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View Diary: This is my last case as Veteran’s advocate – and it’s the worst I’ve ever seen (228 comments)

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  •  Vietnam, in the 60's, was a far cry from (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llbear, glescagal, glorificus, SilentBrook

    Germany.  Germany was a cush gig.  It still is. Like Okinawa.  Or, previously, the Philippines.

    Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:01:31 PM PST

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    •  He was working 18 to 20 hours a day, 7 days a week (12+ / 0-)

      for months on end. He was translating on the fly. The pressure on these ASA guys was huge.

      Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. Those who want to wage the next war in Afghanistan are condemned to lose it.

      by llbear on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:07:32 PM PST

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      •  can this be proven with records? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        llbear, winglion, Vetwife, SilentBrook

        20 hours a day, 7 days a week?   That seems hard to believe.

        Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

        by Keith930 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:19:03 PM PST

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      •  ASA, now part of MI (3+ / 0-)

        A good synopsis from wikipedia of the type of compartmentalization and solitary pressure these folks were under:

        These occupations, which required top secret clearance, were essential to U.S. Cold War efforts. ASA units operated in shifts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. ASA troops were not allowed to discuss their operations with outsiders – in fact, they could not talk among themselves about their duties unless they were in a secure location. Even today, decades after they served, some of the missions still cannot be discussed. Owing to the sensitivity of the information with which they worked, ASA soldiers were subject to travel restrictions during and long after their time in service.[citation needed] The activities of the U.S. Army Security Agency have only recently been partially declassified. This turn of events has been accompanied by the appearance of a small number of ASA memoirs and novels (see the list below).
        Stuff that was on his office's case load:
        Prague Spring

        I should also mention:
        Uncle Leonid was a very busy man, and these folks were to be the tea leaf readers or catch shit for missing what would be closely held State Secrets.

        Both WTC towers would be standing if the same criteria was applied within the FBI, summer of 2001.

    •  While recuperating from wounds I was assigned (10+ / 0-)

      to the HQ, USARVN Adjutant General's office in Long Binh.

      My job during that time was translating casualty reports from the field units and hospitals (7 days a week, 12 hours a day) into coherent English explanations of the circumstances of injuries or death of Army personnel for decimation to the loved ones at home.

      That task, although clerical, was devastating and debilitating to the point where I couldn't eat or sleep for weeks on end. I worked the night shift when the communication network was available for traffic and the various units had complied their daily reports for transmission up the chain of command.

      I had to piece together the reports from the front lines and confirm the factual information, prognosis or cause of death from the medical facilities and prepare statements that would go directly to the officers that had to knock on the door of the Next to Kin. During the day I drank a lot.

      Prior to that time I was an advisor to the 5th ARVN (Vietnamese) Rangers conducting clandestine waterborne operations using LCMs (Landing Craft Medium) boats much like the DDay landing craft, only a little larger and armed with .50cal machine guns. We moved about the Mekong Delta deploying squads here and there, picking up the injured and captives and resupplying others in the field.

      Given the choice of being in direct combat or sitting at a desk having to sort out the how's and why's I'd opt to be back in the field without question. There you some control over the outcome. There your performance matters in real time.

      Don't imply that the clerical folks, especially the ones in intel don't earn their keep or suffer from the slings and arrows. I never want to be in that position again.

      And, yes after healing I did go back to the field. I got knocked down hard by the blast from a RPG and while waiting for the dust-off kept thinking of that poor SOB who was going to have to tell my mom what happened to her baby boy, hahaha.  True story.


      What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce. Mark Twain

      by Gordon20024 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:15:29 PM PST

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