In war there are the “lucky” and then there is Steve Young


“The reason my responses are limited is because I am at work. Some of us weren’t lucky enough to be war heroes, so we still have to work for a living instead of being able to rely on a monthly check from the government.”

GA marine mug DSC_4560This year’s Veterans Day post is long, and quite frankly self-indulgent but I believe, for good reason. The reason is that I am sickened as well as sick and tired of the left getting away with disrespecting our military, our veterans and even our seriously disabled soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who bear the physical and mental scars for the rest of their lives.

I am but one, but I believe that I speak for all of us as I write this from the heart but more so from the gut.

Late last month I crossed swords with a garden variety, California liberal–a high school classmate of mine who is typical of the breed; unable to make a cogent point or capable of employing even a modicum of critical thinking, he called me a “fascist” and of course the old standby… a “racist”.

This is boring and tiresome, but it’s a hobby and I never grow tired of making them give up and run away from combat, never having scored a telling blow.
So it is and so it was with… let’s call him Steve Young…. because that’s his name, we graduated from Taft High School in 1966, even played on a championship football team that year.

At some point in this verbal duel Steve didn’t respond for some time, so I observed:

“I’ll put this in bullet points Steve so that it doesn’t take so long…. it took you over two hours to come up with the above. “

Steve Responds:

“The reason my responses are limited is because I am at work. Some of us weren’t lucky enough to be war heroes, so we still have to work for a living instead of being able to rely on a monthly check from the government.”

In the interest of full disclosure I freely admit to receiving a check from the Department of Veterans Affairs which has rated my disability at 100%… it arrives like clockwork on the last day of the month in the amount of $2,858.24.

The percentages of my various injuries are such that it is confusing to explain them, so let’s say that this princely sum is compensation for injuries to: right leg, ankle and thumb, my back, left knee, scar tissue, hearing loss and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (more on that later). I was in Navy Hospitals in Japan and in Long Beach for eight and a half months before being retired from the Marine Corps on disability.

Okay, that’s out of the way.

GA Yokosuka DSC_1240Back to Steve’s opinion of someone being “lucky” to get a disability check and not have to work like honest people such as Steve who slaves away there in the California coastal town of San Anselmo… doing something or other.

“Some of us weren’t lucky enough to be war heroes, so we still have to work for a living instead of being able to rely on aLeg Yokosuka '69 II monthly check from the government.”

First… I am most assuredly not a “war hero”; I understand that a person has to do something very brave to be a war hero.

After I ridicule this slander he responds:

Let’s get clear here. We have had two 5 minute conversations over the last 47 years. I never knew you were wounded, I never knew you were in a hospital for months.

Okay, if he didn’t know I was wounded or in the hospital… why did he think I was getting a VA check or that I was a hero (sic)? I believe that he wanted to do what liberals do when it comes to the military and veterans. His kind believes that anyone one in the military was stupid, joined because he was homeless and wasn’t smart enough to find a job. In other words, Steve thought that in the ’60s and still thinks that today…… those who serve their country are idiots, without IQ enough to avoid the draft.

Yes, I didn’t know it but I was lucky back in March 1969 when I landed in DaNang South Vietnam and headed by truck for Mike Co. Third Battn., First Marines which was operating off on Hill 10. I didn’t know it then but within a short seven months, unlike Steve, I would cash in on a disability check that would put me on Easy Street.

IGA blooper remember some of the high points of my tour in ‘Nam… I once helped remove six or seven dead Marines from an Amtrac in the 3/1 battalion rear. They were dusky-dark colored and their arms and legs were stiff… hard to force them into the body bags; I remember one guy’s class ring was wedged on his swollen finger, I thought it would be hell getting it off. But I didn’t know if they took rings off at Graves Registration.

I see these guys sometimes in my dreams, in the night, but at least I am lucky enough to have a check from the VA.

I hadn’t been in-country very long when we received orders we were switching our battalion HQ with the First Marine Regiment…. no more than 20-30 miles away.

I was an FNG — f*****g new guy, but it stood to reason if we were swapping areas we’d be confused and disorganized for awhile. If I was the VC/NVA, I’d hit one of our battalions or both.

They hit us… about 7 o’clock the first mortar rounds came in while I was getting out of the shower…. With the “crump” sound of the 81 millimeter rounds, I grabbed rifle, bandoleer of magazines, flak jacket and thrust my feet into my boots. We were assigned to the east perimeter when on 100% alert.

Automatic weapons fire erupted and long with RPGs…. B40s — rocket-propelled grenades and soon, CS gas from our own ammo dump.

Vietnam stareWe didn’t know that our ammo dump had been hit and our ordinance was “cooking off”.

We lost six or seven dead and several wounded, 10-12 were wounded; I had no complaints… only the mosquitoes attacked us on the back side of the base.
I was luckier still when one of our positions got hit and Dolan and McStoots were killed in an area we called Eagles Nest… McStoots had only been with us for a few weeks… he laughed all the time. He was shot in the head… through and through….I surveyed his gear to send home. I tried my best to clean the blood from his watch and his wallet.

This is how I earned my hefty check Steve… scrubbing a watch band with Ajax and a toothbrush.

I’m lucky.

We used to run what was called “Med Caps”; surround a village at night. Check all the military age males in the mornings, see to the sick and injured, especially the children, vaccinate, show them a propaganda film, look for rice, munitions, weapons and arrest those who seemed “hinkey”… hey, it was probable cause.

vietnam hillsCleft palates were common in Vietnam… I earned my luck paycheck by having young mothers approach me with their infant held out to me… saying “Boxci (doctor)… you fix”.

“No can fix, no can fix”

I given them C-rations and cigarettes instead…. I’m a lucky guy.
I still see the little kids…. and their faces.

Go Noi Island

I was lucky enough to be trudging along in July on “Go Noi Island” as we swept for enemy positions and unexploded ordinance.

One of our senior guys, Romo, from Arizona, caught my attention as he investigated a metal pail with what appeared to be a towel stuffed in it… it was so obviously a booby-trap, yet I saw Romo walk up to it … nudge it with his rifle barrel and before I could yell, he kicked the pail.

The pail, the hillock and Romo boiled up in a yellow brown cloud and he landed in a smoking heap.

He died on the outbound chopper headed for Charlie Med.

vietnam deadRomo wasn’t lucky enough to get a check, but his parents got one… a nifty $10,000… think how lucky they were Steve…. $10K for a new car, new furniture, pay bills…. all it cost was a son…. exactly your age.

But Romo wasn’t as lucky as Sgt. Mike Hill of 1st Tanks. His tank platoon was attached to our company on Go Noi Island when we got hit by a determined squad of sappers armed with automatic weapons and RPGs.

My listening post was 100 meters away from the company perimeter when the first assault began….. Our mortars were firing “lum” rounds up so we could see and small arms rattled. Sergeant Hill scrambled up on his tank to give us cover fire with a .50 cal machine gun as we bolted for the perimeter. As I ran an RPG roared through our position, missing everything. The second rocket hit Sgt. Hill full in the chest; one of our platoon commanders wrote him up for a Silver Star.

VIETNAM-superJumboIn the morning I felt it was my duty to pick up the pieces of Sgt. Hill from his tank before his crewmen saw them; I buried them in front of his tank. He saved my life… and I’m lucky I get a monthly check. His wife got $10,000 and yet 47 years later I still get a $2,800 check… how the fuck is that right?

Bobby Bittner and I got hit at the same time and he died because it was my fault.

First let me say that Bittner had no business in ‘Nam…. it was the government’s fault because the need for troops in 1968 was critical and the government didn’t give a shit about Bobby Bittner.

We were on a sweep and I fucked up and tripped a booby trap… a vicious little “Chi-Com” hand grenade in a hole that blew me up and back about 10 yards. I couldn’t hear, couldn’t speak and couldn’t move, I figured I was dead and soon the little bastards would finished we with an Ak-47 or a bayonet.

But a second explosion rang out and soon the guys dragged Bittner beside me…. clothes smoking, bleeding screaming. He was that way all the way to DaNang’s Charlie Med Hospital.

For three days I was in and out… I was comfortable with the pain and asked about Bittner a lot –I don’t recall what they told me.

Three days later they sent us to a hospital in Japan. I went to an orthopedic ward and Bittner was taken to Critical Care.

The nurses updated me on his condition each morning… Both his legs had been amputated and he never regained consciousness, but his parents were flown to Yokosuka to see him. He died Sept. 28… two weeks after I triggered the explosions.

And that’s why his parents are lucky they got 10,000 and I’m lucky because I get almost $3,000 a month because I’ve carried Bobby Bittner around on my back for 45 years and will for the rest of my life.

Poor Steven Young… having to make do with a job where he has to work hard while my friends and I get away with scamming the system as hahahahaha “war heroes”.

So here’s to you Bobby Bittner, you fucking dead guy, and all the rest of you dead guys–my comrades, classmates and friends who weren’t as smart as Steve Young to refuse or avoid serving in Vietnam.

But take heart boy…. your families got the big money…. they were “lucky” according to Steve.

MIKE COMPANY, THIRD BATTALION, FIRST MARINE REGIMENT – REPUBLIC OF SOUTH VIETNAM

JOHN HILL KIA 08/22/69 — Silver Star
ROBERT BITTNER KIA 09/27/69
TOM DOLAN III KIA 06/12/69
TOM MCSTOOTS KIA 06/12/69
ADRIAN ALLEN KIA 10/09/69
STEVIE TAYLOR KIA 10/09/69
JOHN ROMO KIA 08/23/69
MIKE MCMASTER KIA 06/27/69
ELIAS PEALER KIA 05/08/70
WILILAM FRAKES KIA 07/03/70
STEVE ALLISON KIA 10/20/69
DENNIS KIPP KIA 10/20/69

TAFT, CALIFORNIA

LARRY PIERCE KIA 09/20/65 — Medal of Honor
DENNIS DYER KIA 09/04/66
BILL STONE KIA 10/29/68
LARRIE GOTCHER KIA 03/22/68
RALPH KEELER KIA 05/17/68
DON MORRIS KIA 07/06/68
CHESTER O’BRIEN JR KIA 03/05/66
FRANK OSTER KIA 03/04/68
DON PERRY KIA 10/26/68
LARRY RASEY KIA 7/26/70
RAYMOND TAYLOR KIA 06/03/69
HARRY THOMAS KIA 08/13/65
DENNIS WRIGHT KIA 11/26/66

FORT MORGAN, COLORADO

GERALD GREENE KIA 09/12/65
DAVID MIDCAP KIA 12/06/67
DAN WARNER KIA 10/08/67
JERRY WEIMER KIA 08/23/68
and…
CPL JOHN MACDONALD, USMC Ret. — died of wounds

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About Gary Alexander

Volunteer coordinator for veterans support network in North Texas. Now retired from his private psychotherapy practice, I specialized in the diagnosis and treatment posttraumatic stress, working with victim assistance programs, veterans and the Veterans Administration for over 20 years. After being wounded in action in Vietnam, I was medically retired from the Marine Corps and know first hand many of the readjustment difficulties and psychological stresses experienced by today's OIF and OEF veterans. I am available, at minimal cost, to speak at your functions on several subjects including veterans issues, Vietnam, the Medal of Honor, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and critical incident debriefings.
This entry was posted in Family, friends, Heroes, Left-wing radicals, Marine Corps, Medal of Honor, Media, Military, Obama, Patriotism, Race, Uncategorized, Veterans, War. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to In war there are the “lucky” and then there is Steve Young

  1. Jim Anderson says:

    Thanks for your service and sacrifice, Gary. Attitudes like that of your classmate are truly sickening, they absolutely take for granted the freedoms, rights and benefits of being a citizen of this country. As you point out they assume people who go into the military because they have nothing else going for them. I don’t think they can comprehend ideas like service, sacrifice although they claim to have the market cornered when it comes to ‘compassion’ his attitude toward you and other wartime veterans show that to be the BS it is. Finally, as he has no problem implying that you and other injured veterans are ‘scamming’ the system, try arguing how welfare and food stamp recipients should be drug tested, voters should show id, for those are people he’ll gleefully get all weepy, hand-wringing and ‘how dare you’ to death for impugning the character of such fine people!

    Take care, Gary, hope you had a great Veteran’s Day!

    Jim Anderson
    US Army, 1986-90

    • The “gap” between the military/veterans is wider now than ever before, despite the very improved public treatment afforded young veterans today. Thanks for the support, and you service.

  2. Great Answer to Steve Young….what a gash he is, and a miserable low life SOB as well…

    Pat Houseworth
    14th SPS Nha Trang 1969
    377th SPS Tan Son Nhut {Saigon} 1970

    Just your Garden Variety Sky Cop….

    Thanks for your Service and Sacrifice

  3. redneckgeezer says:

    Sorry it took me so long to come over here and find this post.

    Thanks for taking the time to set Steve straight. Thanks for more than you can know too.

    TonyF
    U.S. Navy (1967-1971)

  4. GA, you again hit the mark!

    The Steves of this world are beyond reach – I feel that they are placed here for only one reason. Simply to remind the Veteran that his selflessness and sacrifice was for All Americans – even those not worthy of the freedom they enjoy. Frankly I feel pity for his ilk as they will never feel or understand the bond and respect warriors share. Yet he is lucky, as he goes about his self centered existence not understanding. Those tombstones carried by you and I day in and day out are ours to bear. The few sheckles “the check” does not lessen the load – it’s a small pittance that will never make me whole for the nights of “terror” that I replay all too often. But, Steve would know nothing about that would he? I’d give em every red cent back to carry my tombstone for the few years I have left. Then all I have to fret about is when the next Agent Orange issue will rear it’s head.

    Yeah, he’s “lucky” alright, real “lucky”!

    Winch,
    Danang 65-66 (9th MEB – FMF)
    Semper Fi

  5. Mrwendal says:

    Sir, you and your invaders lost the VN war four decades ago. May I ask you take a bit of your own advice? “get over it!”

    • You wake every morning and inhale a lung full of freedom paid for by me and millions more Americans like me; the fact you don’t respect that does not change the facts and makes you the beta male pond scum that you are….

      Warriors live forever and cowards such as yourself are ever regarded as pathetic by men and pitied by women.

    • redneckgeezer says:

      Mrwendal – It’s without a doubt that any response made by Mr. Alexander or others will not affect you in any way whatsoever. Be that as it may, you are in fact regarded as pathetic. And no, I do not pity you in any way. Perhaps four decades ago you felt the same way you do today. You’ve had four decades in which to breathe without fear thanks to many who have sacrificed in decades past. In today’s society, you would be described as the last to be beheaded by ISIS.

  6. Pat Houseworth says:

    “Mister” Wendel??? I doubt if he is much of a man, few Liberals are…that’s why we have the Clown in the White House that we do…gutless White Male Liberals, enough of them to turn the tide of freedom against US.

  7. Steve says:

    Gary,
    Any chance you could start posting again?
    Steve
    Formally of Madison, WI.

    • Thanks to dropping by…. I guess it’s kinda like staring at the jam-packed garage and needing to clean it out… but you just stand there and stare at it…. and never get it done.

      At least that’s what seems to be happening… or not happening.

      My new plan is to do something once a week, schedule it like a meeting, and hold to that. Hell, I used to be a daily newspaper reporter.

      This block started when I just got overwhelmed by everything that’s happened during this regime; I even predicted that Obama was dead serious when he said he would “fundamentally change America”, yet I underestimated how successful and how diabolical he was. So there were 20 “stories” I could write about everyday… instead I just spun my wheels.

      I do quips, quotes and comments on FB faithfully… sort of a Drudge for people who don’t get around to Drudge, so I do have the time and I have at least that much discipline…

      Thanks for your support and encouragement…
      GA

      What happened… you get sick of cheese?

  8. redneckgeezer says:

    I drop by now and then. Just re-read this whole post. But… I sure wish you’d start posting again. Hope all is well with you.

    TF

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