20 January 2008

A Note From Bob Bliss

Greetings all,

Just wanted you guys, and anyone wanting to contact me, especially the family of our lost brother Marine, Gary Schaefer, (9-21-67) that I have a new email address: namgrunt67@gmail.com . So many thanks to Bill Sellers, my buddy from Golf, 2/4, who continues to work very hard trying to uncover the truth about September 21, 1967. His detective work, and dedication to this blog, has done much to bring the real story out about what happened that day when so many Marines lost their lives, were badly wounded, or were simply left behind for weeks before being recovered. Remember this: Truth Lives! And it will be found. But we still need more information from those of you who were there. Where are you Officers now that we need you again? Please come forward and contact Bill Sellers or me for an interview, or just send us an email, or you can call us as well. My phone is: 508-209-2323. We owe it to those brave Marines and Corpsmen who never came home...

Semper Fidelis,
Bob Bliss

07 January 2008

The Homecoming

The Homecoming

The thump of the landing gear locking into place jarred me awake as the jet made its final approach to El Toro Marine Air Base. After a short taxi from the runway we deplaned and took our first look in over a year at the land we fought to protect, or so we believed.

I tossed my seabag over my shoulder and walked off the tarmak, alone. No crowds, no bands, no signs, no hands to shake--just the night.

Welcome home Marine!

Slipping Back into the World

Just twenty-four hours prior to my homecoming I’d been lying in a ditch in Dong Ha listening to the sound of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) artillery trying for one last time to end my impending homecoming. And now I’d arrived back in “the world”--- more nervous than I was in that ditch. I began to ask myself the questions it would take years to answer.

It was early spring, 1968. Many back home were beginning to see the war as an ugly period in America’s history and for those who served there it was an effort without honor, an almost shameful exercise in misplaced patriotism.

My homecoming was the way most Vietnam veterans returned. Unlike prior wars, we were sent to Vietnam, not as cohesive units with shared experiences, but as individuals. Upon arrival in-country we were dispersed throughout the country as replacements, strangers in a strange hostile land and even strangers to the combat units we joined. We arrived back home the same way, as individuals, alone with our experiences in an ungrateful nation.

Although protesters waving signs and spitting in the faces of returning soldiers happened to some, it’s largely a popular myth. Most of us just quietly slipped back into the world we left--without fanfare, without recognition and without gratitude. The silence that greeted us left open our wounds and delayed our healing far longer than any other returning war veterans---just one more distinction of the Vietnam war.

By: Charles Atkins