to wound them took the wounded man out plus one other guy to tend his would and had a more demoralising affect on enemy troops. He didn't say it was true he just said that was NATOs reasoning.
I think your Grandfather heard the same kind of thing.

Pilgrim
November 25, 2005, 10:06 PM
http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,80243,00.html

depicts
November 26, 2005, 08:41 AM
MatthewVanitas Thanks for that information. It's good to get the straight poop. Sometimes even when I think I know what I'm talking about, I don't....funny huh?!!!! *S*

Pilgrim
November 26, 2005, 11:50 AM
He also told me that his unit, only once took prisoners, and only at the express orders of their commander. His unit was in essence a special ops unit formed for island warfare of the South Pacific. He told me that he joined the Navy at the age of 17, and went to boot camp at San diego, and about half way through an officer asked for volunteers, needless to say he was moved to the other side of the fench and finished boot with the Marines.
:what: :what: :what:

Harv
November 26, 2005, 12:31 PM
This may be an unpopular point of view, but here it is, I always give everyone their due respect, and just little bit more to the WW2/ Korea/Vientam era vets, but being a combat vet does not give you opinion on certain things any more creedance then others.

The thing most people don't realize is that they are no smarter when it comes to certain things then the rest of us. A lot of people think because your a Soldier/Marine,etc it makes you an automatic expert on all weapons and gear. This is far from the truth. Like Many LEO's they have the basic knowledge passed to them from Military Instructors and that's it. Their not "Gun Guys" and don't have this incrediblly unshakable foundation in all things that go boom. A lot of them still hold the Myth's of their day as the gospel to this day. (Good example is Vietnam vets and their opinion of the M16)

I've read recently were a Marine swears up and down that all his M16's he fired in Boot and out in the fleet were 2 stage triggers...and that everyone that corrected him is wrong and he was right, casue"'he was their".

I've seen images of 18 year old Privates with Beta C mags in their weapon over in the sand box. does that mean it's a good piece of kit when he writes on the Internet that he used one and had no problems.

I've seen guys indorse $40 cheap chinese made scopes and claim that it held up fine. Should I take that as the Gospel cause he's a combat vet??

I've known ALOT of Combat vets during my career and a small percentage had real technical knowledge while the rest parroted what ever the Dogma of their time and their location was. it's not their fault, it's just the way it is. I learned a long time ago to take certain things with a grain of Salt. Like anything, know the sources. I know the guys who's opinions I trust and the guys who cannot be convinced even with the fact's that they are wrong about something, cause "They were There"

At the end of the day, it's not worth it, let them have their moment, They earned it...

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