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Nam Vet, Vol. 4, Number 1 (November 11, 1991)

     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
     .                                  __                           .
     .    -*-  N A M   V E T  -*-  ____/  \_                         .
     .                            (      *                          .
     .        Managing  Editor        Quangtri                      .
     .        ----------------     \_/       \_ Hue                 .
     .         G. Joseph Peck          \_Ashau    Phu Bai            .
     .                                   \_*       \_                .
     .      Distribution Manager                 *  )               .
     .      --------------------          _/     Danang              .
     .          Jerry Hindle      |/    (            \_*Chu Lai     .
     .                           --*--    \_    ------- \__          .
     .        Section Editors     /|       \_  I Corps             .
     .        ---------------                  -------     !        .
     .  IN-TOUCH: Ray "Frenchy" Moreau       /\_____        !        .
     .  INCARCERATED VETS: Joyce Flory      /       !               .
     .  VETERAN BENEFITS: Jim Hildwine      !       !___            .
     .  AGENT ORANGE: Jim Ferguson          !           /\____!     .
     .  NEED-TO-KNOW: Lefty Frizzell        !                 !      .
     .  MIA/POW: Marsha Ledeman            /  Dak To          !      .
     .  VETERAN EMPLOYMENT: Fred Sochacki /     *            /       .
     .  KEEPER OF THE LIST: Charlie Revie !                  \_      .
     .                                    !             Phu Cat     .
     .                                         *            *  )    .
     .                                       Pleiku            )    .
     .     -*-  N A M   V E T  -*-                                 .
     .                                       /                  /    .
     . "In the jungles of 'Nam, some of us  (       --------    !    .
     . were scared and wary, but we pulled  _      II Corps    !    .
     . one another along and were able     /        --------        .
     . to depend on each other.  That has                          .
     . never changed.  Today, free of the   !                 *  /   .
     . criticisms and misunderstandings   _/           Nhatrang /    .
     . many veterans have endured,      _/                     /     .
     . NAM VET is a shining beacon,  __/                       !     .
     . a ray of hope, and a    _  __/                         !     .
     . reminder that the _____( )/      !               Camranh Bay  .
     . lessons learned  /               !__                    !     .
     . at such a high  /                                     /      .
     . price shall not           Bien Hoa                  /       .
     . be forgotten  -  !  Chu Chi       *               __/        .
     . nor the errors    \_   *   ---------          ___/           .
     . repeated!!!"  ____        III Corps        _/               .
     .       / \_____)   )_(_     ---------     !__/  Duplication in .
     .       !               (               ___/ any form permitted .
     .  _____!                \__      * ___/      for NONCOMMERCIAL .
     . !                          Saigon/            purposes ONLY!  .
     .  \___   --------           /  /                              .
     .        IV Corps          /       For other use, contact:     .
     .       ) --------         /                                    .
     .      /                   !   G. Joseph Peck (413) 442-1660    .
     .     /               ____/           Managing Editor           .
     .    /         Mekong/                                          .
     .    !         Delta/  This newsletter is comprised of articles .
     .    !        ____/     and items from individuals and other    .
     .    !       /       sources.  We are not responsible for the   .
     .    !      /      content of this information nor are any of   .
     .    !   __/        NAM VETs contributors or Section Editors.   .
     .     \_/                                                   gjp .
     .                                                               .
     Fourth Annual NamVet                                     Page    i
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
                      T A B L E   O F   C O N T E N T S
     1.  Editorials n' Stuff
          Dreams DO come true! .....................................  1
          Happy 4th Birthday NamVet!!! .............................  2
          Yahrzeit '88 .............................................  3
          The Silent Warrior .......................................  6
     2.  Drums be not Silent
          Colonel Peck resigns from DIA Office! ....................  8
          They haven't forgotten US!!! ............................. 13
          Why? ..................................................... 14
          The Loneliest Prayer ..................................... 15
     3.  Don't drink the water!
          Were YOU exposed to Agent Orange??? ...................... 16
          Break out the Clearasil ! ............................ 19
          All in a day's work... ................................... 20
     4.  Close to home...
          Wall puts war in focus ................................... 21
          Epitaph .................................................. 24
          In-Touch Unites Many ..................................... 25
          The Wall ................................................. 28
          IN-TOUCH Registration/Request Form!!! .................... 29
          Did you? ................................................. 31
          Remembering our brothers and sisters ..................... 32
          Tour of Duty??? .......................................... 34
     5.  Forgotten - again?
          Wanna share some time and news? .......................... 37
          A visit or note once in awhile? .......................... 43
          What is a Sailor? ........................................ 44
     6.  The Chapel at NamVet
          Combat Stress - The Forgotten Warrior .................... 45
          War ...................................................... 52
          NamVet's Electronic Chapel ............................... 53
          When Remembering is too much ............................. 54
     7.  Sister Vets
          VWMP's Sister Search ..................................... 57
          Monumental Difference .................................... 58
          VWMP's Sister Search Form ................................ 59
     8.  Shifting Sands
          Stormin' Norman's Address to Congress .................... 60
          A real heartwarming letter ............................... 63
          She Flies Ever High!!! ................................... 65
          My Symbol ................................................ 66
          Hands Across Time ........................................ 67
     9.  NamVet Service Desk
          Letter from The White House .............................. 68
          A NEW American "Bush"? ................................... 69
          Homecoming III ........................................... 71
     10.  Index To NamVet Articles
          Index to Articles in NamVet .............................. 72
     11.  Charlie's Angels
          Where do YOU get NamVet??? ............................... 93
          Where to find VIETNAM_VETS/NamVet ........................ 94
          Some Gave All... ......................................... 97

     Fourth Annual NamVet                                     Page   ii
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991

                             Editorials n' Stuff
                           Dreams DO come true!
                             by G. Joseph Peck
                         NamVet's Managing Editor
                        VETLink #1 - Pittsfield, MA
                              (413) 443-6313
     Four years of producing NamVet's...  Counting our Anniversary and 
     Special Editions, this will be the 50th issue of NamVet that we've 
     produced!  Its hard to believe that so much time has passed and so 
     many topics have been covered!  
     Even *-MORE-* difficult to believe is the number of subjects that 
     HAVEN'T yet been touched on or covered in anywhere near the depth 
     we'd like to do them in.  When first NamVet appeared on the 
     electronic horizons, there was great concern that it would only be 
     a five- or ten-page monthly publication.  NOW our biggest battle 
     is to keep a NamVet within the 360k limitations of a floppy disk!
     Its been an exciting dream come true!  So many voices; so many 
     things to say; so much to be done - revealed to us almost every 
     day via telephone, USSnail, NetMail or in the various VETNet 
     echoes.  Items to be saved; items that would interest some of our 
     veterans and their families; items that would be helpful to us 
     all.  A "dream", though, that wouldn't have come true without YOU, 
     your families, friends, and the great number of folk all over the 
     world who care enough about veterans and what the veterans 
     experience to write articles about them, publish information 
     packets for them, or get involved in issues that will have an 
     effect on today's soldier, ex-soldier and future soldier.
     THANK YOU - Each and every one of you for helping make NamVet what 
     it is today and what it will be tomorrow; for shipping it 
     overseas; for taking it with you to VA hospitals and nursing 
     homes; for contributing articles and poems. 
     Above all, THANK YOU for allowing me the opportunity to add MY 
     efforts to one of the proudest, most persistent and determined 
     teams in all the world!  I still get all misty-eyed when I reflect 
     upon the trust and faith you have placed in me to do this job!
                            'til next month...
            Show a brother or sister veteran ... that YOU care!
                              Ci'ao for Ni'ao
                                 -  Joe  -

     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page  1
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
               HH    HH   AAA    PPPPPP   PPPPPP  YY    YY
               HH    HH AA   AA PP    PP PP    PP YY    YY
               HH    HH AA   AA PP    PP PP    PP YY    YY
               HH    HH AA   AA PP    PP PP    PP YY    YY
               HH    HH AA   AA PP       PP          YY
               NH    HH AA   AA PP       PP          YY
               HH    HH AA   AA PP       PP          YY
     G. Joseph Peck *  Joyce Flory  * Jerry Hindle *  Ray Moreau * Doc
     BB   BB  II  RR   RR    TT    HH   HH DD    DD  AA   AA YY    YY
     BB   BB  II  RR    R    TT    HH   HH DD    DD  AA   AA YY    YY
     BB   BB  II  RR   RR    TT    HH   HH DD    DD  AA   AA YY    YY
     BB   BB  II  RR  RR     TT    HH   HH DD    DD  AA   AA    YY
     BB   BB  II  RR   RR    TT    HH   HH DD    DD  AA   AA    YY
     BBBBBB  IIII RR    RR   TT    HH   HH DDDDDDD   AA   AA    YY
     Charlie Revie * Dave Doehrman * Joan Renne * Dale Malone * Bac Si
     NN      NN     AAAA     MM     MM   VV   VV   EEEEEEE   TTTTTTTT
     NNN     NN   AA    AA   MMM   MMM   VV   VV   EE           TT
     NN N    NN   AA    AA   MM M M MM   VV   VV   EE           TT
     NN  N   NN   AA    AA   MM  M  MM   VV   VV   EE           TT
     NN   N  NN   AAAAAAAA   MM     MM   VV   VV   EEEEE        TT
     NN    N NN   AA    AA   MM     MM   VV   VV   EE           TT
     NN     NNN   AA    AA   MM     MM    V   V    EE           TT
     NN      NN   AA    AA   MM     MM     VVV     EEEEEEE      TT
           The International Newsletter for Vietnam Veterans
                              ` ` ` `
                    :       Putting unity         :
                    :  In our Veteran CommUNITY!  :
     Clay Tannacore  * Jim Hildwine *  Lefty Frizzell *  Alex Humphrey
     Craig Roberts   * Ray Walker   *   Bill Plude    *   Jim Ferguson
     Ed Brant * Mike Harris *  Glenn Toothman * Carl Dunn * Don Purvis
     Fred Sochacki  *  Sarge Hultgren  *  George Currie  *   Ken Flory
     Joe Krickenbarger-Oliver   *    Sam Thompson   *   Marsha Ledeman
     Martin Kroll * Glen Kepler * Terry Hayes * Lydia Fish * Jim Ennes
     Karen Winnett  *  Scott Summers  *  Ralph Carlson  *  Joe Meadors
     Mike Kelley  *  Chick Curry  *  Charles Harper *  David Kirshbaum
     Gordon Giroux * Rod Germain * Todd Looney * Pete Farias Faye Kahn
     Brad Meyers * Jan Gerstner * Marge Clark * Ann Murrell * Bil Cook
     Bob Morris  * Gale Barrows  * Billy Palmergunner  *  Ralph Feller
     Richard Morrow  * Henry Elsworth  * Jesse Kitson  *  Jim Henthorn
     Art Fellner  *  Harlow Campbell  *  Rick Kelley  * Mike Readinger
     Richard Wolbaum *  Walt Fletcher  *  Mike Halley  *  Gary Searles
     Fannie Benware   *  Mike Leclair  *  Jery Allison  *   Don Murray
                 >>>>>>> and all the rest of us!!! <<<<<<<
                         Our *-FOURTH-* Year
                       " Service with Pride! "
     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page  2
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
                               Yahrzeit '88
                           Submitted Anonymously
             My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
               My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
             Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
               One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
                            - John Keats "Ode to a Nightingale"
     She  put  them up in a brass and stained oak frame.   Against  the 
     white  satin background they didn't appear so ominous,  and didn't 
     supply  a hint as to the way in which they are awarded.   A pretty 
     color,  like  that  on the robes of royalty;  pure and  deep  with 
     majestic  allusion.   On a weekly basis,  she polished the  frame, 
     keeping  the  brass as bright as a ray of morning  sunlight.   The 
     glass  was  so spotless that it was possible to see quite  clearly 
     ones own reflection.  She picked a conspicuous spot for them,  and 
     fastened them to the wall in the hallway.
     And so they hung there, waiting.  Waiting.
     But  I didn't look at them.   I didn't want to see the morbid days 
     and  endless nights that caused their arrival.   I didn't want  to 
     face  the face that won these prizes through violent  means.   But 
     she  kept  polishing  the brass and glass,  commenting  "They  are 
     precious  metals"  to those who asked about them.   And they  hung 
     there on the wall, passed each time a step was taken in the hall.
     And so they hung there, waiting.  Waiting.
     Each  week she would clean them,  and the evening sun would cast a 
     reflected  light ray to the end of the hall.   Each week she would 
     polish them with a tenderness as if they were children to be held.  
     She never said a word about them,  but it was easy to tell she was 
     extremely curious about their origins.
     And so they hung there, waiting.  Waiting.
     Any  appeal  to remove them was met with stern  disapproval.   She 
     wanted  something to remind her of what had happened,  even if she 
     didn't know exactly what that was.   She never pried,  but held me 
     gently  on  the nights I would wake up soaked in sweat and  tears. 
     She never complained, and never wanted out; instead she would shed 
     tears for my fears, and cry for my sorrows.   And every week,  she 
     would clean and polish them, until like a beacon they shone.
     And so they hung there, waiting.  Waiting.
     The  sleepless nights faded into the past,  the weeks melted  into 
     months, and the months passed into years.  And each week she would 
     polish them,  not voicing a bit of curiosity.   She understood the 
     pain,  because  it  was evident in her eyes each morning  after  a 
     dream  of  return  had come.   Her soft touch and  wavering  voice 
     exposed the silent melancholy her heart felt and she tried so hard 
     to  hide.   And each week,  she returned to them,  polishing  them 
     And so they hung there, waiting.  Waiting.
     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page  3
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
     The tenderness,  style and beauty was taken from her in an instant 
     she  never realized.   I never had a chance to explain to her  the 
     prize was one of immense sorrow.  She would polish them as if they 
     were the most important thing in our existence.   She held them as 
     tenderly  as she had held me on the occasions that it was  needed.  
     She understood that the key to my welfare was locked in that frame 
     of  brass and oak,  and the only way to release the demons was  to 
     face the face in the reflected glass.
     And so they hung there, waiting.  Waiting.
     Her  funeral  was a complete shock.   The realization of  death  I 
     thought  had  died many years ago.   Death was  something  benign, 
     something  that didn't affect me anymore.   Yet here she was,  the 
     Joy, Beauty and Truth of my life,  lying in grassy solitude.   She 
     was no longer there to polish the brass and oak frame, so the dust 
     and  tarnish  collected,  dimming the Light they reflected in  the 
     And so they hung there, waiting.  Waiting.
     What the war couldn't accomplish, I thought pills could.  G-d it's 
     such a hard life! The pills:  they can fix everything.   If I take 
     enough  of them....   And like a memory hidden by time,  the brass 
     greened and the oak cracked.
     And so they hung there, waiting.  Waiting.
     Waking  up  in the hospital,  I was told death had been  a  breath 
     away.   My  first reaction was anger for failing,  then anger  for 
     trying,  and finally settled into weeks of self imposed isolation, 
     purging  the  pent up feelings in emotional  self-abasement.   The 
     questions  came faster than I could possibly answer,  and I closed 
     myself off even further.  Ignoring all life around me.
     And so they hung there, waiting.  Waiting.
     I got home with the feeling she had deserted me; leaving me in not 
     so  silent  agony.   The  first  thing I  noticed  was  they  were 
     polished,  bright  as any day she had cleaned them.   I asked  who 
     polished  them,  and everyone said they didn't know.   I took them 
     off  the wall,  excused myself and went into my private  chambers. 
     For the first time I was able to look at them since they were hung 
     around my neck by the powers that warranted their action.  For the 
     first  time  I  was able to look at the face that  won  them,  and 
     realize that it was a face of an ordinary man,  and not a maniacal 
     killer.   I held them and finally the tears came.   The tears that 
     would  begin  to wash away the stench of guilt and sorrow  of  the 
     years  past.   The  tears that would finally release me  from  the 
     unbearable  torments of my dreams.   As I moved to wipe the fallen 
     tears  from  the polished glass,  I looked and saw  her  face,  as 
     clearly as she was sitting there with me.  She was smiling a smile 
     of extreme serenity,  and lipped the words "Welcome home.   I love 
     you." And just as suddenly, she was gone. I knew then who returned 
     the lustre to them.
     And they no longer hung there, waiting.  Waiting.
     I  took  the medals and wrapped them in a bedsheet and boxed  them 
     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page  4
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
     up.  The box was taken to a family storage place,  where they will 
     be  safe and cool.   The brass and oak frame that she polished  so 
     persistently  will be safe from corrosion and decay until I decide 
     to  take  them out again.   But for now,  they have  served  their 
     purpose.   The  Marines gave them to me for my conduct.   My  wife 
     gave them to me for my sanity.
     And they no longer hang there, waiting.  Waiting.
     15  years ago I finished my SEA tour.   10 years ago my wife died, 
     taking  that  beautiful smile and that full life with  her.   With 
     this, the tenth anniversary of her death,  I would like to let the 
     world know that she was with me when all others had given up hope, 
     and  loved  me  when  I  didn't seem to  love  her  back.   So  my 
     continuing love for her I express poorly in these words:
     You  were  all  of life to me.   Yet when I thought that  you  had 
     abandoned me in death,  you still managed to pull me through life.  
     You gave me back that burning desire for life I had lost.  Even as 
     you  could support me in life,  you saved me in death.   I  cannot 
     offer anything other than the troth I pledged before,  to reaffirm 
     before G-d and man to love you for all eternity.
                                   # # #
                              Semper fidelis

     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page  5
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
                            THE SILENT WARRIOR
                             By Karen Winnett
                S.I.R.E.N. IS CALLING BBS - Sacramento, CA
                              (916) 971-0589
     The fire fights have ended and the big guns no longer roar
     but the Silent Warrior's fighting like he's never fought before!
     No point man walks before him and no man takes the rear,
     no comrade stands beside him though death is always near!
     He humps no hills or valleys and he sweats no jungle heat.
     He stalks no Vils or cities, yet has no road to retreat.
     His field pack long abandoned and his rifle gone to rust,
     The Silent Warrior battles, because, he has no choice, he must!
     It's a long range operation, the objective long and hard,
     to the Valley of the Shadow, where only Angels are.
     The Silent Warrior battles, where no soul should have to go,
     and no heart can ever reach him, for his battlefield's unknown!
     Don't look to the north or south, don't look west or east,
     look to home and know the truth, this is where the warrior bleeds!
     His campaigns rage in silence, and he battles here at home,
     his courage goes unnoticed and his valor, few have known!
     Behold the Silent Warrior, lost deep within his thoughts,
     his body frozen solid, never never to unlock!
     What enemy could do this, what hearts could be so cold,
     to do him such dishonor, a brother of our own!
     I look into unseeing eyes and I wonder where he is,
     and damn the souls who were taught to care,
       yet did a thing like this!
     Behold this valiant warrior, who never more shall speak,
     curled up in a fetal ball on antiseptic sheets!
     His arms and legs contracted, his body old and frail
     his honor stripped away and lost where love should not have 
     Look gently on this old one, who battles day and night,
     and let every warrior cry for him, until Valhalla's in his sights.
     For such are the forgotten, not daed yet not alive,
     doing battle on the Veterans wards beyond uncaring eyes!
     Behold the Silent Warrior, who's stillness screams with rage,
     who wars in fields of solitude, and there, til death, he stays!
     I have touched the Silent Warrior, and learned to know his pain,
     I have fed and I have bathed him, and cried when no one came!
     I have reached down to his anger and held his ruined hands,
     and I felt the battle raging, and I cursed, "God damn!"
     Behold the Silent Warrior, who battles until death,
     honor him and know his face, stand guard beside his bed.
     For such are the forgotten, some lost and some abused,
     victims of a friendly fire we never can undo.
     Yes, the Fire fights have ended, and the big guns no longer roar,
     but the Silent Warriors fighting like he never fought before!
     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page  6
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
     Go to him, and speak his name, and understand the truth,
     don't let him die behind the lines, the next warrior could be you!

     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page  7
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991

                             Drums be not Silent
             Colonel Peck Resigns from POW/MIA Special Office!
                         Input by Marsha Ledeman
                       NamVet MIA/POW Section Editor
                        VETLink #1 - Pittsfield, MA
                              (413) 443-6313
     Date: 28 March 1991 Office: POW/MIA
     Subject:  A Farewell
     To: All Personnel
     1. The purpose of this memorandum is to bid farewell to the Office
     and  to wish everyone the very best.   I will sincerely miss  each
     one  of you,  and will always retain fond memories of our  efforts
     together  and the many triumphs we were able to achieve as a team.
     Because  of  the  intensity  of our  activities  and  being  under
     constant  political  fire,  the  bonding that I felt for  you  was
     similar  to that which occurs to soldiers in combat and I came  to
     love you as brothers and sisters.
     2. The  attached document fairly well sums up how I feel about the
     entire issue although,  I subsequently lined out several portions.
     I  am convinced that no one working within the present "structure"
     will  ever  satisfactorily resolve the question of whether or  not
     U.S.  prisoners  were  held after the cessation of hostilities  in
     Vietnam or elsewhere.
     3. It is my plan to pursue the issue via other avenues,  and while
     so  doing,  will  work diligently to give the POW/MIA  Office  the
     credit  it so richly deserves and to ensure that your  reputation,
     in all circles, is defended and upheld.   Your honor and interests
     will always be one of my highest priorities -- and when I say that
     I mean it.
       4. Many  thanks to everyone,  for your support;  your  devotion;
     your hard work; and your dedication to excellence.   God bless you
                                    Adieu, Millard A. Peck Colonel,
                                           Infantry USA
     Date:  12-Feb-1991                                    memorandum
     THE ATTENTION OF: POW/MIA                         U-0173/POW/MIA
     TO: DR
     1. PURPOSE:  I hereby,  request to resign my position as the Chief
     of  the Special Office for Prisoners of War and Missing in Action.
     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page  8
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
     a. Motivation.   My  initial acceptance of this posting was  based
     upon  two primary motives:   first,  I had heard that the job  was
     highly  contentious and extremely frustrating,  that no one  would
     volunteer  for it because of its complex political nature.   This,
     of course, made it appear challenging.  Secondly, since the end of
     the  Vietnam  War,  I had heard the persistent rumors of  American
     Servicemen  having  been  abandoned in  Indochina,  and  that  the
     Government   was  conducting  a  "cover-up"   so  as  not  to   be
     embarrassed.  I was curious about this and thought that serving as
     the  Chief  of POW-MIA would be an opportunity to satisfy  my  own
     interest and help clear the Government's name.
     b. The  Office's  reputation.   It was interesting that   previous
     exposure to the POW-MIA Office, while assigned to the DIA, both as
     a  Deputy Director for Intelligence (DDI)  and as the Chief Of the
     Asia Division for Current Intelligence (JSI-3) was negative.   DIA
     personnel  who worked for me,  when dealing with or mentioning the
     office,  always  spoke about it in deprecating tones,  alluding to
     the  fact that any report which found its way there would  quickly
     disappear into a "black hole."
     c. General  Attitudes.   Additionally,   surveys  of  active  duty
     military personnel indicated that a high percentage (83%) believed
     that  there were still live American prisoners in  Vietnam.   This
     idea  was further promulgated in a number of legitimate  veterans'
     periodicals  and  professional journals,  as well as the media  in
     general,  which held that where there was so much smoke there must
     be fire.
     d. Cover  up.   The  dark  side  of  the  issue  was  particularly
     unsettling  because  of the persistent rumors and innuendoes of  a
     Government conspiracy,  alleging that U.S.  military personnel had
     been  left  behind  to  the victorious  communist  governments  in
     Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia,  and that for "political reasons"  or
     running  the  risk of a second Vietnam War,  their  existence  was
     officially  denied.   Worse  yet  was the implication  that  DIA's
     Special  Office  for  POWs and MIAs was an integral part  of  this
     effort  to  cover the entire affair up so as not to embarrass  the
     Government nor the Defense Establishment.
     e. The  Crusade.   As  a Vietnam veteran with a certain amount  of
     experience  in Indochina,  I was interested in the entire  POW-MIA
     question,  and willingly volunteered for the job,  viewing it as a
     sort of holy crusade.
     f. The  Harsh  Reality.   Heading  up  the  Office  has  not  been
     pleasant.  My plan was to be totally honest and forthcoming on the
     entire  issue  and  aggressively  pursue  innovative  actions  and
     concepts   to  clear  up  the  live  sighting  business,   thereby
     refurbishing  the image and honor of the DIA.  I became  painfully
     aware, however,  that I was not really in charge of my own office,
     but  was  merely  a figurehead or whipping boy for  a  larger  and
     totally  Machiavellian  group of players outside of DIA.   What  I
     witnessed during my tenure as the cardboard cut-out "Chief" of the
     POW/MIA could be euphemistically labeled as disillusioning.
     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page  9
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
     a. Highest  National Priority.   That National leaders continue to
     address  the  prisoner of war and missing in action issue  as  the
     "highest national priority" is a travesty.  From my vantage point,
     I  observed that the principal government players were  interested
     primarily  in  conducting  a  "damage  limitation  exercise"   and
     appeared   to  knowingly  and  deliberately  generate  an  endless
     succession  of  manufactured  crises and  "busy  work".   Progress
     consisted in frenetic activity,  with little substance and no real
     b. The  Mindset to Debunk.   The mindset to "debunk"  is alive and
     well. It is held at all levels,  and continues to pervade the POW-
     MIA  Office,  which  is  not  necessarily the fault  of  the  DIA.
     Practically  all  analysis is directed to finding fault  with  the
     source.   Rarely  has  there  been any  effective,  active  follow
     through on any of the sightings, nor is there a responsive "action
     arm" to routinely and aggressively pursue leads.  The latter was a
     moot point, anyway, since the Office was continuously buried in an
     avalanche  of "ad hoc"  taskings from every quarter,  all of which
     required  an immediate response.   It was impossible to plan ahead
     or  prioritize courses of action.   Any real effort to pursue live
     sighting  reports  or  exercise initiative was diminished  by  the
     plethora  of  "busy work"  projects directed by  higher  authority
     outside DIA. A number of these grandiose endeavors bordered on the
     ridiculous  --  quite  significantly --  there was never an  audit
     trail.  None of these taskings was ever requested formally.  There
     was,  and  still  is,  a refusal by any of the players  to  follow
     normal intelligence channels in dealing with the POW/MIA office.
     c. Duty,  Honor,  Integrity.   It appears that the entire issue is
     being  manipulated  by unscrupulous people in the  Government,  or
     associated  with  the Government.   Some are using the  issue  for
     personal  or  political advantage and others use if as a forum  to
     perform and feel important, or worse.  The sad fact,  however,  is
     that  this  issue  is being controlled and a cover up  may  be  in
     progress.   The   entire  charade does not appear to be an  honest
     effort and may never have been.
     d. POW/MIA Officers Abandoned.  When I assessed the office for the
     first  time,  I  was somewhat amazed and greatly disturbed by  the
     fact  that  I was the only military officer in an organization  of
     more than 40 people. Since combatants of all Services were lost in
     Vietnam,  I  would  have thought there would at least be  a  token
     service  representation  for  a matter of  the  "highest  National
     priority".   Since the normal mix of officers from all services is
     not  found in my organization it would appear that the  issue,  at
     least at the working level, has,  in fact,  been abandoned.  Also,
     the  horror stories of the succession of military officers at  the
     0-5  and 0-6 level who have in some manner "rocked the  boat"  and
     quickly come to grief at the hands of the Government policy makers
     who  direct the issue,  lead one to the conclusion that we are all
     quite  expendable,  so by extrapolation one simply concludes  that
     these   same   bureaucrats  would  "sacrifice"   anyone  who   was
     troublesome  or  contentious  --  including prisoners of  war  and
     missing  in  action.   Not  a comforting  thought.   Any  military
     officer  expected to survive in this environment would have to  be
     myopic, an accomplished sycophant, or totally insouciant.
     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page 10
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
     e. The  DIA  Involvement.   DIA's  role  in the  affair  is  truly
     unfortunate. The overall Agency, has generally practiced a "damage
     limitation drill" on the issue,  as well.   The POW/MIA Office has
     been  cloistered  for all practical purposes and left to  its  own
     fortunes.   The  POW office is the lowest level in the  Government
     "effort"  to  resolve  the issue,  and oddly for  an  intelligence
     organization,  has  become  the  "lighting  rod"  for  the  entire
     establishment  on the matter.   The policy people manipulating the
     affair  have maintained their distance and remained hidden in  the
     shadows, while using the Office as "toxic waste dump"  to bury the
     whole  "mess"  out  of sight and mind in a facility  with  limited
     access  to public scrutiny.   Whatever happens in the  issue,  DIA
     takes  the blame,  while the real players remain  invisible.   The
     fact   that  the  POW/MIA  Office  is  always  the  center  of  an
     investigation  is  of  no  surprise.   Many  people  suspect  that
     something  is  rotten about the whole thing,  but cannot  find  an
     audit  trail  to  ascribe blame,  so they attack  the  DIA/POW/MIA
     "dump", simply because it has been placed in the line of fire as a
     cheap, expendable decoy.
     f. "Suppressio  Veri Suggesto Falsi".   Many of the puppet masters
     play  a confusing murky role.   For instance,  the Director of the
     National   League   of  Families  occupies  an   interesting   and
     questionable position in the whole process.   Although assiduously
     "churning" the account to give a tawdry illusion of progress,  she
     is  adamantly  opposed  to any initiative to actually get  to  the
     heart  of the problem,  and,  more importantly,  interferes in  or
     actively sabotages POW-MIA analyses or investigations. She insists
     on  rewriting or editing all significant documents produced by the
     Office,  inserting her own twist or meaning to what was originally
     prepared.   This  is  then  touted  as  the  DIA  position.    She
     apparently has access to top secret, codeword message traffic, for
     which  she  is supposedly not cleared,  and she receives  it  well
     ahead of the DIA intelligence analysts.  Her influence in "jerking
     around"  everyone  and  everything involved in the issue goes  far
     beyond  the "war and MIA protested gone straight"  scenario.   She
     was  brought from the "outside"  into the center of the imbroglio,
     and  then,  cloaked in a mantel of sanctimony,  routinely  impedes
     real progress and insidiously "muddles up" the issue.  One wonders
     who she really is and where she came from. . .
     a. The Stalled Crusade.  Unfortunately,  what began on such a high
     note never succeeded in embarking.  In some respects,  however,  I
     have managed to satisfy some of my curiosity.
     b. Everyone  is Expendable.   I have seen firsthand how ready  and
     willing the policy people are to sacrifice or "abandon" anyone who
     might  be  perceived as a political liability.   It is  quick  and
     facile, and can be easily covered.
     c. High-Level  Knavery.   I feel strongly that this issue is being
     manipulated and controlled at a higher level, not with the goal of
     resolving  it,   but  more  to  obfuscate  the  question  of  live
     prisoners,   and   give   the   illusion   of   progress   through
     d. "Smoke  and Mirrors".   From what I have witnessed,  it appears
     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page 11
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
     that  any soldier left in Vietnam,  even  inadvertently,  was,  in
     fact, abandoned years ago, and that the farce that is being played
     is  no  more  than  political legerdemain  done  with  "smoke  and
     mirrors", to stall the issue until it dies a natural death.
     e. National League of Families.   I am convinced that the Director
     of  this  organization is much more than meets the  eye.   As  the
     principal actor in the grand show,  she is in the perfect position
     to clamor for "progress",  while really intentionally impeding the
     effort.  And, there are numerous examples of this.  Otherwise,  it
     is  inconceivable that so many bureaucrats in the  "system"  would
     instantaneously do her bidding and humor her every whim.
     f. DIA's  Dilemma.  Although greatly saddened by the role ascribed
     to the Defense Intelligence Agency,  I feel,  at least,  that I am
     dealing  with honest men and women who are generally powerless  to
     make  the system work.   My appeal and attempt to amend this  role
     perhaps never had a chance.  We, all, were subject to control.   I
     particularly  salute the personnel in the POW-MIA Office for their
     long suffering, which I regrettable was unable to change.   I feel
     that  the Agency and the Office are being used as the "fall  guys"
     or "patsies" to cover the tricks of others.
     a. One Final Vietnam Casualty.   So ends the war and my last grand
     crusade, like it did actually did end, I guess.  However,  as they
     say in the Legion, "je ne regrette rein..."  For all of the above,
     I respectfully request to be relieved of my duties as Chief of the
     Special Office for Prisoners of War and Missing in Action.
     b. A  Farewell  to Arms.   So as to avoid the annoyance  of  being
     shipped  off  to some remote corner,  out of sight and out of  the
     way,  in  my  own "bamboo cage"  of silence somewhere,  I  further
     request  that  the  Defense  Intelligence  Agency,  which  I  have
     attempted  to  serve loyally and with honor,  assist me  in  being
     retired immediately from active military service.
                                       Signed Millard A. Peck
                                       Colonel, Infantry USA

     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page 12
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
                         W       W          M     M
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                       " Bring them home --- NOW !!! "

     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page 13
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
                             by Lord Strider
                          Submitted by Nancy Dunn
                 The Landing Zone/VETLink #7 - Portland, OR
                             (503) 254-6819
     To all of you who read this message: This poem was posted on a BBS 
     in Portland, Oregon. It shows that there are people out there who 
     do still care.
          Still the teardrops fall,
          As a maybe widow, or a might be orphan,
          Wonder in the night where thier loved one is.
          Is he in an unmarked grave,
          In a land not his own to which he went,
          Not of his own choosing but by a politicians hand?
          Or does he yet live a tortured prisoner,
          Of an opressive regime he fought against?
          Why have those who sent him to fight a war,
          Which they would not allow him to win,
          Forsaken him and left him for dead,
          With not an investigation, but a cover up?
          And why have the people of his native land,
          Which he loved dearly enough to fight for,
          Rather than run to foreign soil in wars evasion,
          Stood silently by while his memory fades,
          To be swept beneath the carpets, a hidden embarassment,
          To all but the families who live a hell of not knowing?
          Still the teardrops fall,
          And ever will they fall in vain,
          While we allow our leaders to shirk their duties,
          To the men whom they have abandoned,
          And sought to deny the very existance of in past,
          But perhaps if voices in sufficient numbers raise,
          Another families tears might yet be stayed.
                                               Lord Strider
          There are still 2,270 American servicemen listed as M.I.A. 
          or P.O.W. from the Viet Nam War which ended 18 years ago.  

     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page 14
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
                            THE LONELIEST PRAYER
                                Hardy Abbott
                            Input By Joyce Flory
               NamVet's Incarcerated Veterans Section Editor
                    Desert Dolphin BBS - Las Cruces, NM
                              (505) 523-2811
     [Poem read at the conclusion of the candlelight ceremony for 
     POW/MIA's held in Las Cruces, NM 9-22-91]
     As I squat here in this lonely place a man maybe even YOU forgot,
     I wonder, am I living in hell? Am I alive or not?
     I think it's more than ten years now since my last friend left
        this place.
     I guess he's back home - wherever that is - among the human race.
     Forgive me, Lord, if I seem untrue
        to the values my parents taught,
     To thoughts of you, of family and country, those
        things for which I fought.
     But, as I've endured the endless days that dragged on into years,
     I've battled with all my very being to hold back bitter tears.
     My children, by now, they're no longer small, by now they're
        nearly grown.
     My poor wife - she's had that too, she's raised them all alone.
     I wept to hold my darlings, to watch my children grow,
     To feel your presence, Lord, my faith in you to show.
     Bless me, Father, and take this life - please let it end today.
     I wonder how they listed me, POW or MIA?

     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page 15
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991

                           Don't drink the water!
                    Were YOU exposed to Agent Orange??
                              By Jim Ferguson
                     NamVet Agent Orange Section Editor
                        VETLink #1 - Pittsfield, MA
                              (413) 443-6313
     I  remember  quite well when a doctor asked me that  question  two
     years ago. I was sitting in his office at Memorial Hospital Sloan-
     Kettering  Cancer  Center  in New York.  It was the first  time  I
     seriously contemplated the answer. Like many other vets, I usually
     answered "No." In fact,  it seemed to me that some vets blamed all
     their  life's  woes on Agent Orange.   An article in  my  hometown
     paper  quoted  a boyhood friend as saying that he could no  longer
     concentrate  after  his  exposure  to Agent  Orange,  and  it  was
     destroying  his  social life.   I snickered as I recalled that  he
     didn't  have  much of a social life for as long as I'd known  him.
     (If you're reading this, Sorry, George.)   Now I had cancer and it
     wasn't quite so funny to me.
     To  the  best of my knowledge,  I had never been sprayed  and  had
     never handled Agent Orange.   But when you consider how much Agent
     Orange  was used in Viet Nam,  and HOW it was used,  it's probably
     difficult to really avoid exposure.  This point has been made more
     eloquently  and  with more quantitative and technical  information
     than I have here.  (See Martin Kroll's article in Namvet 4.11)  My
     point  here  is  to suggest avenues of exposure you may  not  have
     I was an infantryman (up in I Corps).   I specifically recall that
     we  worked in some PREVIOUSLY defoliated areas.   These  certainly
     weren't  freshly defoliated.   If you've seen the type of area I'm
     talking  about,  you probably still remember it.   It's acres  and
     acres of three foot high grass, nothing else grows there.
     We made a night camp in one of these areas, sleeping on the ground
     as  there  were  no  trees for  hammocks.   I  recall  watching  a
     thunderstorm  roll  in late in the afternoon.   The only reason  I
     remember  this  incident  is  because  I  was  worried  about  the
     possibility of lightning.  We were on the highest hill in the area
     and  except for the grass (and us)  it was bare.   I was concerned
     about  a lightning strike to the top of the hill,  taking us  out.
     Charlie,  the  radioman,  had his 10 foot whip antenna stuck up in
     the air.  I told him it looked like a good lightning rod and moved
     a ways away from him.  I do not recall the later details,  as they
     probably  weren't  anything unusual.  I suppose I got  quite  wet,
     sleeping on the ground with a poncho wrapped around me. Typically,
     we  would have gotten clean clothes with a resupply,  sometime  in
     the next three days.  Is THAT exposure?  I wish I knew.
     As  I thought about that night,  I also recalled an incident where
     one guy (can picture him but can't remember his name) pretended to
     be a "rural hayseed," chewing on a stalk of grass. I'm not certain
     that  this happened at the same place (but I believe that it did.)
     I  also don't remember if I joined in the game.  I very well could
     have,  it's not something I would have thought twice about.  Could
     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page 16
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
     one be exposed from THAT?
     For the first part of my tour, I spent about 25% of my time, on LZ
     Maryann.   Our nominal schedule was 15 days out and 5 days "on the
     hill." Maryann was our "fire base" or artillery support area. As I
     recall,  there were two 105's,  and at least one four deuce (4.2")
     and  at  least  one  81mm  mortar  but  not  much  else.   [To  be
     technically  correct,  yes there was an ammo dump,  a  kitchen,  a
     helicopter pad, and a commo hootch.   This was a SMALL place,  not
     far from the Laotian border.]  Maryann was usually defended by one
     infantry  company  (about  60 men)  in addition to  the  permanent
     I  remember vividly the first night I spent on Maryann.  We had an
     alert  that night,  and I thought we were under attack.   With the
     light of flares from the 81's and a search light mounted on a jeep
     I  looked  out on a clear field of fire,  searching  for  targets.
     There  were only a few dead tree trunks and that low vegetation to
     obscure  the view.  It wasn't until those many years later that  I
     thought  about  WHY the jungle didn't grow right up to the  barbed
     wire perimeter.
     My  point here is that Maryann was simply a defoliated hill in the
     middle of the jungle.  Again it was not freshly defoliated,  but I
     don't know how "old" the defoliation was.   When you consider that
     we  LIVED there,  (eat,  drink,  sleep)  with an open tank for the
     drinking  and cooking water,  slogging through the mud during  the
     rainy season - could we really avoid exposure?
     I  have  read that dioxin is not water soluble,  I'm not  sure  if
     that's  positive  or negative.   It makes me feel somewhat  better
     about  all the water I drank from rivers and streams (?),  but  it
     also means that the dioxin was not simply washed away by the first
     monsoon  season after spraying.  Perhaps the greatest  frustration
     here  is  that  the government does not tell us  what  would  have
     contributed to exposure.
     One last incident I'll note for you.   When I first got out to the
     field (FNG) I used the water purification (iodine) tablets.  After
     I  found  that none of the old hands did,  I stopped  using  them.
     However, there was one other time when I used them. I was stuck in
     an  area waiting (Weren't we always waiting for something?)  and I
     had  no water.   There was a light rain and I had my poncho set up
     as a rain shelter.   I loosened the strings so the poncho formed a
     funnel  and  I  caught the rain water running off from  it  in  my
     canteen  cup.   The water was really dirty from the poncho,  so  I
     used  a tablet to kill the microbes.  Maybe I should have  worried
     about the origin of the "mud" as well.
     These are the things I remember and KNOW about. There are probably
     many more I haven't yet learned and may never know. So think about
     it.  What kept the weeds from growing over the perimeter where YOU
     were? Where did YOUR drinking water come from?
     If  you've read this far,  I guess you're also wondering what  the
     upshot  of  my visit with the doctor was.   My tumor  (soft-tissue
     sarcoma)  was  removed  Memorial  Day  weekend 1989  at  my  local
     hospital.     Two    different    pathologists   have    different
     identifications  for  the  exact type  of  cancer.   However,  the
     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page 17
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
     treatment  is the same so I'm not sure it matters to  me.  They're
     both very rare.   Of the one type there are 1,500 new cases in the
     U.S. each year.  Of the other type only 900 new cases.  After they
     identified and confirmed the diagnosis,  the recommended treatment
     was  more tissue removal from the area and radiation treatment.  I
     had  that  surgery  done at Sloan-Kettering in  July  1989.   They
     implanted  tubes under the skin during the surgery and loaded them
     with a radioactive implant a few days later. After seven days they
     pulled out the implants and the tubes.
     I've had good 6-month checkups,  most recently in June 1991.  This
     last  one was particularly good news as 80%  of reoccurrences  are
     within the first two years.
     Is  my  tumor  connected to Agent Orange?   On  an  administrative
     basis, there is now a presumption of service connection.   Whether
     it was really CAUSED by Agent Orange exposure,  there doesn't seem
     to be any way to tell.
     A  side  note  here.  If  you  ever find  yourself  in  a  similar
     situation, get the best care you can within the benefits available
     to  you.   Medical care is NOT the same everywhere.   My  neighbor
     still wonders why I went to New York for care (a "mere" three-hour
     drive, each way.)
     The  LOCAL  surgeon  had little or no experience  with  the  wider
     excision of tissue that I needed.  At the hospital specializing in
     cancer  treatment,  I found a surgeon who performed this operation
     many times.
     The LOCAL medical oncologist (chemotherapy doctor) could only find
     one type of chemotherapy to use on this cancer.   He recommended a
     program  where  this chemotherapy would have been administered  by
     IV,  requiring  a two-day hospital stay every four weeks.  I found
     that   the   EXPERTS  from  the  cancer  center  have  not   found
     chemotherapy effective for soft-tissue sarcomas in the trunk.  Can
     anyone  CONCEIVE  of  going through chemotherapy on  an  inpatient
     basis, when it isn't effective for the particular type of cancer?
     At  the  cancer  center I also could have the  radiation  implant,
     which  was  six  DAYS of isolation instead of six WEEKS  of  daily
     visits for radiation at my local hospital.
     In  fact,  I  believe that if I'd been at Sloan-Kettering for  the
     initial  surgery,  I'd have had only ONE operation (taking care of
     the whole thing) and only ONE hospital stay.
     Keep  in mind that the doctors themselves say that medicine is  an
     art, not a science.  Find yourself a Rembrandt,  not a street wise
     kid with a spray can.

     Fourth Annual NamVet                                       Page 18
     Volume  4, Number  1                             November 11, 1991
                       _     ______   _______  __    _  _______
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