- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 4, 2011

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 (https://www.afhra.af.mil/) 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.

The famous words of Rudyard Kipling should be echoing in the walls of the White House.

Tommy I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mr. Atkins,” when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;
But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.
Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, how’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.
We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards, too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind,”
But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind,
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.
You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires an’ all:
We’ll wait for extra rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country,” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
But Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or email [email protected].

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