SGT. SHAFT: Vet wants to prove he served in Vietnam

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Dear Sgt Shaft:

My name is Ron, I’m an Air Force vet. I served from 1968 to 1972, and I was stationed in the Philippines for 15 months. I was a C-130 crew chief and was sent to Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam for 55 days at a time, I did four of these tours. I’m 61 now and have heart disease, I had a heart attack at age 40. I have sent for my records, and there’s nothing in there about Vietnam.

All my other tour of duty’s to Europe and all over are in there except for Vietnam. Do you know of any other sources I could check to get some help? I remember getting sixty dollars a month combat pay and I know I wasn’t paid cash.

All I have are pictures of the flight line there and one picture of me standing on the beach in Cam Ranh with two very unique islands in the background. I submitted them with some pictures from online sources showing the same two islands. Now the VA is saying I may have super imposed my picture on my original picture of the beach. Is there any way to beat these people? My 214 form shows both Vietnam service medals.

Are there any other places I can look, or any other place I can go for help?

I appreciate your time.

Via the Internet

Dear Ron:

First, thank you for your military service with the United States Air Force. Your four tour of duty’s as a C-130 crew chief of 55 days duration each needs to be documented. I would pursue the following:

Contact your assigned squadron, via the Internet, or the Air Force Historical Research Agency ( and locate the unit history of the organization for the time period of your assignment and duty in Vietnam. Determine any documented reference to the unit’s participation in Vietnam and secure the “specific reference” of the unit history. Even if it does not identify personnel names, the unit’s conducted mission in Vietnam will be detailed. The relationship of your assignment period will provide correlation.

Shaft notes

The Sarge joins the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in sounding the alarm over President Obama’s deficit-reduction plan because some proposals are clearly designed to balance the budget on the backs of current and future military service members, retirees and their families.

“The proposals are all about money, not about people,” said Richard L. DeNoyer, who was elected Sept. 1 as the commander-in-chief of the 2 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its auxiliaries.

The White House recently released a summary of the president’s plan that impacts military retirees as well as those still serving and their families. The plan would impose an initial $200 annual fee on TRICARE-for-Life recipients, increase TRICARE pharmacy copayments for military dependents and retirees of all ages, and create a commission to examine overhauling the existing military retirement system.

The VFW national commander believes demands for the nation’s military to sacrifice more is a perfect recipe for another hollow force and could threaten the continued success of the all volunteer force.

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