I need to Interview someone about the Vietnam War.

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Re: I need to Interview someone about the Vietnam War.

Post by Chuck Gutzman » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:01 pm

Hi Qouya: Yes, I have a favorite President. It was Ronald Reagan, because he had a sense of humor, did not take HIMSELF too seriously, but took the job and status of the Presidency VERY seriously. While a staunch conservative he was not an ideologue to the point that most of those following him tended to be. Of course, coming after Jimmie Carter - he was bound to look good.

When I think of my service years I generally think of the comrades that I shared the time with, both American and others. Sometimes I am glad for the things that I learned there.

The military is a great proving ground and educational crucible, but not everyone is psychologically suited for it. Many young people today look at it as a place to obtain an education (it is), a place with a stable career, (It mostly is), a place where they can meet interesting people and travel widely, (can do that) and a place that pays reasonably well. (That too.) However, it is also a place where repeated separations from your family and family struggles to adapt are common and it places a strain on young families because of the uncertainties associated with potential combat. Additionally, many forget that the basic purpose of a military force is to kill people and break/destroy things. When faced with that reality, many just can't handle it over the long haul. It is a place where strong friendships are made, and friends are lost under sometimes gruesome circumstances. Tension is ever-present on a battlefield and is a bit more pronounced for small unit or non-commissioned leaders because they are the ones at the dirty end of the spear who must pull triggers and see to it that their charges do too, while still counting the costs of having given the orders that caused the deaths of some of their comrades. There is a reason that PTSD smacks down combat types far more often than support troops.

Can you get training in the fields you mentioned? Absolutely. The technical fields tend to be more prevalent in the Air Force, but the Nursing skills are more apt to be afforded you in the Army. Journalism is not a high demand skill set in the military - however, cogent writers are very valuable in the Intelligence fields. Both services have a need for forensic skills, but the Army has a lot more slots for them.

I think you might enjoy the book, as well as pick up some pointers from it.

Good luck.

Chuck

Re: I need to Interview someone about the Vietnam War.

Post by QOUYA » Mon May 17, 2010 2:01 pm

CHUCK, I JUST MAY TRY TO LOOK FOR YOUR BOOK AS WELL.
I GOT A FEW MORE QUESTIONS.
1. DO YOU HAVE FAVORITE PRESIDENT? WHY OR WHY NOT?
2. WHAT IS ONE THING THAT MOST OFTEN COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU THINK OF YOUR YEARS IN THE MILTARY?
3.WOULD YOU RECOMMEND GOING INTO THE MILTARY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY?

Re: I need to Interview someone about the Vietnam War.

Post by qouya » Mon May 17, 2010 1:40 pm

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR REPLYING IN THE FIRST PLACE!! LOL I REALLY ENJOYED READING ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES, THEY ARE INSPIRING. I PLAN TO GO INTO THE ARMY OR THE AIR FORCE NEXT YEAR I HAVENT QUITE DECIDED. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW YOUR IDEAS ABOUT WHAT I SHOULD DO ABOUT THIS. WHICH BRANCH WOULD BE GOOD? IM INTO COMPUTERS,JOURNALISM,NURSING,FORENSICS, A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING. I KNOW I COULD ASK ALOT OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE BUT I WOULD LIKE YOU ALLS OPINIONS..

Re: I need to Interview someone about the Vietnam War.

Post by Jim » Mon May 17, 2010 11:16 am

"Tell me about a couple of your most memorable experiences. My favorite story from Cu Chi was a scheme worked out by my XO wherein we contracted with a local seamstress to make us a bunch of Viet Cong flags. (Had to stand guard over her house so that none of the ARVN guys saw what she was doing0, then we would take them and scatter them on the ground in the tank park for a couple of days and run over them. When we took a convoy to Tan Son Nhut AFB or picked on up there, whoever went would take some with them and trade them to the Air Force as combat trophies. We could get almost anything for them."

Hilarious.

Re: I need to Interview someone about the Vietnam War.

Post by Chuck Gutzman » Mon May 17, 2010 12:00 am

Hi Qouya:

1.full name Philip Charles Gutzman

2.age 71

3.date of birth 23 June 1938

4.Were you drafted or did you enlist? I enlisted in 1955, well before the Vietnam War kicked up.

5.Where were you living at the time? Idaho

6.Why did you join? When I graduated from high school there were three options for making a living around where I lived. You could work underground in one of the three mines that were active there; You could work for one of the logging companies that were operating in the forests; or you could work on one of the ranches that were spread up and down the two river valleys. ( My home town was at the confluence of the Lemhi and Salmon Rivers). Instead, I enlisted in the Army and decided to pursue a military career.

7.Why did you pick the service branch you joined? Because it was the only one that had a recruiter in my home town. I thought about the Marines, but would have had to drive nearly 170 miles to sign up. I took the path no least resistance.

8.Do you recall your first days in service? Vividly.

9.What did it feel like? Strangely enough, it was just about what I had expected.

10.Tell me about your boot camp/training experience(s). Basic training was a constant cycle of physical training and elementary military skills. It was conducted in a desert and was hot, dirty, and somewhat hard, but I had been an athlete in school, so I had it a lot better than some of the city kids. Advanced Individual Training (AIT) was really interesting because there we actually learned our military specialties.

11.Do you remember your instructors? One of my Drill Sergeants was a little short Japanese guy that had been in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in WW-II. During my career I ran into a lot of really hard and tough people - but virtually all of them came up short when I compared them to Sergeant Hino.

12.how did you get through it? Worked hard and did as I was told.

Which war(s) did you serve in (WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf)? Vietnam and Gulf War I (Desert Storm - though in Desert Storm I was a civilian contractor.)

Where exactly did you go? I served in three of the four corps areas in Vietnam. I was in based out of Cu Chi in III Corps, Pleiku in II Corps, Danang, Quang Ngai, and Quang Tri in I Corps. During Desert Storm I worked out of Dahran, Al Rafa, and King Kalhid Military City. I ended up in Kuwait City. I will limit my responses to Vietnam.

Do you remember arriving and what it was like? Initially my impression was that I had somehow been trapped in a Turkish Bath that was full of rotten fish. It was hot, humid, and stunk. Because we deployed as a unit ( I went into Cu Chi with the 25th Infantry Division from Hawaii) the first night there Charley greeted us with a small probe of the perimeter, and a smattering of mortar fire.

What was your job/assignment? I earned a commission in the early 1960s and deployed to Vietnam with the 25th as the Commander of C-1/69th Armor. Later, in Pleiku I was a Battalion Assistant S-3, and still later in Danang I was an ARVN Advisor, later yet I had a Ranger Detachment that worked out of Danang, Quang Ngai, and Quang Tri.

Did you see combat? Yes

Were there many casualties in your unit? A lot of wounded in the tank company, but only one KIA (My Gunner). The battalion in Pleiku suffered what could be characterized as moderate casualties. The ARVN only had sporadic contact around Danang and had light casualties, and the Ranger unit had heavy casualties.

Tell me about a couple of your most memorable experiences. My favorite story from Cu Chi was a scheme worked out by my XO wherein we contracted with a local seamstress to make us a bunch of Viet Cong flags. (Had to stand guard over her house so that none of the ARVN guys saw what she was doing0, then we would take them and scatter them on the ground in the tank park for a couple of days and run over them. When we took a convoy to Tan Son Nhut AFB or picked on up there, whoever went would take some with them and trade them to the Air Force as combat trophies. We could get almost anything for them.

My favorite combat story involves getting pinned down with a Marine unit by artillery fire from across the DMZ. It was clear that the dinks had an FO someplace that could see us because they were steadily walking that stuff up and down us. (Not fun). I was in a shallow ditch with a couple of inches of water in it with the Marine CO. After what seemed like an hour but was probably about ten minutes, he turned to me and said - "Ya know, I think those little bastards have an evil intent." Broke the tension and helped endure the whole thing better. Came to love the Marines after I worked with them a while.

Were you a prisoner of war? No.

Tell me about your experiences in captivity and when freed. N/A

Were you awarded any medals or citations? Bronze Star, Air Medal, Purple Heart.

How did you get them? Somebody put me in for the Bronze Star - never could really figure out why. Got the Air Medal because as a Battalion S-3 Air I routinely flew recon missions with the FACs or our own scouts and after you piled up so many missions, can't remember the number, where you took fire they gave you one. Got the Purple Heart because I didn't hunker down deep enough one day and I picked up a load of 82mm mortar fragments in my hand and arm.

Higher ranks may be asked about battle planning. Those who sustained injuries may be asked about the circumstances.

How did you stay in touch with your family? Wrote to my wife and kids whenever I got an opportunity. Regretted later, but failed to correspond very well with my Mom and Dad. Met my wife in Hawaii on an R&R.

What was the food like? It depended where you were and what you were doing. In base camp it was normally what was called a "B" ration. Essentially that meant that it was made out of canned or dried stuff. The cooks did a pretty good job making it palatable. In the field you ate the "famous" "C" ration. Some of them were OK, if you were hungry, and you generally were, some like the pork slices and the ham and mothers were as bad as they have been reported to be. Occasionally, though not as often as we would have liked, in the field we would get a hot meal delivered by the log bird in mermite cans. They were usually not too bad. When I was in Danang they had a mess hall that the MACV guys ate in that was every bit as good as some of the restaurants in the US. They served what was called the Army 28 Day Cyclical Menu. It actually included such things as steak and shrimp. Any time I got back in there I would wangle an invite. The Navy Hospital in Danang also had good food, and the Marine Hawk battery up on Monkey Mountain routinely had a steak fry every couple of weeks. (Don't know where they got them, but they were good. When I had the Ranger detachment I had a room in Danang at one of the Army BOQs for when I got in there. My roommate was the Navy ration breakdown officer on one of the refer ships in the harbor. I ate GOOD after that.

Did you have plenty of supplies? We constantly ran short of WP ammo when I had the tank company, and it was a favorite of ours.

Did you feel pressure or stress? Yes.

Was there something special you did for "good luck"? In 1966 a 12.7 round went through my searchlight, hit what is called the vane sight on top of my tank's cupola, ricocheted off of the hatch cover and smacked into my flack vest. It went through all of the vest but the inner lining and knocked me off the top of the tank. I carried that slug for the rest of the time I served in Vietnam, regardless of the tour, because I was convinced in my own mind that it was the one with my name on it and God had let me live through it. I still have it.

How did people entertain themselves? Any way they could. Most of it revolved around booze.

Were there entertainers? Yes. I got to see Martha Raye on two occasions. One of the greatest ladies that ever lived, because where we were there was NO WAY that a big name entertainer was going to come out and see us. She saw us as she flew over on the way somewhere else and had the pilot land on our little LZ.

What did you do when on leave? I didn't get to go on any leaves, however I did get an R&R to Hawaii, where I met my wife, One to Singapore where I went with a Brit that I met in Saigon, and one in Australia where I went with an Aussie who was there with the AAATV. Hawaii was a fabulous trip. Singapore, because I was with a Brit I got to go into the big Naval Base there and eat at the Officer's Mess. We had what was called 10 Pepper Curry in celebration of some Gurkha thing - damned near melted my face - but the party was fun. Australia was a week's drunk. You CANNOT drink enough to keep up with an Aussie Warrant Officer who has decided to party down.

Where did you travel while in the service? If there was an area of the world that was being considered as a prime place to give the planet an enema I probably got to see it.

Do you recall any particularly humorous or unusual event? One or two, but not that I'd care to recount.

What were some of the pranks that you or others would pull? One that I pulled stands out in my mind. Once when I had the tank company we got this little tent to sleep in in the field. We didn't have cots and slept on the ground, but the tent was just right for two people, so my XO, who was a big old boy who had played guard for the University of Georgia football team, and I shared it. One night I coiled up a tent rope that we had for out shelter halves and put it under his sleeping bag. After he got in bed and settled down I slowly pulled it out from under him. He laid there absolutely rigid and didn't move until the end of the rope was clear out from under his bed. I could see the sweat shining on his face in the moonlight that came through the flaps. When the end slid out he exploded from the bed and landed almost five feet outside the tent squalling "Snake - Snake!". I just collapsed laughing. He saw me holding the rope and beat the living hell out of me. I didn't do it again.

Do you have photographs? Lots.

Who are the people in the photographs? Everybody and everything, from US and ARVN people and weapons to Viet Cong and NVA people and weapons, with a lot of Montagnards, and a few Lao and Cambodes thrown in as well. I put a few hundred of them in a book I wrote a couple of years ago called "Vietnam: A Visual Encyclopedia". It is currently out of print, but still widely available on Barnes and Noble.com as a used book.

What did you think of officers or fellow soldiers? Early in the war the senior officers were locked into WW-II and Korea and had a real hard time dealing with a guerrilla war. Most of them were excellent, however. Early in the war the military that we sent to Vietnam was essentially a professional force, enlisted as well as officer. There were not very many draftees. Later in the war the senior officers had come around, but the mid grades - Major and Lieutenant Colonel , had become a bunch of ticket punchers most of whom were more concerned with looking good than actually BEING good. The enlisted leadership had deteriorated because of too rapid promotion and the attrition of the old hands, along with the intrusion of many of the societal problems from "back in the world".(At least that is what I was dealing with. Fortunately, by this time I had very little to do with the major US combat units other than to brief them on the things we had found and what we were doing). The exception was the Marines. Their officers were excellent from the git-go, though, like the other units, they began to have problems in some of the lower enlisted ranks. Part of this was driven by the fact that they had been forced to accept a number of draftees to maintain strength as the anti-war fever in America grew and enlistments tailed off.

Did you keep a personal diary? Sporadically.

Re: I need to Interview someone about the Vietnam War.

Post by qouya » Sun May 16, 2010 11:08 am

Im really interested in your storyy!! Sorry I ask so many question.. please answer as many as you would like!! thankk youu!!

Re: I need to Interview someone about the Vietnam War.

Post by qouya » Sun May 16, 2010 11:02 am

ok thank you very muchh!!
1.full name
2.age
3.date of birth
4.Were you drafted or did you enlist?
5.Where were you living at the time?
6.Why did you join?
7.Why did you pick the service branch you joined?
8.Do you recall your first days in service?
9.What did it feel like?
10.Tell me about your boot camp/training experience(s).
11.Do you remember your instructors?
12.how did you get through it?


Which war(s) did you serve in (WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf)?
Where exactly did you go?
Do you remember arriving and what it was like?
What was your job/assignment?
Did you see combat?
Were there many casualties in your unit?
Tell me about a couple of your most memorable experiences.
Were you a prisoner of war?
Tell me about your experiences in captivity and when freed.
Were you awarded any medals or citations?
How did you get them?
Higher ranks may be asked about battle planning. Those who sustained injuries may be asked about the circumstances.

Segment 4: Life:
Ask questions about life in the service and/or at the front or under fire.

How did you stay in touch with your family?
What was the food like?
Did you have plenty of supplies?
Did you feel pressure or stress?
Was there something special you did for "good luck"?
How did people entertain themselves?
Were there entertainers?
What did you do when on leave?
Where did you travel while in the service?
Do you recall any particularly humorous or unusual event?
What were some of the pranks that you or others would pull?
Do you have photographs?
Who are the people in the photographs?
What did you think of officers or fellow soldiers?
Did you keep a personal diary?

Re: I need to Interview someone about the Vietnam War.

Post by chuck Gutzman » Sun May 16, 2010 10:41 am

Hi Qouya: Be happy to answer your questions.

Chuck

I need to Interview someone about the Vietnam War.

Post by qouya » Sun May 16, 2010 9:07 am

I need to Interview someone about the Vietnam War. Just need a little bit of your time to maybe answer 12 questions

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