An Air Force POW Speaks

I’ve written before about the week in which three Vietnam vets approached me to tell me their story. It was uncanny in that in all of them, I just listened. I asked very few questions, but spent hours nodding my head and saying a word or two. (Of course, the second one was on an airplane and planes make for good confessional booths.)

The last Vietnam tale is short and Air Force related. I have a small team of guys, all civilian, who work for the Navy program I oversee. All of them are older than me, make more money than I do, and are more educated than I am. But the nature of this sort of work requires a uniform and that is where I come in.

Most of my guys are former military, including an Air Force Sergeant who fueled planes in Vietnam. He told me of stories of lying in sweat night after night over there. And of re-fueling planes during the day when they came in. He was proud of his work, as he should be, and never complained about the conditions. For years, he wore a POW bracelet of an Air Force pilot who was shot down over Vietnam. I’ll leave his name anonymous, the reasons which will soon become apparent.

Years later, in the late 90s, the Air Force Sergeant used a primitive search engine and actually found the guy whose name was on his bracelet. The POW had returned to the United States after years over in Vietnam. And the Sergeant asked the former-POW if he wanted the bracelet back. (Apparently, this is the tradition? If so, first heard for me.)

Anyway, the Air Force flier told him to keep it. Not in a mean way. But the pilot proceeded to share a list of gripes about the US government and their actions concerning his captivity. He even got a dig in on Jane Fonda. The former-POW felt like more could have been done from the governmental end. And he did not want the bracelet as a reminder. A good American, may God bless him. . .

12 thoughts on “An Air Force POW Speaks

  1. Lots of kids wore POW/MIA bracelets back in the day. It was rather a cool thing to do (I never had one). And yes, some were able to hand their bracelet to the POW on his return. The Jane Fonda thang still makes Vietnam Vets furious – as it should.

  2. To this day and beyond; the Jane Fonda ‘thing’ should make every one furious, she should be regarded as a traitor to her country. But as usual ‘Its a celebrity thing’ (just lift the carpet a little, while I sweep this dust under it)…

    We have several of her ilk over here, one in particular is the (arrogant champagne socialist) politician George Galloway; (aka Gorgeous George), who famously went across to Iraq and met and socialised with Saddam Hussein as well as Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-’Gaddafi’ in Libya.

    (Hmmm, thinking about it now; he may just have the touch of death about him).

    Perhaps he may think of visiting Syria very soon and shake hands with Bashar Hafez al-’Assad’!

    NavyOne, any other dictators you can think of that Gorgeous George could visit?
    (I will start the ball rolling by suggesting he starts with the Taliban and Al Qaeda Leaders, and then perhaps stays the weekend with Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe).

    Yours Aye.

  3. I can’t fault the AF POW dude. As with many veterans, our experiences vary due to many things. His expectations were different from his training, but he did serve and did suffer. I wish him well.

    • Oh, yeah. Posted before I got to tell you, at one time I had a roll of toilet paper with Jane’s picture on it. I used it all up with pleasure.

  4. I cannot wait for John Kerry to assume the duties of SecDef or whatever ludicrous position this administration gives him….we know he’ll just be that talking head who spews the liberal/progressive talking points…I’ve never seen in my life the complete and utter decline and asininity of any political party on complete display as this one…and these people actually think they’re smart? Wow, talk about an alternate reality….amazing, isn’t it? And we laugh at them now…actually, now we do it behind their backs….k

  5. Lou: There are a lot worse things to be cool.
    EB: Ah Gorgeous George. He certainly has cozied up to some bad guys. I imagine a visit to Ayman Al Zawahiri is in order. Or maybe Putin.
    Tim: I’ll second that spit.
    CP: Concur. He has a right to his feelings.
    navdavy: My blood boils reading that crap.
    Kris: Go read navydavy’s link to really get you angry.

    • Strangely enough, it all comes back with a vengeance…John Kerry was a jerk then and still is….and it’s the same motivation that gets me thinking as to why the State of Massachusetts votes for this walking turd over and over again…rather like they voted for almost fifty years for Teddy Kennedy, a supposed real facsimile of his brother, Jack…that J. F’ing Kerry wanted to emulate the original JFK and be like him in that he was a member of the military and ultimately turned into the joke he really is, was an obvious stumbling block..but we’re all supposed to forget what a jackass he really is when it comes to reality…I don’t foresee good things happening here…..just a foreboding and a prediction….k

  6. But John Kerry won three purple hearts from wounds that were covered for a day or two by two or three band-aids. Two wounds of which he wrote up for himself and made his command sign. A true Democrat hero.

  7. Bud Day’s wife was the driving force behind exposing the NVA POW abuse and the lack of concern from the White House and DoD concerning POWs. She asked questions to the Air Force and was told to be quiet. She asked the White House and was told to be quiet. Instead she stood up and demanded information on her husband. No thanks to our government at all. The government response was underwhelming — especially if you were involved in trying to help our POWs.

    As a note, if you knew where your man lived it was popular to send your bracelet to him.

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