Tet–1968

Closing Thought–31Jan20

On this day 52 years ago the US troops were ass deep in the NVA’s offensive which began on 30Jan….the Tet Offensive……

On Jan. 30, 1968, Vietnamese communists attacked the American embassy in Saigon. For several hours they held the embassy grounds, inflicting injury and damage and trapping a small group of U.S. military and diplomatic personnel within the embassy. The assailants failed ever to enter the building, and all of them ultimately were killed or captured. This was part of the broader Tet offensive, a military campaign that carried the Vietnam War from the countryside into cities and towns.

In strictly military terms the assault on the embassy, and indeed the broader offensive failed. The attackers occupied the embassy compound and caused considerable damage but never succeeded in entering the building itself. All of the attackers were killed or captured. But the Vietnam War never was entirely military. Americans had been told — and many then still believed — that the war was being won. How, then, could a supposedly ragtag guerrilla army suddenly assault the citadel and symbol of America’s presence in Vietnam, the very building from which the daily war- progress reports flowed?

“Viet Cong Invade American Embassy” — The 1968 Tet Offensive

And with this anniversary we have yet another film about the Vietnam Ear….movies I never watch because of Hollywood’s treatment of the war as some sort of noble endeavor…it was not!

For instance there are several things that were part of that war that are seldom if ever portrayed in film.

Every soldier’s favorite detail…..Shit Burning

Yeah, the military still has this detail. But whenever you hear the telltale sounds of Hueys over the music of Creedence Clearwater’s “Fortunate Son,” the newly deploying troops are always headed to some very green, very loud base filled with troops who are grilling out and kitting up to go on a search and destroy mission.

These new privates are given their marching orders to go out on a combat patrol immediately, even though they’re still green. When (if) they get back, they get time to sit in the bunks and chatter.

No. While they were gone, the REMF NCOs made quick use of that grilled food. It’s time to do the private’s work. Here’s your diesel fuel, Tom Cruise. A lot of Vietnam vets say that’s the newcomer’s first work detail.

Next are those Body Counts that were reported back home in the evening news…..

After an operation the dead were laid out to be counted and that included humans, pigs, monkeys chickens, anything that was dead was counted.

And that is how they got the high body count for the news.

Finally there was the Body Bag Detail…..

I will not go into that because this was so disturbing that I still have vision of the results…..a smell I will NEVER forget.

I just had to vent on this day of remembrance…..at least for me.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

6 thoughts on “Tet–1968

  1. Thank you for your service. Think Philip Caputo’s “Rumor of War” was the best Vietnam War book. Tet was a great victory for North Vietnamese in several ways and a sign of things to come which LBJ could not understand.

  2. Thank you for your service. I am sure these were difficult times for you and that you will never forget the horrors you encountered. I am just glad we were able to get our troops out of there when they did or else we might still be there. I notice that after all that senseless sacrifice of Americans, they are now trading partners. I think that is a sickening development.

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