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Fliegenmong
12th Nov 2014, 11:10
Watching my Father in Laws slow demise.....he has about 30% chance of surviving the next 12 to 18 Months...this seems appropriate....he was an RAN Lieutenant, Naval helicopter pilot / instructor (Don't worry, I set him straight and told him that Helis don't fly, they are just rejected by the Earth 'cos of their ugliness...I think he appreciated that ..:ouch:)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Wq0X0bwMprQ?feature=player_embedded

Equipment failure in Vietnam left his stricken Iroquois downed in the jungle, unable to shut down the engine and covered in petrol, and having sustained a broken back....it was all over for him...but he made it...somehow...the drink and the fags have all but caught up now.... :{

onetrack
12th Nov 2014, 12:16
Fliegenmong - As a fellow Vietnam Vet, I'm saddened to hear of your FIL's slow downward spiral.
I trust he receives all the help he needs. The VVCS is very good.
That YouTube vid is moving beyond anything I've heard and seen. Thanks for posting.

rgbrock1
12th Nov 2014, 12:30
onetrack and FIL of Fliegenmong: thank you for your service sirs. Much respect. Most people, outside of Australia anyway, probably have not a clue that Aus was quite involved with the "festivities" in 'Nam at the time.

But back to the subject of PTSD.

My father, now departed for a few years, was a US Marine in the Korean war. He was in a "special unit" which was the precursor of Force Recon. This unit was attached to the 1st Marines during that conflict. As such, my father was intimately involved in the festivities at Chosin Reservoir.
My mother always said that the Korean conflict, and my father's involvement in it, changed him. Changed him dramatically. Although the term 'PTSD' wasn't bandied about until relatively recently (other terms were like: 'shell shocked' and the 'thousand yard stare' which my father had 75% of his waking day), I firmly believe that he suffered from a severe case of PTSD. But he dealt with it of his own accord. Not too well at times though. Eventually it got the best of him and I also believe the dementia which he eventually suffered from had some sort of tie-in to his untreated PTSD.

As for myself, I believe that I suffered from a mild form of PTSD for a few years due to my taking part in the festivities on the island of Grenada back in '83. Although we, the 1st and 2nd Ranger Bn, were not on the island for very long - some elements no longer than a week - the situation we encountered during that short period of time was very fluid, very dynamic and extremely violent. Consequently, and for many years afterwards, for reasons unknown to me I would become extremely agitated by the sound of any helo. And, on occasion, would hit the dirt. I'm over that now, thankfully, but it still gives me pause to this day.

Again, thank y'all for your service in 'Nam. Don't know how it was for the Aussies when they returned home from the jungle but our men who did return in no way, shape or form, received the recognition and respect they earned.

Sua Sponte.

Fliegenmong
12th Nov 2014, 12:34
Thanks 'OT' The man is a perfect Officer and a Gentleman when he's off the squirt..........regrettably he is usually on it by about 08:00 local....:suspect:

Fliegenmong
12th Nov 2014, 12:52
RG, mostly I understand our guys were poorly received, which is a shame....

It's kinda like having a go at the guy / girl at the servo (translation =Gas station) for the price of petrol, as if that person sets the price of petrol!! They're just min. wage earning people keeping the economy ticking over....same as soldiers really, no difference insofar as they are being told what to do / what to charge / who to invade....Ya can't begrudge the service people for doing what they do, they are doing what their Governments tell them to do.....

Now then.....I heard it told to me that 'Uncle' Ho Chi Minh went to see the US initially, and ask them for their help in freeing the Vietnamese from the French Colonial oppressors. but the US refused to help them realise their 'Freedom'....though the USSR where somewhat more willing to see off the 'Cheese eating surrender monkeys' .... and therein lay the seeds of war??

racedo
12th Nov 2014, 13:37
Now then.....I heard it told to me that 'Uncle' Ho Chi Minh went to see the US initially, and ask them for their help in freeing the Vietnamese from the French Colonial oppressors. but the US refused to help them realise their 'Freedom'....though the USSR where somewhat more willing to see off the 'Cheese eating surrender monkeys' .... and therein lay the seeds of war??

This is true as Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese Nationalist first who wanted freedom for his country to decide its future and a communist second.

Quite likely he would have applied things like Land reform etc with US support but US was never keen on things like this.

brickhistory
12th Nov 2014, 14:24
My respect to your father and his service and valor.

My condolences to you and your family for having to endure.

Helluva price to pay for everyone involved.

Lonewolf_50
12th Nov 2014, 15:01
Woodrow Wilson's delegation to Versailles didn't seem to give Uncle Ho much serious consideration. That's one way to look at history.

racedo
12th Nov 2014, 15:46
Woodrow Wilson's delegation to Versailles didn't seem to give Uncle Ho much serious consideration. That's one way to look at history.

Believe Wilson did the same to an Irish delegation. Hence a question got asked, was WW1 really a fight for the "Rights of Small Nations" or just a squabble about Empires of the Great Powers.

gingernut
12th Nov 2014, 20:58
It's sometimes difficult to tease out the physical stuff from the emotional stuff.

Tankertrashnav
12th Nov 2014, 23:13
rgbrock is right, there is not a lot of knowlege about Australia's (and New Zealand's) participation in the war in Vietnam. The Australian ground forces were euphemistically called the Australian Army Training Team, Vietnam, but that did not stop them winning four Victoria Crosses, two of them posthumous.

Back on the topic of PTSD, I would recommend that anyone who has not already done so should read Pat Barker's excellent First World war trilogy which starts with Regeneration. The theme is the treatment of shell shock, as it was then known, by William Rivers, an RAMC captain. He pioneered psychiatric treatment of the disorder which was still generally regarded as an excuse for cowardice.

Andu
13th Nov 2014, 00:17
If you have a relative who you think is affected by PTSD, (or think your own brain might be a bit fried because of your time in the military), this is really worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FwLpcpXNdM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOV9AE-MVEA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Dv_5wTYqvQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfXS8fnbiH8

I was quite surprised how familiar so much of what this fellow says was to me. If you're ex-military and plan to watch it and you have a wife/partner, it's well worthwhile to have her - or him - watch it too.

Fliegenmong, you in particular would do well to watch this. It will explain quite a bit about your father-in-law's current mental state.

Tankertrashnav, the AATV were first in and last out of the Australian forces committed to Vietnam, but they were a very small part of the whole force that was committed between 1962 and 1972.

megan
13th Nov 2014, 02:07
The Australian ground forces were euphemistically called the Australian Army Training Team, VietnamJust to give a feeling for the scope of Australias involvement. The Training Team were only a small part of the Australian Army involvement. Various Battalions served over the years as part of the task force, which embraced armour, medical, artillery, Army Aviation etc. Also involved in the conflict were RAAF Huey, Caribou and Canberra squadrons, Navy clearance diving team, destroyers on the gun line, Navy pilots and other ranks serving with a US Army assault helicopter company.

Tankertrashnav
13th Nov 2014, 08:36
Yes thanks for the clarification, I realise my post was confusing, and I didnt mean to imply that the AATM were the only Australian forces there, just that the awards of four VCs proved that they were doing rather more than training!

Andu
13th Nov 2014, 09:11
Tankertrashnav, the AATV were doing the same job as your Green Berets, working mostly (but not only) with the Montengnards (sp?). They were usually, if officers, Captains, and if not officers, Warrant Officers. A Warrant Officer in the Australian Army was - is - a very different animal to a Warrant Officer in the US Army (in the Vietnam era at least). Whereas a WO in the US Army in Vietnam was often as not helicopter pilot, a WO in the Australian Army was an old salt, a bit like Gunnery Sergeant in the USMC.

probes
13th Nov 2014, 09:25
Beautiful song.
Beautiful video.
Well, not the real sense of it - I mean... well, you know what I mean, I guess.