Makes a great gift for Vietnam Veterans

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Good evening soldiers sailors marines coast guardsmen and airmen welcome to LZ bunker fall in troops welcome to the veterans live show the show where each week we’re going to bring you a special veteran guest to talk about his or her experiences facts news and things that you should know about their experience in the war my name is ronnie embrace and i serve at the 101st airborne division in vietnam during the december 1967 to december 1968 during the ted offensive and uh after that went back to fort hamilton brooklyn and worked in the ceremonial platoon for about six months to get today’s guest is brian stoll brian worked for silhai in hawaii it is a central identification laboratory hawaii which identified remains of mia’s kias when world war ii korea southeast asia and the cold war all about the pows and mias and the guys who never came home if you’re not familiar with that they’re still working today in iraq and afghanistan and don’t forget to subscribe to our facebook page fallen never forgotten it’s a vietnam veterans memorial book covering over 50 memorials throughout the united states and it brings the memorial to those who cannot make the trip to their local state memorial learn more about fall never forgotten at fault we also have the vietnam veterans photo club which has over 83 000 members on facebook and a lot of guys have hooked up with their buddies from 50 years ago it’s a very popular site so our first guest tonight our inaugural show is going to be brian stoll stole was a lieutenant colonel in sili and did work also in iraq as well as vietnam now we’re gonna have a commercial the vietnam war a vicious battle in a foreign land where all gave some and some gave all americans have built great monuments to show the appreciation that many vietnam veterans never received at the time of battle fallen never forgotten vietnam memorials in the usa is a tribute to these warriors this 12 by 9 inch 240 page photo and information book is the perfect gift for the vietnam veteran in your life containing over 300 large full-color photographs from more than 50 memorials throughout the country fallen never forgotten vietnam memorials in the usa displays the beauty grace and honor these landmarks behold we interviewed the people behind the memorials for up-to-date and accurate information call now to order your copy of fallen never forgotten vietnam memorials in the usa call now okay tonight we’re here with our special guest brian lieutenant colonel brian stoll and he served in iraq and vietnam and the subject matter let’s talk about what you’re going to do brian you’re going to have a live q a with the audience we have a question we’re going to have a question for you people will submit it from the comments section on facebook or youtube and we’ll select five questions for you hopefully they came in how you doing today brian i’m doing great uh thanks for having me on the show not a problem i see here you were deployed in vietnam as well as iraq can you tell us a little bit about that well i’ve uh actually got several deployments but uh southeast asia i concentrated mostly from the country of lao you know working out of the embassy in vientiane but a lot of my work was on the vietnam border most people that serve there know that the ho chi minh trail wove in and out of vietnam and lao throughout the entire length of it so there’s a lot of potential mias and search sites in the lao country that we can check out and that’s uh that’s what we did there uh i i was in iraq for uh the the uh operation iraqi freedom and as a civil affairs officer again we did a lot of humanitarian assistance but we also uh fought through quite a bit of combat in iraq and same thing in afghanistan when i was there so the the combat affects everybody and even though i was a little late to the show in southeast asia uh been there done that got the t-shirt okay thank you very much for that first question i have for you would be how did you get the selected missions and sites that you had to go look for the remains of these uh soldiers or marines or airmen okay specific to lao uh we traveled the country uh there’s 18 provinces in lao and i’ve been in 13 of them and we would go out and we would talk to the locals in each of the villages and occasionally they would come up to us with something that they had found or we would see something like a piece of an aircraft fuselage in the village that they’re being used for something or even the canoes they made canoes out of the aluminum aircraft fuselages and we’d be able to get serial numbers or identification marks off of a lot of the things that we found out there so we would then get a potential identification based on the item or the the aircraft fuselage that would tell us who the crew was then we could check and see if everybody was recovered or you know the all of the pieces that go into that right my uh it really strikes me and most of the guys who were in vietnam because of the pow mia situation there which obviously came forefront because during uh even today with the korean some of the korean guys are still being uh shipped back home with uh their remains being found but it was it was a difficult time with uh the remains of all the pow mias and the groups that got formed after that after the war and how many actual recoveries did you do of ground soldiers sales and little marines based on uh items found in and other information that supported a potential we would go out and do a reconnaissance of the site and then we would also have to do a reconnaissance of an area that would be a biviwack site for the recovery team and recovery team is made up of military and archaeological students and people that are professional to do the type of recovery and the dig because they would actually lay it out and do the dig and then we would go in and we would negotiate with the locals based on uh advice from uh the ministry of interior the ministry of foreign affairs and all the people from the political right right and we would have to do that and then we would come to an agreement and whether uh determining uh the greatest need and it might be a school or a clinic or something like that so one of my jobs is to contract with locals to build a school or a a medical clinic or something to that effect and then we would get permission from the government to do a dig in that area gotcha okay so tit-for-tat right all righty so we have some questions coming from the audience matt you have some questions there okay what years did you spend in southeast asia i was there uh from march of uh 97 until about february of 98. wow so so far after the war another 25 years 26 years after we got out of there one of the ironies was that a lot of the people in the government of lao were vietnam war era freedom you know freedom fighters from their perspective right you know and uh it was all very real to them very current even 25 years after the fact because they would say things like you bombed us the most you need to build us another school house or something like that yeah yeah auntie up okay another question here next question from hudson valley web tv how many mias did you actually find okay i there was one that was repatriated by the team that was before there before me but it was repatriated about a month after i got there and then there was three that we had nearly positive ids on and two of those were positively id’d and were able to be repatriated so we had six digs the entire time i was there at different stages in different times right and these are all in laos this is in lao yes it’s a the proper name for the country according to the loud people is the is the uh is the people’s democratic republic of lao right well we had the yes i guess the french people don’t want to do that yeah yeah that’s that’s the thing it’s an americanized thing but you know all right we have another question um well again uh how many did we actually find yeah uh we confirmed two okay uh and and we’re potentially three uh the the information that came back uh from uh joint command uh which is uh sock pack uh you know afterwards was that there was four that we were able to uh at least initialize id and two that were positively id’d okay um did you ever hear from the results of your fines from the families or no um i mean it never got to that point uh they don’t identify the people on the digs or or people like me out there facilitating it um you know it’s it’s handled at a much higher government level military usually sends like a kernel somebody out to do the notification and uh you know i was able to help some people locate records you know how from the vietnam war around a lot of people wore those wristbands right okay so we were able to help some people find information on the people that their names and id numbers were on their wristbands that’s great so that that helped out a little bit with every ceremonies uh repatriation that you know like coming in the the one that happened about a month after i got into southeast asia they they brought um a couple of senators out and they brought you of course the ambassador was there and they brought some family members out and they did a a a flag ceremony and everything with them nice yeah you know so it’s kind of a uh such a long time after it’s like 25 years after that that this happened it’s really uh i i it’s hard for me to wrap my head around it if you know what i mean yeah no you know one of the things that a lot of people might i was wearing like years later they were talking yeah might or might not understand is that there’s still a lot of expats ex-military that either you know took their separation in country or retired and went back that live in places like chiang mai and and bangkok and stuff where they you know they they have whole lives they have families and everything and you know we worked with some of them that were you know uh vietnam vets that you know had found slot you know positions working in like demining or other humanitarian assistance efforts so there’s there’s a lot of uh a lot of need in the world and there’s still a lot of need in southeast asia and a lot of guys are working through that you know to i don’t almost like the the karma of what they did during the war you know they’re doing the good now because of the way they felt about things in the war of course yeah okay so let me let’s go let’s move a little bit to the east uh what kind of operations did you run in the middle east in iraq and afghanistan where they said okay similar to southeastern those were not those were not tied to uh repatriation or or remains fighting our mission there uh was civil affairs so we would have meetings with the locals and we would try to improve their governance and things i was part of a six-man team in iraq and uh it was a very real and down-to-earth kind of thing you know where we’re going out and and much like the operations of the the guys in in vietnam you know we were on patrols we were doing uh delivery of services and we were working with uh the mps and the infantry and everybody trying to settle the the thing the the settle the environment because you know you take out the the leader of the government and now you gotta provide some kind of government structure right so that’s partly what civil affairs does imagine though the biggest difference would be the terrain and the attention versus finding something yeah i could mean what what could be hidden in in iraq and afghanistan compared to the jungles of um you know what i mean you know what an mi 13 is the russian helicopter the big cargo helicopter with the clam shell in the back yeah yeah we found one buried in a farmer’s field and the way we found it was we found that little ball that’s on the top of the rotor that you know that covers the the connectors and uh you know they came they had to come out with backhoes and dig the thing out of the out of the ground i mean it was buried about you know three or four meters down wow yeah what’s the tailfin story i’m sorry tail fin tail fin yeah let me ask like some question came through about the tail fin story oh oh that yeah no the uh okay we were in uh in iraq and uh we’re actually um getting ready to go on patrol and the the base that we were in the ford operating base came under a an attack by mortar okay and so you know everybody’s jumping and diving and i jumped into a ditch and something hits me in the bottom of the foot and i’m going like oh my god i’ve been hit you know and uh i get up and i look at my foot you know do do the function check and everything’s fine and i’m looking there and here’s the the tail fins from an 82 millimeter mortar sitting on the ground there you go i’m like that would have been a great souvenir but they wouldn’t matter one of those in my one of my album photo albums well of all the pieces of shrapnel that’s probably the safest one yeah well that’s great well i’ll tell you what this has been the quite an experience and i just hope that the work that you did is somehow really uh appreciated by the whoever found you know whoever you found for who you found it it really affects so few yeah however those people who get a closure on it you know and i want to say you know thanks for having me on again and uh your website’s great uh i want to let you know that i i hooked up with one of the guys that was in one of my first units back in the 80s yeah through your website yeah so that was something interesting yeah we we friended each other on facebook so we’re hooked up again so just before you go we wrap it up there’s anything else special you like to mention to our audience i know i just think that uh you know everybody needs to realize that history is important and we need to you know study history and being a career military guy i was a military you know study military history and battles and wars and and strategy and everything and i think it’s important for everybody to realize that so few of us serve it’s only like two percent of the whole us population that serve in the military at all that much huh and uh yeah so it’s it’s that much let’s tell you what great thank you so much for being our first and initial guest hopefully you can maybe get back on the program in the future you want to say goodbye and uh we’ve got such a blessing to hear these things because that kind of stuff to show that people care to try to have them cl people get closure on family members and their friends is one of the most important things in life because there is such a hole in people’s hearts when somebody goes missing well it was an honor to be able to do that and be part of that mission uh i i proudly fly the m-i-a-p-o-w flag now yes so many of them out there too now yeah thank you so much well thank you ronnie yeah brother okay airborne boy okay okay next week we’re gonna have another special guest actually a friend of mine harry adams who uh i served with in b company actually the second squad second platoon of b company first 502nd infantry 101st airborne division in vietnam and fort campbell before we left and uh harry and i met in 1988 20 years after the uh uh it was a reunion from 20 20 years later and this is a picture that harry took of me sitting on a dike in cranktree province in february of 1968. so uh harry everybody want a grenade harry or some ammo from those patches don’t forget all the chuckles and kodak film i had in there too all right so harry’s out in california now he has a great site the first of the 502nd vietnam uh facebook page and uh we’re already really looking forward to seeing harry next week and uh wrapping it up i hope you enjoyed the first episode of veterans live show we’re going to get it better and don’t forget to follow follow us on fallon never forgotten on facebook you can also find us on the youtube channel it’s the veterans live show there’ll be all the subsequent uh episodes and you can search that on youtube and also uh if you’d like to be a guest on our show you can find that info on that website as well which is okay we all hope you have a self safe and pleasant week and a big welcome home to all my brothers welcome home guys god bless you all and your families for everybody putting up with us and see you next week thank you