Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Army Finally Honors 10 Vietnam Veterans After A Half-Century Spent Unrecognized
Nearly a half-century after their unit left Vietnam, 10 former members of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade were honored Friday in a ceremony at Fort Shafter, where the graying veterans were pinned with medals, including Silver Stars, Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts, for service to the nation that went unrecognized years ago.
“It’s never a wrong time to do something right,” said Col. Robert Berg, current commander of the 196th Infantry Brigade.
The 196th saw extensive combat in Vietnam from 1966 to 1972, experiencing 1,004 killed in action and 5,591 wounded in action.
“For one reason or another, many soldiers were not properly presented their awards and medals at the time,” U.S. Army Pacific said in a release. “Some of these decorations just appeared in the service member’s record, while some were delivered by mail.”
196th Infantry Brigade Vietnam Veterans that were honored during 196th Infantry Brigade Vietnam Veterans’ Recognition Ceremony stand together at Fort Shafter, HI on June 29, 2018.
The Army said it wanted to “fulfill its traditional obligation to present these medals.”
The ceremony on Fort Shafter’s historic Palm Circle included a parade of soldiers, a military band and an artillery battery salute to the “Charger Brigade.”
“This is an honor to be at this ceremony because most of us Vietnam veterans when we came back, that was it. No parade, no awards,” former infantryman Orlando Vazquez from San Juan, Puerto Rico, said in an Army news release.
Vazquez was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.
Honolulu resident Allen Hoe, a combat medic with the 196th in Vietnam in 1967-68, received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
U.S. Army Col. Sean Berg, 196th Infantry Brigade commander, pins medals onto Allen Hoe during 196th Infantry Brigade Vietnam Veterans’ Recognition Ceremony at Fort Shafter, HI on June 29, 2018.
Former cavalryman Larry Johnson, another Honolulu resident who was also presented a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, said, “This has been a long time coming. I’m glad I was here, in more ways than one. To be honored like I was here today was quite an honor.”
The 196th participated in a number of significant battles and earned citations from both the U.S. and South Vietnamese governments, the Army said. Six with the unit were awarded the Medal of Honor.
The Fort Shafter-based brigade now provides training support for Reserve units in Hawaii, Alaska, Arizona, Guam, American Samoa and Saipan.
©2018 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.
R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.
Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.
The U.S. Air Force has two of its most elite aircraft — the B-2 Spirit bomber and the F-22 Raptor — training together in the Pacific, reassuring America's allies and sending a warning to strategic competitors and adversaries about the sheer power the U.S. brings to the table.
These stunning photos show the powerful aircraft tearing across the Pacific, where the U.S. has increasingly found itself facing challenges from a rising China.