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God Bless Our Vietnam Veterans

Thank You For Serving And Welcome Home!

My Brother

Jim Blattner, my brother
James R Blattner (photo taken in September of 1958)
June 27, 1940 - July 3, 2000

Courtesy of Marine Corps and Patriotic Graphics by Doug Kidd

These are the medals by brother received for his service, plus he also received three Good Conduct Medals.

vietnam service medal   vietnam campaign medal   national defense medal

Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference.
The Marines don't have that problem...Ronald Reagan

My Brother, United States Marine

My brother, Jimmy enlisted in the USMC in September of 1958, three months after his 18th birthday. I was three years old at the time. The first time I remember Jimmy coming home on leave was around the time the song, "Daddy's Little Girl" by Al Martino, was popular. I was some time before I started kindergarten, and we just bought that record. I don't know why I remember that. Jimmy stayed in the Marine Corps for 8 years, and in 1966, he was sent to Vietnam. He returned home in November of 1967.

While in Vietnam, Jimmy sent home pictures and some coins. He also brought home what used to be called 'oriental' dolls from Vietnam, for my little sister for Christmas. I guess they were dolls modeled after Vietnamese women. We still have a picture of my sister sitting in between the dolls on the dining room floor.

My brother never talked about his time in Vietnam. I have heard from other Vietnam Veterans that it was not something they talked about either, until years later. I do not know if the Marine Corps trained him for what happened a short while after he returned home. Both of my parents went into the hospital at some point, one from a heart attack, and the other for broken bones in their back. Jimmy was left in charge of the younger ones during the day because he worked nights, while my older siblings worked during the day.

If the Marine Corps did not teach the soldiers how to cook, then I can't really blame them for some of the things my brother made for us for dinner. I will never forget the time he made instant mashed potatoes for us. Instant mashed potatoes were a fairly new product that my mother refused to use. My brother added too much liquid and the mashed potatoes were like heavy cream. When my younger sister and I complained about them, he growled, "Ah, they're good for you. Just eat them!" Once a Marine, always a Marine, or so I've heard, so we ate them but we still didn't like them.

My brother was a lot of fun to ride in the car with. He was impatient with crazy drivers and he would roll down the window of his 1968 Red Mustang and scream obsenities at them. We used to laugh hysterically. But then he would holler at us for laughing. I never got my driver's license, but whenever I am in the car with someone and an idiot driver does something they shouldn't have, I push the button on the automatic window and yell obscentities at them. I think of my brother a lot when I'm traveling by car.

We used to tell Jimmy that he reminded us of Sgt. Carter, the character played by Frank Sutton, on the show, Gomer Pyle USMC. He would give us a dirty look and yell, "What are you talking about?", everytime we said it. I think the resemblance was there, and he liked to yell at us a lot. You decide:

"What are you talking about, Pyle?!"

Jimmy returned home safe from Vietnam. We were one of the lucky ones. He married and had children, and left his children with many wonderful memories, too. Unfortunately, my brother passed away just one week after his 60th birthday, too young and too soon. He left all of us with lots of funny stories to tell and his memory keeps my pride in America's servicemen and women alive and well.

"Welcome Home! Thanks For Serving!!

He was proud of his service, and we were proud of him!

Too Little, Too Late

This tribute comes too late for those Vietnam Veterans who have passed on. Vietnam Veterans did not receive the heroes welcome they earn and deserved from their fellow countrymen, and for that I apologize. For enabling me to sleep under the blanket of freedom our Vietnam Veterans fought for, I want to say, "Thank You and Welcome Home!" This tribute page is intended to convey a message to all Vietnam Veterans that their service to their country and to all of its citizens, is appreciated.

"Don't Let Them Spit On Vietnam Veterans Again!"

Gathering of Eagles

On, March 17, 2007, I joined veterans and all who support our troops for a 'Gathering of Eagles' in Washington, DC, to protect the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, to defend patriotism, and to support our troops against anti-war protesters, extremists, pinko commies, and a whole bunch of other liberal leftards.
For complete details about that day visit:

This poem was created by Russ Vaughn, Vietnam Veteran, of American Thinker, for you, the Eagles.

Fly High you Eagles, soar
On you we all depend.
To serve, to stand, support our war,
Our fallen to defend.
Stand firm, stand brave before our Wall;
Deal those a sorry fate,
Who answer Fonda’s hateful call:
Our nation they must hate.

Fly high you Eagles, soar,
Your keen eyes see below,
The leftist fools oppose this war,
To them no low’s too low.
They seek our Wall to desecrate,
To enhance their losing cause;
They seek to doom our nation’s fate;
They see nothing but our flaws.

Fly high you Eagles, soar,
Above those who seek defeat,
Who seek submission, nothing more,
To a terror they can’t meet.
They falter when the course is long;
They’re weak-willed, failed and bitter;
Got it all entirely wrong,
So typical of a quitter.

Fly high you Eagles, soar,
Stand proud before our Wall;
You are the nation’s heart, the core,
The essence of us all.
Know that we stand there with you,
In spirit and in soul,
America’s not lost, not through,
We’ve a long, long way to go.

Fly high you Eagles, soar, from your lofty, special station,
Know this is true forever more; you’ve the blessing of your nation.
[American Thinker Editor's note: In response to the announced intention of Jane Fonda and Cindy Sheehan to lead a Washington protest originating at the Vietnam Memorial, the group Gathering of Eagles was formed. Our Poet Laureate Russ Vaughn offers his thoughts.]

American Thinker

Please visit the following website to get a view of the war from a Vietnam Veteran's perspective.
After all, the Vietnam Veteranhe's the only one who really knows what it was like.

Vietnam Remembered

And Still They Protest Too Much

The Vietnam War ended the year I graduated from high school. What I remember most about the war are the years I spent in high school listening to people protesting the war. It was always on the news and there were some incidents in my own school. What has been going on in this country recently regarding Operation Iraqi Freedom, has brought it all back. And it still makes me angry as hell!

They Still Serve {Their Fellow Man and Others}

Several years ago, I belonged to a group that consisted mostly of Vietnam Veterans. They work hard to achieve a full accounting of all the POW/MIA's who never made it home to their families. Below are a few links to websites belonging to some of these Vietnam Veterans.
Please visit their sites and see what you can do to help. I will be adding more as time allows.

Welcome to the Meadow Years
The Meadow of Wildflowers - Period of American History

Karl's Korner
Let Us Never Forget Our Missing Heroes

Raptor's Nest
Working for a Full and Complete Accounting of our POW/MIA's

Viper's Vietnam Veterans Page
Lots of Information, Prepared to be Educated.

Bring Them All Home

Visit the following websites to find out how you can help this special group of people obtain a full accounting of our POW/MIA's.

Operation Just Cause

Task Force Omega, Inc.

P.O.W. Network

How Could They Have Been Forgotten?

On the weekend of October 22-26, 1987, a memorial was completed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial stands at Penn's Landing, near the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, two of the most famous Philadelphia landmarks. Philadelphia is the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, whose state motto is "Virtue, Liberty, and Independence". Furthermore, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are two of the greatest reminders of the freedom we all enjoy. The Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans' Memorial is a tribute to the six hundred and forty-three men from Philadelphia that gave their lives for the sake of freedom during the Vietnam War. The Memorial recognizes the names of the men that fought in the longest war in our Nation's history.

Although the memorial is a fitting tribute, it was not complete that day. Something was missing. There were twelve names omitted from the Memorial. Although the twelve men were born and raised in Philadelphia, officials left their names off the Memorial because their families had moved away from the Philadelphia area.

However, on the tenth anniversary of the completion of the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial, officials added the names of the twelve men. Now they join their brothers on the Memorial, finally given the recognition they so rightly deserve.

Richard Bariglio, SFC Army, Sept. 26, 1932- November 10, 1969

Patrick M. Corcoran, Seaman Navy, Date of Birth: unknown Killed: June 3, 1969

Patrick T. De Marco, PFC Army, March 2, 1948- January 13, 1969

Richard J. Flagiello, PFC Army, June 29, 1949- May 12, 1969

Stephen B. Kirschner, PVT Marine Corps, June 22, 1947- January 8, 1968

Joseph E. Lauer, December 19, 1948-May 31, 1968

Thomas C. Mann, SGT Army Selective Service, October 12, 1948- January 11, 1969

Frank J. Mastromatteo, LCPL Marine Corps, February 3, 1949- April 8, 1968

Francis G. Patton, PFC Army Selective Service, December 6, 1945- May 13, 1969

Henry N. Rockower, PFC Army Selective Service, April 27, 1946- April 2, 1970

Charles E. Smith, PSG Army Regular, January 3, 1921- January 15, 1967

Guido Silvestro Reali, Jr., April 26, 1943- February 7,1968

David H. Cooper III, 2LT Marine Corps Regular, June 22, 1941- March 25, 1967

Why Would Anyone Do This?

Philadelphia - May 28, 1996
Vandals Hit City Vietnam Memorial - The Monument Has Been Defaced Several Times

The Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial was defaced yesterday. Again. Vandals darkened part of the monument's granite walls, marking at least the fourth time the memorial has been soiled since its opening in October 1987. The vandals struck early on the day most sacred to veterans, who did not discover the damage until yesterday morning - during preparations for a Memorial Day ceremony. "I was kind of exasperated to think that someone would do something like this. I'm sickened,'' one veteran said.

Why Indeed!

Godspeed Willie! This Time I've Got Your Back!

Please visit a new page I did for a special Vietnam Veteran who recently passed away. His name was Willie G. Dougherty. In addition to devoting his life to advocating for Veterans' Rights and Benefits, Willie also wrote the most beautiful poems. My tribute to Willie is the Welcome Home! he never received.

Welcome Home, Willie, Welcome Home

Memories of Vietnam Veterans From My Neigborhood Growing Up
In Memoriam -- A Special Tribute

Robert James Sanders

SP4 - Army - Regular
173rd Airborne Brigade
19 years old
Born on 09/11/48
Length of service 1 year.
His tour of duty began on 03/07/67
Casualty was on 11/19/67

Robert James Sanders was killed at the young age of nineteen while serving his country. I decided on this special tribute to him because he came from the neighborhood where I grew up in Philadelphia. Athough I did not know this boy personally, he was the brother of my sister's best friend.

I remember visiting his house one day with my sister and I recall seeing a picture of him on their stereo in his uniform. I cannot remember the date of that incident, so he may have already been killed in the Vietnam War by that time.

One day, while visiting his house with my sister, I remember seeing a picture of him on their stereo or television in his uniform. I wonder if he died before that day. I don't even know. Even those of us who did not lose a family member to the Vietnam War, have a memory or two that comes to mind whenever we think back to the turbulent decade of the 1960's.

This is an excerpt from A Note from The Virtual Wall

"Robert J. Sanders, W. Fisher Avenue, Olney section of Philadelphia, PA - Sanders wanted to become a paratrooper and joined the Army in September 1965 after graduating from Olney High School. The 19-year-specialist four (SP4), a rifleman and automatic weapons specialist, was sent to Vietnam and was assigned to Company C of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 101 st Airborne Division. Sanders died on November 19, 1967, while dragging wounded comrades to safety when his unit came under heavy fire."

Robert Sanders died in the battle for HIl 875.
A summary and the list of the men who died during that battle is here at: Hill 875

Read about the 173rd Airborne 173rd History

There is a page of rememberance for Bobby Sanders Here also on the Virtual Wall site.

Robert James Sanders Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Page

I found these two photos from the battle for Hill 875 at Military Images. net

173rd Airborne Assault on Hill 875

Visit Military Images Net where you can look at other photos.

courtesy of StayArmy.com

There is another boy from my area who gave his life for his country and for the men in his platoon. I think he graduated from high school with my brother.


SGT - E5 - Army - Regular
101st Airborne Division
20 year old Single, Caucasian, Male
Born on Feb 06, 1947
Length of service 1 year.
His tour of duty began on Sep 25, 1966
Casualty was on Jun 10, 1967

courtesy of VetsHome.com

Joe Wilhelmi's Page at the Virtural Wall

Go here to see the502ND INF RGT Virtual Wall Page

Also see the The Story of the 101st Airborne Division

Henry Joseph Wilhelmi's Page at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

I found out about another boy from Philadelphia, who was the only Philadelphia Fireman to die in the Vietnam War. I did not know him, but I knew his cousins who lived around the corner from me.


PFC - E3 - Army - Selective Service
25th Infantry Division
Length of service 0 years
His tour began on Aug 16, 1968
Casualty was on Nov 24, 1968

You can find the rememberance page for Harry Kite at the Wall Online Here

There is also a page for Harry Kite at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Fund Here


Living in the 'City of Brotherly Love', there is a passage from the Bible that comes to mind when I think of the ones who are no longer with us. It is Hebrews 13:1:

"Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

I believe the men that laid down their lives for me were angels. Although I may not have known them, it mattered not to them to give their lives for strangers; their fellow countrymen.

Sites to Visit Regarding the Vietnam War and the Vietnam Veterans

The Vietnam Wall

View the Wall

American Experience - Vietnam

Vietnam Remembered

Mesothelioma Cancer and Asbestos Exposure Among Veterans

Mesothelioma Symptoms - Cancer information and facts

Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation

The Virtual Wall Online
Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Also visit The Veterans History Project

My Visits To The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall In Washington DC

I went to the Wall again, this time I took my 11 and 9 year olds with me. The amazing thing was that even though, to them the Vietnam War was so long ago, it might as well have been as long ago as when Lincoln was president. But they got the same feeling I did on my first visit. It was a chilly spring day, JFK's birthday, and there were not many people there. We were the only ones at the Wall at the time. But we all felt that we were not alone. To some it may just be a granite wall with names etched on it, but for many like myself and my family, there is a presence there. I can only hope that they will share this experience if they ever lean about the Vietnam War, and what we did to them when they returned home.

March 17, 2007

There was never more of a presence than this last time I visited the Vietnam Veterans Wall this on St. Patrick's Day. I particpated in the "Gathering of Eagles". We showed up to oppose the anti-war protesters' March on the Pentagon. We went to show our support for the Vietnam Veterans who were denied that almost 40 years ago. We also showed up in support of our troops now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 58.000 faces behind the names on the Wall, stood tall and proud with us. It was an unforgettable event.

To read more about it, please visit the following site:

Why I Particpated in the "Gathering of Eagles"

Other Sites Paying Tribute To America and Its Veterans

Also Visit the Websites of America's Armed Forces

The United States Air Force
Integrity, Service, Excellence!

The United States Army
Operation Enduring Freedom!

The United States Coast Guard
Readiness...We Do That Every Day!

The United States Marine Corps
The Few, The Proud, The Marines!

The United States Navy
Welcome Aboard!

Thanks to the following for the graphics on this page


Ron Fleischer's Graphics

and Viet Vet 1

Words by Muldrake
(unless otherwise indicated)

© 2002 2004 2007 2009 muldrake



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