To the dirt-eating grunt, Vietnam was an endless succession of bummers. Besides the never-ending fear of death, we had to endure a host of miseries: merciless humps through a sun-scorched landscape packing eighty pregnant pounds, brain-boiling heat, hothouse humidity, dehydration, heat exhaustion, sunburn, red dust, torrential rains, boot-sucking mud, blood-sucking leeches, steaming jungles, malaria, dysentery, razor-sharp elephant grass, bush sores, jungle rot, moaning and groaning, meals in green cans, armies of insects, fire ants, poisonous centipedes, mosquitoes, flies, bush snakes, vipers, scorpions, rats, boredom, incoming fire, body bags, and a thousand more discomforts. Despite all this, the grunt did his job well.
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The greatest defeat that the United States has suffered in any war was the failure to overcome the attitude of coldness, and indifference, with which Americans shunned most of those returning veterans. Let us never forget the men and women who served our country so valiantly and at such cost-in the difficult, much-repudiated, and unforgettable Vietnam War. After viewing our site we would appreciate hearing your comments. Vets With A Mission is doing something constructive to help people with whom we have shared so much suffering in common. Learn more about what we do in Vietnam and what motivates us as a veterans group to help the people of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Please sign our Guest Book and let us know when you were in the country and who you served with. If you’re a non-veteran or student and using this page for reference work please let us know if our information helped you.
The work of the grunt was unnoticed by the average American. But to the men, they worked with in the field, the men that shared life and death on a daily basis he was respected and honoured.
Bill Kimball and Bob Peragallo have made numerous trips back to Vietnam since Vets With A Missions beginnings in 1988 . During one of our meetings with the government officials concerning one of our projects in Saigon we were presented with a photo book that was quite large and produced in Vietnam. It contained photos taken by Vietnamese and Japanese photographers during the Vietnam War. The photos probably have never been seen outside of Vietnam and are taken from both sides of the battle. How this book came about is a mystery to us, it is written in Vietnamese. The photographers were obviously attached to US military units but after the fall of Saigon in 1975 they became part of the new government and made their photos available to that government. The book appears to be put together by a Vietnamese photographer named PHAN VAN DONG. The photo on the left is of the inside cover of the book and is the dedication of the book.
Some of these photos show the extreme brutality of War.
We need to be reminded that war centers around death and destruction.
There is no nice way to fight a war. The cost of war is life.
Let us always remember the price that both sides will pay.