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July/August 2022 -   -  


I was quite shocked to open the magazine and see a Vietnamese woman standing in a doorway and read the caption: “Portrait of a hooch girl, 1968.” Who are you to put that degrading comment in a magazine? You must believe that you are so much superior, but you are not.

I threw the magazine in the trash. Do not ever send me trash like that again. I would immediately cancel my membership and would not ever have anything to do with your organization.

I spent two tours in that country and I love the Vietnamese people and treat them with high respect, and for your magazine to trash a Vietnamese woman (not a girl), greatly offended me.

William Hinton
Via Email

Mr. Hinton, I recommend that you take another look at Herb Lotz’s photo of the hooch girl. It is quiet and respectful, admiring even. I suppose I could have captioned the photo,“indigenous housekeeping assistant,” but that would have been an odd and warped rewrite of history. Instead, we opted to go with the label the photographer provided — a term was used universally in 1968. I regret that it offends you. 

— Michael Keating
Former Editor

Endless delays

Just finished reading the latest issue and wanted to make a point that Robert E. Ousley from Linden, Tennessee, made.

I agree with him on the delay of getting our claims processed, and I wonder why.

People will see me and say “Thank you for your service,” and I just want to say, “Why don’t you contact your Congressman or Senator,” and ask them why we can’t get our claims processed.

I hope this problem is taken care of before I die.

Dave Keeton
Battle Creek, Michigan

Sticking together

I read with great interest the letters posted in the magazine. The one that caught my attention was about “real” Vietnam veterans. I came back to the States from Guam on the U.S.S. Proteus where part of my detail was swimming in the very deep South Pacific Ocean, 20-25 miles out from Guam, looking for torpedoes fired from subs.

I was made fun of and told with utter disgust I was not wanted by personnel at my former job. They said, two hours a week, take it or leave it. I was going to college in Electrical Engineering at the time. Some Vietnam vets I met left their military service off job apps when they came back.

I got tired of apologizing for not being in combat by very, very seldom mentioning I was a Navy veteran. I was given a U.S. Navy patch from my cousin. I put it on a cover and wore it. At first, I was very uncomfortable until I met a Marine Corps vet at the VA. He didn’t address me as an “era” vet, just as a fellow Vietnam veteran.

To me, everyone who signs on the dotted line, especially the ladies, has earned it. I can grab a fistful of dirt from anywhere in this country, clench it, and know I have a vested interest in it. I have performed a part protecting it from foreign interests like all other veterans from the beginnings of this country to the present.

David E. Barrett
Via Email


On page 25 of the May/June issue I read the column “50 YEARS AGO.”

On May 6, 1972, it says, “Reports say the U.S. base at Takhli, Thailand, closed in October 1970, will reopen.”

On May 7th, 1972, the majority of Detachment 8 of the 43rd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron left Bergstrom AFB, Texas, and went to Takhli.

We were in early to set up our HH-43Bs for Local Base Rescue. Myself and the other flight medic from the Bergstrom Flight Surgeons Office were TDY just under two months. We were there to support the F-4s that came in a few days later.

I think back on that trip as one of the highlights of my time in the Air Force. Watching and working on reopening that base will always be with me.

I also found it interesting as to what was going on in the States, France, and Vietnam while I was over in Takhli.

Jack Dempsey
Castle Rock, Colorado


I wanted to salute those veteran brothers and sisters from Rockland County New York, Chapter 333, along with the Pomona chapter of the Marine Corps League, who went above and beyond to put Navy Corpsman Richard Frankovitz, a Vietnam veteran, to rest with the dignity and the honor he deserved.

It brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye to know that the Veteran Brotherhood is still alive and well in times such as these. Thank you for ending the May/June 2022 issue with this story and the picture.  

Edward Davis
St. Louis, Missouri


I would like to add a little insight to J. Gary Condon’s letter in the May/June issue about getting an ID to gain access to military base commissaries.

In late 2019 the VA said if you are a Purple Heart, ex-POW, or have a service-connected disability (that’s me), then go to the closest military base, no difference what branch, go to the visitors center, and get a background check. It took 20-30 minutes. They entered you into the computer, and you were good to go. Then just drive up to the guard shack, show them your VA ID card, they scan it, and you are off.

I go to Fairchild AFB in Spokane once a month. It’s about an hour away and the savings are fantastic.

Savings for one bottle of Jim Beam pays for a tank of gas, but with today’s prices I might have to buy two.

John Fuller
Kellogg, Idaho


I spent 1967 at Danang Air Force Base and celebrated my 21st birthday there.

Diagnosed and treated for throat cancer in 2014, my intense exposure to Agent Orange at Danang was considered to be the likely cause. Was rated 100 percent disabled for two months, then zero percent.

In 2020, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and started on medication. I filed for disability compensation for that, but was denied in August 2020. My VSO agreed to file again in 2021, and that too was denied.

Bear in mind that hypothyroidism was added to the Agent Orange presumptive causes list by then.

This month, I received a letter from the VA saying, “We understand you would like to file a claim,” and telling me which form to use to file.

This is not only insulting, but causes one to wonder who is making these decisions at the VA? Clowns? Comedians?

I’m sure I’m not the only 75-year-old veteran who has submitted claims, and believe the VA is waiting for us to show up on the “Taps” section of The Veteran.

John Wax
Chapter 77 




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