"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Vietnam War 1963: by Joe D. Parker


CJ: These are a few memories of my time in Vietnam during 1963. 

I was a pilot in the USAF. I flew the T-28 and in the other two assignments, I flew the F-4. I did not fly in what was called The Packs in North Vietnam.

In my first assignment, we were told we were there to give South Vietnam an opportunity to build up their military.

Due to poor reporting and leadership, they (Vietnam) were continually degraded, and portrayed as not being willing to fight.

The young Vietnamese pilots I met, some of whom were from Hanoi, were excellent pilots and eager to fight. In fact, one of them continually stated that he wanted to win the war, so he could go chase the stewardess who were flying for the Vietnamese Air Line. [That sounds typical for any young man, regardless of where he is from].

It is disheartening to find out that very few people today understand why we were there in Vietnam. We were there because of SEATO, of which we were a signature to.

The worst part of my service was due to Time Magazine's 1963 report about what they thought I was doing and the stupid control that the unqualified and uninformed politicians placed on us at that time.

I felt that we were there to do a job. If I had obeyed all of their rules, I would never have expended an ordinance on a mission. It was devastating to me to have to do a mission I was assigned to do within these stupid rules. 

I know that nothing I did compares to the struggles that the ground troops went through and I, in no way, want my service to compete with what they did.

My wish is that we could have, (and could have had), strong leadership from the Federal Government and the Generals in all of the chains of command in the military, do what they are suppose to do -- get out in front and LEAD.

Thanks for the opportunity to share. Take care.

Joe D. Parker
USAF - 1963
T-28 and F-4 Pilot

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Feel free to comment on this post. You are also invited to write about anything you want to share. Memoirs From Nam is YOUR blog. You are writing America's history.

Send it to me in an e-mail and I will be proud to post it for you.

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