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Advice: Ask a Vietnam Vet

Advice and thoughts from certified Vietnam Vet and spiritual mentor Gary Jenkins.

Dear Vietnam Vet:
My husband has been away from home a lot, making excuses like "I had to work late at the office" or "I stopped off at a client's office to discuss the new proposal" or " I had car trouble." I am beginning to get suspicious. What should I do to save my marriage? Sharon in Poughkeepsie, NY

Dear Sharon:
Suspicious? No one could be more suspicious than we were that hot summer night flying over the Vietnamese jungle. We flew low in the Vietnam sky, as the radio played "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James and the Shondells. Then a call we get: a soldier was hit and needed to be picked up. "This is Three-One we have it," the pilot said. "Red smoke pouring from the ground at two o'clock". Rotor blades whoop-whooped as the pilot banked right. That landing zone was hot, man, HOT! The gunners returned fire as metallic shards of death hit our Huey. "I'm fucking hit!" the pilot screamed as he tried to navigate the bird. A voice came over the radio: "Three-One you're on FIRE"! Our Huey explodes in a big fireball, and only two of us survived the crash. But you wouldn't understand, because YOU WEREN'T FUCKING THERE!

Dear Vietnam Vet:
My 16-year-old daughter announced that she is pregnant and moving in with her 22-year-old boyfriend. We are afraid that if we put our foot down and make her finish high school that we may lose her forever. Help! Bill and Kathy in Westland, MI

Dear Bill and Kathy:
Lost forever? I've lost people forever. Lots of them. It was humid and hot as only Vietnam's Mekong Delta can be, even though the sun went down over an hour ago. We were just working out of translational lift - the point at which the helicopter stops flying and starts hovering - when an RPG slammed into our Huey. Hard. It hit the fuel tank just aft of Billy Brady's gun well. I think he died instantly. PFC Cooper, on the right door gun, was blown straight out of the ship. Thompson - oh God, Thompson - lay there in a pool of blood, legs severed at the knees. "My feet itch," he cried. HIS GODAMNED FEET ITCHED, DID YOU HEAR ME? HOW CAN FEET ITCH IF THEY HAVE BEEN FUCKING BLOWN OFF???

Dear Vietnam Vet:
My wife has been drinking a lot more than I think is healthy lately. Sometimes she packs away 6 or 7 Long Island iced teas before calling it a night. I have talked to her about seeking help, but she won't listen. Do you think I should force her to go to AA? Neal in Sacramento, CA

Dear Neal:
We drank a lot in Vietnam. I stayed shitfaced drunk or floating in an opium haze for three whole years. That's three years of being blasted out of my skull, mind you, not just a little buzzed. Being sober would mean having to deal with reality. Reality was looking down at your best friend’s face splattered all over your uniform, or carrying an 8-month-old baby’s barbecued corpse to a medivac, or throwing a friend’s boots – with his feet still attached – into a Huey, or going out with ten guys you loved and coming back with only three – and everyone still teenagers who should be back home with the college boys getting laid and sitting on the beach. THAT'S WHY WE DRANK, MAN! TO TURN OFF REALITY, A REALITY THAT NEVER....LET...UP!!!

I laughed so hard milk came out my nose, you fuckers!
I first started coming here for laughs. Then it became for news. And now I am getting practical life advice.

What a great site!
We try, Charles!
Kind of puts things in perspective doesn't it. Good job.
I see that Jenkins has adjusted well and is now a contributing member of society once again.

Good job, whatever you did!

Oh, is he still "touchy" about loud noises?
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