Makes a great gift for Vietnam Veterans

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okay
good evening we come to you live from lz
bunker
in the bunker this is the
second edition of veterans live show
welcome to all veterans each week we’re
going to
bring you a special guest to tell about
their experiences in the war
that they served in i am ronnie emers
your host
i serve with the honor first airborne
division in vietnam
uh with the one-off uh first arrival
second infantry
b company and today’s guest
is harry adams from highland california
harry and i served together in vietnam
we knew each other from september
uh 1967 when we all went over the fort
campbell start training to go to vietnam
until we shipped out in december
uh went through the 10 defensive
together and then harry
was wounded i’ll tell you about that a
little later
and we shall uh
let this mentor to you don’t forget to
subscribe to our facebook page for
never forgotten and also
it’s a vietnam veterans memorial book
with over 50
memorials dedicated to the people who
served in vietnam
and never came home we have a also have
a facebook page
vietnam veterans photo club it’s a very
very popular
page we have about 83 000 members in
that
a lot of guys have found buddies they
serve with after 50 years
so check that out as well okay
our first uh let us take a little break
right now we’re going to get
our first uh sorry our guest harry adams
hooked up and we’ll be right back thank
you
oh one more thing since harry’s a
paratrooper
every week when we have a paratrooper on
we’re going to send this
book free to them as long as they share
it on their page
we’ll have a random uh raffle i guess or
a picking of a name
out of all the people who post this on
their
facebook page thank you very much
talk to you a little bit
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 back with harry from highland
california
uh let you know that harry and i served
together a b company first of the 502nd
infantry
in vietnam uh that’s pretty much a camel
together
and then harry uh was severely injured
in a
mine exploding on a deuce and af truck
and uh
went to japan back to well
harry in fact i’ll let you tell them
that you got it well the
uh truck explosion was on the 11th of
february
that was the first time i got a purple
heart uh the truck was blown up pretty
darn good
a whole bunch of guys on it and several
of us got severely injured
uh i spent a couple of days in the
hospital and then a few days getting
back to the unit and
the next day i got wounded again but
the last time i got wounded was on the
27th of february
and those are guns shots in a big battle
there you go
harry you’re also going to do q a
session afterwards some of the guys can
go on facebook
or on youtube on our page and
ask you to uh you know answer a few
questions possibly all right
sure make sure that they uh settle in uh
so uh
it’s a weird kind of situation because
we serve together and uh
it’s not like i’m into interviewing
someone who i don’t know
or don’t know about their service so uh
let’s
go go back to fort campbell and tell us
how you got there
when you got there and what went on in
three months training
well i was in special forces training
group uh
learning to be a green beret and then i
terminated my status there and asked to
go to vietnam
to any unit and they sent me to the
101st airborne at fort campbell
okay and then uh you met a bunch of
grunts hey
oh yeah yeah oh yeah wonderful guys
lifelong friends all right so what was
the most
uh memorable thing that happened at fort
campbell
well uh it wasn’t good but uh
i miss getting in the company picture
because they put me on kp that day so i
stood there and watched everybody else
get their picture made
there you go and uh
did you go downtown uh nashville the
weekend before
uh we went to vietnam yeah we went
downtown several times
just to stay out of trouble i cannot
believe that the us
army let two brigades of soldiers
paratroopers loose in nashville
tennessee
the weekend before they were going to
vietnam who
broke the jewelry store window i have no
idea
oh come on now was he this guy wasn’t me
okay somebody thought he didn’t do it on
purpose
we were just having a good time and uh
somehow somebody backed their
back or their butt into uh uh the window
of the town store and the alarm went off
and everybody took off ran into a hotel
and half the guy stayed in the hotel for
the rest of the night
i wonder what happened there it was cold
yeah that was funny night all right here
we are harry
and uh fort campbell tell us about this
picture and where you are located
say again could you see this picture no
okay this is a picture a bunch of us had
these mohawks
and what we did yeah we
tried to replicate the attitude
and the i guess physical appearance
of the guys who jumped in normandy in
world war ii with on the first
airborne the fibro deuce uh in the back
up there is uh
sergeant hawkins on the left i’m in the
center top
harry’s on the right next to me and then
sort of
leaning over on the left is frank uh la
tutu
from hawaii uh below him is stevie scott
next to him is uh sergeant guy if i
forget his first name
next to him is par private plant and
down below from texas is mike lucas
uh what a close-knit bunch of guys we
had harry
we were we were a good close-knit bunch
of guys
and those of us that survived still are
yeah it’s uh interesting situation how
uh
after 50 years uh that’s the one thing
that we’ll never forget
and uh always kind of like draw each
other together
uh have you attended any reunions lately
no just the uh the one we had in the
1980s
oh yeah first attempted organizing a
reunion and
went pretty good that was excellent down
at fort campbell
uh we had a 20-year reunion out of
vietnam in the
uh picture you see there uh there was a
first sergeant to captain a bunch of
guys over here
i’m taking a picture with uh sergeant
mullis off platoon sergeant harry next
to him
big guy in the back is bobby almost from
uh manhattan
and on the right side is uh the
uh departed friend charlie manager he
was one of my good buddies actually uh
harry and i went to baltimore once or
twice and uh
visited charlie great guy love you guys
yeah
great guy so uh here we go
this is part of the reunion down at fort
campbell
they treated us very well down there my
goodness they put on a jump jam
demonstration they had a arms
demonstration
all kinds of things firepower
uh the helicopter yeah
yeah boy oh boy the the general was out
there
and we got on the bus we had that was a
great weekend that was like unbelievable
it was great this guy’s name was general
campbell
at fort campbell how did you get how did
you get the name of
general campbell i don’t know that’s
pretty weird
especially in 101st at fort campbell so
uh
other than that who else have you been
in touch with
oh well lots of guys uh uh
sergeant mullis is one of the first ones
i got a hold of
steve scott and mike lucas uh we’ve had
some wild weekends uh
between 1972 and and the president
how about guys how about guys on your
own
like uh how about uh john schmidt
oh john oh john what can you say about
john
john john is a phenomenal guy
yeah he is a sight to be seen
i can’t believe he uh uh
stayed in the army like what 30 years
something yeah the one guy we figured
wouldn’t make it he
he stayed in uh gotta know 20 30 years
and retired high rank and
lots of medals and yeah good special
forces
let’s get back to vietnam yeah with the
uh
experience when we landed in benoit uh
that
landed actually yeah no we landed in the
tanzania and trucked up to benoit
and then we went to coochie uh right
with the 25th over there tell us about
that with the uh 11th army cavalry
a little bit of experience there well we
had a mission with the 11th armored cav
that are now fort irwin california uh
with their tanks i think about 45 46
vehicles and uh in heavy jungle and we
busted our way through it and uh
i don’t think i’d want to do that again
i don’t like tanks
yeah the michelin rubber plantation
yes yeah and the worst thing about
riding on an apc
it was when those ready riding on top
yeah man that’s it when when you hit
these trees
and the red hats came down on you oh my
god i never got naked so fast in my life
because no matter what you did you
couldn’t get rid of them they’re down
your neck they’re up your sleeves
even though your pants were like they
didn’t want blousing rubbers but to help
with that and jungle you know
so uh it was nuts man that was the worst
that was that was bad yeah you’d strip
off your clothes and everybody started
patting you down as hard as they could
i know but in the meantime
i think there was more things
that could get you beside a
a mortar rpg or a aks round
they were like jungle rats there were
step and half snakes
there were leeches there was malaria
there was dysentery
there was like i had tigers and
elephants too
[Laughter]
oh my gosh how many people you know got
affected with something else
did you hear that what’s that how many
people do you know that got
affected by something other than the
wounds of battle
well uh jeez i don’t know that’s a tough
question
yeah it was like uh it was a circus man
something happened it’s every
you had to take your water pills your
malaria pills whatever they were
uh and the state with the leeches with
the cigarette remember burning
burning uh leeches out with the
cigarettes
yeah every every day or two we had more
and more guys wounded and every once in
a while somebody killed
oh yeah that was sad
they came the big day i’m glad you
missed it it was a big bad thing
actually uh yeah i don’t know people
know about it but we lost a lot of guys
we lost one third of our company with uh
13 guys being killed and 22 guys being
wounded
out of uh a company of about 100 guys so
that was 30
33 guys or so uh by our own mortars
that was march 26 1968 not a good
experience
not a good experience so tell me about
your uh
what’s going on with your private white
dub
business let’s see that little bird
there you go
tell us what you do with that well i
make a living with them we uh we have a
small
company here in southern california and
we fly them at uh funerals every day
we do uh four or more hundred uh a year
and it’s very successful that’s
wonderful
and one of the what actually takes place
with the
with the
we have a symbolic release where the
family releases a single dove or two
dubs whenever a couple’s being reunited
in heaven
by hand and then we release
an escort of three to 20 doves they go
up and fly into a type formation start
flying around the cemetery
then the first dove or two doves that
were released come back and join them
before they all depart and come back to
our
right wing sky ranch here in ireland
that’s incredible
that’s unbelievable so
what happened with your second purple
heart well that’s uh
we were airlifted out of a
an afternoon with not a whole lot
happening into an area it was supposed
to be secured nobody there but it turned
out there were
and uh just before dark they hit us
they hit us hard and uh we were
completely surrounded
i uh managed to last about an hour
before i got
shot in the side a half dozen times oh
yes i remember that
yeah yeah i recall that actually i have
this uh one one
february 11th that was what was the
second time
well the second time i got wounded was
on the the deuce man
when was the first one i’m sorry well
the first and uh
oh uh on the fifth of february i got
shot in the uh or
not shot but uh we’ll do with a shrapnel
from a mortar in the back
ah okay i didn’t get a purple heart for
that good don’t worry about that
you had you got you do man you got home
alive
yeah i’m going to tell you about the
february february we awoke to a mortar
in attack 17 wounded in our platoon
we killed over a hundred guys tacobon uh
howe
uh edwards elrod mullis
plant gregory bell
all but 14 guys yeah all got wounded
that day artillery came came in and
then we chopped out and set up another
defensive uh perimeter
i uh night the night defensive pyramid i
kept the diary there
anything every day you want to know
harry i could uh
try to give you the best information i
can but uh
not a good book to keep so let’s tell
harry tell us about the first mission we
went on the coochie what happened with
the uh
big bird coming down well our first
mission was on the 27th of
december we came there on the 13th
so two weeks getting ready for it we
went out and spent an afternoon
walking around south vietnam and we
started up a trail up into the hobo
woods
and company a went one path on the pat
of the
trail and we went on the other the enemy
was in between us and they opened up on
both companies and we had a god-awful
firefight with each other
and uh bob bocus and i were told to go
in and coordinate with the other company
so we went
through the enemy territory and ended up
getting down on the ground right beside
the enemy machine
gun about five feet away in a bush and a
chopper from the 25th infantry division
came in and
started flying low and slow over our
heads trying to help us
and they managed to see me and i pointed
out the bush where the enemy machine gun
was and
he said he was going to beat it up and
the next thing i knew the helicopter
exploded and
all four guys died yeah
i remember the next day or two i wasn’t
quite sure what day it was i could
always look that up
uh then we had to go out and recover the
bodies
yeah that was uh man that was a that was
a hell of an initiation
to uh i remember running down the trail
and getting down like running down the
trail like
on my hands and knees to uh like a
gorilla i guess
and uh you never hear the one that hits
you
but the one that goes by pew pew pew
they’re too low you know what i mean but
oh yeah man it was not good harry
that was good that they were bad shots
yeah the uh well
sometimes they just fired up you know
and just let a magazine go you know what
i mean
but this is uh this is a book that i’m
talking about it
it’s uh now what 30 30 60 years old i’m
50 years old
and uh it’s got some
let me try to get this in there
okay here we go so it goes day by day
and even got wet and it’s uh pages are
falling out
but it’s kind of like a documentary of
every day
that i was in vietnam so in one way it’s
a
sad reminder but the other way i guess
it’s historical
and uh i told josh he should give him a
journal
oh really yeah yeah there you go
he’s over in europe yes he uh actually
uh
we had a little talk the other day he uh
he he he sent me a picture of abrams
and i go what do you ride around in that
thing and the new toy he goes no no no
we do uh
apc’s kind of stuff right then i showed
him a picture of that
vehicle that had that 105 mounted on it
had four camel during a reunion
yeah and he couldn’t believe i sent that
to him that i took those pictures
uh i’m a picture guy man so
and now so josh is my son by the way
uh he’s with the third infantry division
in germany
uh he joined up in last october
and we miss him and we wish him well i
keep telling him to keep his
head low than his butt yes sir
good even good advice absolutely yeah
so harry what do you think about all
those rucksacks how about
wait a second forget the rock how about
sec 42 days without seeing the sun
you missed that for that school season
yeah it was miserable
sleeping in the rain sleeping in the mud
wearing field jackets
yep it was either real hot or real cold
yeah you know it’s weird people don’t
know people think vietnam was a hot
jungle place
but in the meantime we had we had a
t-shirt on
a jungle sweater a fatigue shirt and a
field jacket
let’s try to keep warm there you go
that’s my man harry
and for a while we had flak fest yeah oh
yeah right yeah yeah
harry we got a picture of you up here
sitting on a rice paddy smoking a
cigarette with your m16 bro
yeah i was looking good you took that
picture
and i took a picture and you took a
picture of me let me see the same
picture
yeah you took the one with me i took the
one with you
how about that there you go look at all
the stuff we’re wearing here
we’re wearing uh we got the field jacket
on
you can see uh the uh what you call it
uh
oh my arm is wet we’re sitting on a dike
in a wet rice
wet rice patty the reason i say wet
because sometimes they were dry
and then there’s plenty of ammo patches
and grenades and gas masks and
you name it thank you so much for that
picture harry it’s like my
my uh uh trademark i appreciate that
you see that picture up by oh you can’t
see the picture matt can you split that
screen away
no next way take harry off
take him off again
there you go that i have a picture here
harry sitting in a ui going on our first
combat assault
i’ll have to send you a picture of that
and yeah i’d like to see that
sitting in the ui i have the uh
uh
a picture of the m60 hanging down
straight down and in the
background that’s in the foreground in
the background is the uh another ue
hold on one second i’ll grab that
picture for you but you can’t see it he
can’t see it
yeah i’m blind here here you go
there you go here’s that picture first
combat assault
i’ll send that picture to you man in the
meantime
tell us about tell us about what you
remember about that first
firefight we had not with the helicopter
going down
when we went down into uh when the
company got ambushed or was it a c
company
yes c company uh all i know is they uh
they had a god awful number of guys
wounded by
booby traps that day
we were lucky yeah we went overnight
with that there’s a there’s a log
uh do you know there’s a 50 second
infantry log history
that uh uh a trooper put up there
since uh day one that the 100 first went
into vietnam
everything that happened every day for
every unit
i need a copy of that okay i’ll send you
his name
in the meantime tell us about 98 nine
ambushes
well that ambushes are the worst part of
vietnam oh my
god i don’t sleep at night i’m up every
night all night
it just scares the crap out of you
you know harry i was so afraid at times
i thought that the enemy could hear my
heart beating
or your breath yeah well i don’t know
about my breath
they could probably smell that
but my heart was thumping so loud
it i just i swear i thought they would
hear it like from 20
50 feet away whatever the night ambushes
were not nice
yeah we had a couple that were very
decisive
we oh really i don’t mean that i mean
the whole attitude about it yeah
oh my goodness yeah we had a great plan
we did man the guy we did great now what
we kicked some ass we do and like
the papers the the press they they wrote
it down
like we like we were the bad guys first
of all and then
then we got our ass kicked but man we we
had enough casualties
of our own but it we tripled the
quadruple the amount of
casualties and the weapons that we got
out of the field from the enemy
including some serious
uh you know two-man weapons
i think we had uh 27 guys killed in our
company during that
time yeah yeah we actually had a 90
percent
uh mortality rate no not mortality
you know injured injured or killed
correct yeah w-i-o-k
97 but that also meant some guys got
wounded three or four times
that’s right but that wasn’t like every
every guy in a hundred man company 97
got wounded
it could have been 60 guys got wounded
but a couple of them got
wounded two three four times yeah there
were
a number of us they got wounded several
times yeah i got hit
four times but only two purple hearts
okay
yeah well you should ride up man you
should go get them
you want some help yeah oh by the way
thank god i want to congratulate you
for trying to get albania small that
congressional medal of honor
oh yeah i i tried you did some
i got your letters here it’s really
incredible
harry uh albania small harry tell the
story
well we on the i think it was the 21st
of february
uh we did a maneuver where we pivoted
and wheeled to the left the whole
company pivoted
and first platoon got shot up real bad
in in uh
in a enemy position we tried to get in
two of them and rescue them albania
small went in
seven times and pulled the guy out each
time
and then uh i managed to go in the other
side to get three guys out but uh
it was it was a bad situation a bad
situation
but in the meantime back at base camp
being reading up for the medal of honor
a mortar came in and blew his arm off
yeah they they pulled him out of the
range
when he got put in for the medal of
honor and he went to the rear
was playing horseshoes and the mortar
round went off in the distance
a piece of shrapnel came by and cut his
arm off mid forearm and
his hand was still attached to the
horseshoe geez
thanks did he get a ringer no stop
please he should have got the medal of
honor yes i agree
you’re no kidding you’re not yeah
absolutely right that’s not good
uh happened to a lot of people though
and and uh
very heroic wars people cared for each
other so much
there were guys you know what bothered
me most about that war too that when
they said there was a lot of racism
involved
hey man we didn’t care who was who we
were like
we were more than brothers with
everybody in our car but we didn’t have
that kind of problem in the paratroopers
we were all highly motivated
that’s true yeah we weren’t yeah but
then we got started to get infiltrated
with
i would infiltrate it sounds like a bad
thing uh
a lot of our replacements were
legs yeah of course yeah we were the
last set of paratroopers
yeah quite a hundred and first yeah i’m
not jump qualified
and yeah i’ll tell you what uh someone
they just weren’t
as gum hoe as we were nothing
wrong with that they were just people
who got drafted
and got put in our units but we were
kind of animalistic and
and gonna go with things uh
but they just didn’t hold up i actually
had an issue with one guy dropping 81
millimeter mortar rounds on the trail
he didn’t want to carry them and uh
i had to tell them if i saw it again
something
might happen which was not good
besides they’d turn around and use it on
us exactly
oh yeah no problem it was just a bad
scene
so uh other than that uh
tell us about your your experience
in the medical issues that you
had once i had i had excellent care with
the
with the hospitals and the doctors and
nurses they really cared
they did a heck of a job i was in nine
hospitals when i got wounded the last
time
uh before they finally retired me and
sent me home
where was that uh in southern california
no no i don’t mean that i mean your
journey through the
hospitals oh god well uh the field
hospital after i got wounded
and down to da nang where they operated
on me then off the coast on the uss
repose
then back to danang to catch an airplane
to japan
and japan from japan i went to travis
air force base from travis i went to
fort ord
from fort ord i went to uh the presidio
at
san francisco and that’s where i
finished my career
wow did that happen how long did that
take two months three months
about six months oh really that that
long in the
in the hospital zone well i was
paralyzed from the chest down whenever i
came back
started getting it back uh it started
coming back slowly a few weeks later
that is amazing you know thank god for
that in the meantime
i heard a little rumor that you had some
experience flying a plane
i did tell us about that we went over on
operation eagle thrust on the 12th of
december 67
and when we landed at wake island the
guys
were kind of tired and sleeping in the
back i went up to the front of the
airplane and the
pilot invited me to fly the airplane so
i sat down in the right seat
took the yoke and uh flew the airplane
nobody else had controls for 15 minutes
up at 35 000 feet
thanks a lot harry i’ll tell you what
with a bunch of paratroopers on board i
think they would have jumped without the
shoot if they knew you were flying that
plane
that’s why i kept it secret for 50 years
oh my goodness gracious you’re too much
man
okay we’re gonna after a minute oh tell
us about
ted how crazy ted was at first well ted
was real bad
we uh we the trainings down south was
nothing compared to ted they we uh
for one thing we were fighting the north
vietnamese regulars and they were real
soldiers
and they fought hard and they they took
a lot of us out
but uh ted every day
something happened we lose a few more
guys every day
either wounded or killed
that was no picnic all right all right
thank you very much i want to thank you
so much harry for being a
second guest on this show the veterans
life
and uh continued success of what you do
with your bird
uh your dove factory and uh
i think it’s a nice thing to have for
people’s funerals give them some peace
and uh respect and uh
please stay in touch with us no matter
how you can and we’ll uh be swapping uh
emails or texts whatever or messages
and uh we’ll go from there good luck
with your show man
any last words you’d like to say just
good luck with your show
i appreciate that so much man all right
ladies and gentlemen thank you harry
i’ll catch you next time and uh
next week our our guest is going to be
richie drago
he is uh the leader
of the purple heart chapter 1792
with in newburgh new york and what 1792
means
is when george washington
inaugurated the legion of merit actually
was
and then in 1930s it got changed to the
purple heart
medal uh and it’s really close i mean
i’m like
30 minutes from this i live in hudson
valley and it’s really terrific because
there’s so much history here
between west point uh stony point battle
in uh the revolutionary war
and ticonderoga and saratoga and
uh tremendous tremendous uh
historical area and uh so we’ll uh
talk to richie next week and
and also the purple heart muse hall of
honor is here
uh in about 10 miles south of newburgh
so thank you very much and we’ll see you
next week
thank you brothers and welcome home