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The Veteran View

((Banner: Veterans on War))
((Reporter/Camera: Gabrielle Weiss))
((Producer: Martin Secrest))
((Map: Hopkinsville, Kentucky))

((Popup Banner: Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post
((NATS: VFW Post))
((John Brame, Post Commander, Hopkinsville))
Well, we have a little thing that’s going on. We have a
drawing tonight for a few dollars so we’ve got a few people
for that. We have a game occasionally over there where
they play a little Texas Hold ‘Em.
((NATS: Poker game))
((John Brame, Post Commander, Hopkinsville))
The VFW actually is a fraternal organization and we’re made
up of veterans of foreign wars, which means that if you're
eligible to be a member in our VFW, you had to serve in one
of the campaigns, either World War II, Korea, Vietnam,
Afghanistan. It was chartered in December the 5th, 1945.
((NATS: Poker game))
((Ted Wood, US Air Force (Retired), Hopkinsville VFW))
I became a navigator. My first duty assignment was in
Vietnam and I flew over there for about 10 months. And
then when the war ended, I was actually one of 10 people in
the entire world that can say, I guess, that you flew the last
combat mission in the Vietnam War.
((NATS: Bar))
((Wayne Bormann, Vietnam War Army Veteran,
Hopkinsville VFW))
And when we shipped over to Vietnam, it was all on boat,
took us 31 days to get across the Pacific. And then when we
reached Vietnam, of course, being young and stupid, I didn't
know much about what we were getting into anyway until we
actually got into it. But yeah, we shipped out, a whole bunch
of us, all at one time. We became buddies and we're still
friends to this day. Yeah.
((NATS: Poker game
Man: All right. Ted, make sure you got 40 chips. We all got
that opportunity, just make sure you got forty chips.))
((Ted Wood, US Air Force (Retired), Hopkinsville VFW))
Unfortunately, I think that it's very difficult for a lot of
Americans to understand that we just can't be the policeman
of the entire world. You know, we just can't spread
our…..because a lot of people pay taxes and those taxes go
for to fight these wars and stuff and all these conflicts and
stuff like that. And sometimes you know, you spend so
much money giving aid and help to all these other countries
and stuff and then all you have to do is look around, look
over your shoulder. We have people starving right here in
America. So, it makes me think a lot about that, about
sometimes you need to take care of your own too.
Sometimes you have to look at it as a civilian and as a
taxpayer and say, you know, my brother over here is in a
homeless shelter, you know, or my sister over here is getting
addicted to drugs or something like that. We need to help
some of those people at home too.
((NATS: Bar conversation
Man 1: You got to understand, if I do this, what’s the
Man 2: I think that’s why we elect leaders. We put them up
there in charge to make those decisions, and if we don’t like
what’s up there, we vote them out and elect the ones we
think will do a better job.))
((John Brame, Post Commander, Hopkinsville))
I was drafted into the Army in 1969. I guess I'd never been
out of Christian County very long at any given period of time,
never been overseas, didn’t know a lot about the military
except Fort Campbell is here at the time, and I was a farm
boy. So, you know, I was young and ignorant and I got my
draft notice. And the next thing, I was boots on the ground
and in Vietnam in a combat unit. And we were on the
Laotian border, through a whole lot of bad places over there.
And I survived and a lot of my friends didn’t. I'm grateful for
that. I'm sorry for them. And it was a war that wasn’t won. It
wasn’t won by anyone. But I can tell you my experience and
it wasn't a happy experience. You know, I want the whole
world to be happy. I mean, golly, what's wrong with
happiness? We're only going to be on this planet for maybe
80 years. Damn! Just live! Enjoy.
((NATS: Bar))