|Dale Allen Fox - "Bear"|
He was a very good door gunner/crew chief, well-respected, and the guys all called him "Bear".
In spite of being on helicopters day in and day out, he never even got a scratch -- I was stunned he was not wounded, or killed.
There are many vets alive today, thanks to the cover and protection he gave to ground troops in an LZ. We will never know how many got to be grandfathers, play baseball with their sons, or give their daughters away in marriage because of him.
One time, there were some Army troops pinned down and they couldn’t get picked up right away. They were running out of ammo, so he was firing very close to their position. The way he loaded the tracers every third round, afforded him more accurate fire power, because the tracers were just like drawing a straight line.
The Army agreed. Twice was enough, and he went to Fort Benning, Georgia.
How Vietnam took its toll on Dale was through exposure to Agent Orange and giving him a drug habit ... one marijuana smoke when he got back to the States took that all away.
His habit started in country, because it was readily available. Officers knew how invasive it was, but the troops did better when using marijuana. Trouble was, one day you were there, the next you were home – and your habit went with you.
He was found with one (1) joint on his person and was subsequently kicked out of the Army that he loved so much. His exemplary service made no difference. Uncle Sam tolerated it in Vietnam, but once you were home it was a no-no.
He has long since finished the use of recreational drugs, but he was left with the gut-wrenching humility of being booted from the military.
I tried writing to our Texas congressman in Washington to have the blemish struck from his record, but it fell on deaf ears.
Of course, now, we have high ranking politicians and even Commander and Chiefs saying they smoked pot, or like G.W., they also did cocaine ... but hey, that was okay ...
|Dale and daughter, Stephanie|
The photo on the right was taken not long after the Army gave him the boot. The baby is his first daughter, Stephanie.
The more recent photo on the left is what two years in Vietnam, exposure to untold quantities of Agent Orange, and two bad marriages can do to a person.
Dale said the VA hospital in Houston told him his amputation was a direct result of his exposure to Agent Orange. It did something to the circulation in his foot.
As you know, there are many more of the same kind of stories out there. That’s why, since Vietnam, I am against aggression, unless we absolutely have to and then we should be in it to win. We have to stop having images like the one above be the result for so many.
|Dale Allen Fox - "Bear"|
This photo was taken during a peaceful protest by members of the local chapter of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Saturday, along North Street near the Stephen F. Austin State Campus in Nacogdoches TX.More on Medical Marijuana
The group came out in support of Texas House Bill 507, calling for the decriminalization of the possession of one ounce, or less, of marijuana, as well as legalizing whole plant medical marijuana in the state.
US Navy with USMC
August 1964 – August 1970 (6 years 1 month)
More Articles by Frank Fox:
Vets Sharing Recipes: Breakfast Pizza
Old School Patriotism is Still Alive
Vets Sharing Recipes: Southwest Chicken
The White House Christmas Card
War: Some Are Better Prepared
The Marine and the Cure
More Thoughts on War and Youth
Opinions, Thoughts and Feelings
A Different Perspective
A Worthy Rebuttal to Mr. Garrison
“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
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