BS? The Craigslist Vietnam Vet "I met you in the rain on the last day of 1972" Trope --- UPDATED, BUMPED

john-rambo-vietnam-vet.jpg

Since one of the reasons I started this blog a decade ago is that I wanted an outlet for my inner a**hole, I might as well get this off my chest: That Boston Craigslist "I met you in the rain on the last day of 1972" post every one is talking about? Yeah, that one. The one every one thinks is so touching. So touching and moving that it's gone super viral?

My BS detector is on overdrive on this one.

Why?

Because it plays into all the Vietnam Vet Hollywood archetypes. And those archetypes, like so many tropes imagined by a leftist Hollwyood, simply aren't true representations of veterans in general or of Vietnam Vets in particular.

Let's start here: The Suicidal Vet:

When the bottle was empty, I made for the door and vowed, upon returning, that I would retrieve the Smith & Wesson Model 15 from the closet and give myself the discharge I deserved.
Except that it isn't true: Study: No link between combat deployment and suicides

At least for recent vets:

Of the suicides, 3,879 were service members who did not deploy and 1,162 were those who did participate in OEF or OIF....

Those figures translate into a suicide rate of ... 18.86 per 100,000 person years for those who [deployed]

The civilian [suicide] rate is 18.8 per 100,000, according to Army and National Institutes of Mental Health calculations.

Ok, now why was this "vet" so depressed? Because he had bombed poor innocent Vietnamese:
One week prior, at the behest of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, I'd flown four B-52 sorties over Hanoi. I dropped forty-eight bombs. How many homes I destroyed, how many lives I ended, I'll never know. But in the eyes of my superiors, I had served my country honorably, and I was thusly discharged with such distinction.
Now, I've known a lot of Vietnam Vets over the years. Vets with complaints. Complaints about the VA. Complaints about Tricare. Complaints about the dirty smelly hippies who spat on them when they returned home. Complaints about the dirty smelly politicians who abandoned the mission. Complaints about dirty smelly Hollywood directors depicting them as monsters who are only one step shy of psychosis, suicide, or mass murder.

But the only vet I've ever been introduced to that complains about killing people in Vietnam were on TV or in the movies.

Seriously, it was a stupid archetype back in the 1980s when John Rambo was getting harassed by the man and when Ron Kovic was celebrating his shared birthday with Ho Chi Minh's on the 4th of July. And it continues to be stupid.

Ok, sure, there are some pretty effed up vets. But look around, there are some pretty effed of people everywhere. And their veteran status usually has little to do with said effed up status.

And then there's this mysterious woman who he just happens to meet while both of them are ducking in from a rainstorm:

And then I saw you.

You'd taken shelter under the balcony of the Old State House. You were wearing a teal ball gown, which appeared to me both regal and ridiculous. Your brown hair was matted to the right side of your face, and a galaxy of freckles dusted your shoulders. I'd never seen anything so beautiful.

When I joined you under the balcony, you looked at me with your big green eyes, and I could tell that you'd been crying. I asked if you were okay. You said you'd been better. I asked if you'd like to have a cup of coffee. You said only if I would join you. Before I could smile, you snatched my hand and led me on a dash through Downtown Crossing and into Neisner's.

Wow. Just, wow.

Yeah, I think I've seen that commercial before. Let's just hope they were both chewing the right gum. TV tells me it makes all the difference. Did they have Mentos, the freshamker! in 1972?

Then in just a few short hours this (hot and wet, no, seriously -- it's a hot chick who's all wet in the rain) angelic woman gives him hope. The kind of hope that only a sweet, yet kind of hot, and soaking wet woman can give a man reason to live.

It's Full Metal Jacket meets Serendipity.

I hope they cast John Cusak in the movie. He was the bomb in Hot Tub Time Machine.

And you know what. Despondent Vietnam Vet. Alcoholic. With a gun. In the city on New Year's Eve. 1972.

Where have I seen that before?

Oh, yeah, Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump.

(I'll grant that in Forrest Gump it's 1971 turning to 1972, while in the Craigslist trope it's 1972 about to be 1973 -- but, come on, that's still pretty on the nose)

So I'm just not buying it. It plays into too many stereotypes. This reads like some short story written in an MFA workshop, a Learning Annex course, or English 101 down at the local community college taught by a would-be Hollwyood screenwriter who just can't get a meeting with Oliver Stone to pitch him this incredible treatment.

Then again, maybe I'm just a cynical jerk with my own false archetype of the typical veteran who came home, got married, had kids, paid taxes, and who's biggest problem with Vietnam was that the a**holes in Congress cut off funding to the South just before columns of Soviet tanks pushed into Hanoi and when that archetype is challenged my default position is to cry bullsh*t until there's some compelling evidence to the contrary.

But that's just me.

UPDATE 10/04/2015: Apparently, it's not just me. Thanks to all the vets in the comments who agreed that this was BS. Not only BS, but BS written by someone who had never served in the military.

I'm going to post a few of their comments above the fold. I hope they don't mind. I've corrected some of the spelling (I know, ironical) because they didn't know I'd post them. Also, Italics and bold are mine. I've also added a couple of links for clarification:

Dude dropped 48 bombs on four missions?

I was with the 91st SMW, partnered with the 91st SBW in Minot. So I did a little research and viola!

For a B52, Their normal bomb load was 84 bombs internally and 24 bombs under the wings.


48 bombs on four missions?

Just my 2 cents.....

Posted by: BCAz

----

I think going from Linebacker II, which ended on the 29th, to sitting in an apartment in Boston with suicidal thoughts barely two days later just strikes me as too quick and utterly nonsensical.

Also, what kind of a man recognizes 'teal' as a color? [Ed: I know teal is a color. I know it has something to do with green. But honestly, I couldn't tell you the difference between teal and any other kind of green]

Horsesh*t!

Posted by: STV

-------

The person who wrote this knows little about the US military.

A pilot of a large fixed-wing bomber is ALWAYS a commissioned officer. Officers don't get "discharges". A "discharge" is what enlisted men get.

Furthermore, no pilot who has gone through years of training in the military, is going to act surprised, shocked and somehow horrified that he will actually have to drop bombs from the bomber he has VOLUNTEERED and trained to fly. That's like a heart surgeon, after years of medical school and internship, suddenly becoming sickened by the idea that he might actually have to transplant a heart.

Makes no sense.

Posted by: Wolfenberry

----------

And this one, just .... because:
Craigslist is a fine place to post creative writing, especially if it's bad.
In this case a mish-mash of plagiarized bits.
People believe what fits their narrative, obviously.

I posted this a few years ago on Halloween:

MISSED CONNECTION

You: running, screaming, bleeding a bit

Me: hockey mask, heavy breathing, relentless.

Let's do it again at the same campground this year,
bring some friends.


Posted by: Storm Saxon's Gall Bladder

Bwahahahaaaa!

So, it's pretty close to official: This is a HOAX

Any other thoughts?

UPDATE 10/05/2015: Okay, maybe the last update on this one. Check out a similar post by Thomas Wictor, who has maps and photos and stuff, and who confirms:

The bombing missions that still haunt him were called Operation Linebacker II. Since he says that he’d flown his sorties a week before December 31, 1972, that would mean he flew the Christmas Eve missions....

Nope. The December 24 sorties hit Thai Nguyen and Kep, not Hanoi. And the December 23 raid also avoided Hanoi....

Finally, the fake bomber pilot said that he was discharged (separated) from the Air Force and back in Boston within a week. The B-52s used in Operation Linebacker II flew out of either U-Tapao Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, or Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Therefore the writer would’ve had to turn in all his gear, fill out the paperwork, wait for it to be approved, and then fly to an Air Force separation center in the continental US. The closest such center to Boston is Seymour Johnson Air Force Base near Goldsboro, North Carolina.

So the pilot mustered out of the air force, flew to North Carolina, was separated, made his way to Boston, and found a studio apartment, all in a week.
Impossible.

This little essay is slander and a form of stolen valor

Amen brotha!

Posted by: Rusty at 11:44 PM

Comments

1 Dude dropped 48 bombs on four missions?

I was with the 91st SMW, partnered with the 91st SBW in Minot. So I did a little research and viola!

For a B52, Their normal bomb load was 84 bombs internally and 24 bombs under the wings.


48 bombs on four missions?

Just my 2 cents.....

Posted by: BCAz at October 03, 2015 03:42 PM

2 I agree, it's bullshit. A half-assed creative writing asignment

Posted by: Amos at October 03, 2015 04:08 PM

3 I think going from Linebacker II, which ended on the 29th, to sitting in an apartment in Boston with suicidal thoughts barely two days later just strikes me as too quick and utterly nonsensical.

Also, what kind of a man recognises 'teal' as a colour?
Horsesh*t!

Posted by: STV at October 03, 2015 04:59 PM

4 BS.

Posted by: Greyrooster at October 03, 2015 05:36 PM

5 I trust the cr@p detectors of experienced people.

Posted by: Valerie at October 03, 2015 07:25 PM

6 Teal? I have no idea what teal is. Most men would say some sort of green.

The person who wrote this is either a flaming metrosexual or a woman.

Posted by: Gork at October 03, 2015 08:05 PM

7 Gork:

Well, if Obama had a son, maybe he'd write like that.

Posted by: DocEpador at October 03, 2015 08:35 PM

8 BCaz and gork for the win.

Posted by: rumcrook at October 03, 2015 09:13 PM

9 The person who wrote this knows little about the US military.
A pilot of a large fixed-wing bomber is ALWAYS a commissioned officer. Officers don't get "discharges". A "discharge" is what enlisted men get. Furthermore, no pilot who has gone through years of training in the military, is going to act surprised, shocked and somehow horrified that he will actually have to drop bombs from the bomber he has VOLUNTEERED and trained to fly. That's like a heart surgeon, after years of medical school and internship, suddenly becoming sickened by the idea that he might actually have to transplant a heart. Makes no sense.

Posted by: Wolfenberry at October 03, 2015 09:27 PM

10 Wolfenberry: Right on. I resigned my commission. Officers don't re up every few years. You either resign your commission or get passed over for promotion by junior officers. Which in effect tells you, your aren't going any further so say bye bye.

Posted by: Greyrooster at October 03, 2015 09:48 PM

11 For a B52, Their normal bomb load was 84 bombs internally and 24 bombs under the wings.

Did the "D"s go Downtown, or was it just the "G"s?

Posted by: Fox 2! at October 04, 2015 12:01 AM

12 Furthermore, no pilot who has gone through years of training in the military, is going to act surprised, shocked and somehow horrified that he will actually have to drop bombs from the bomber he has VOLUNTEERED and trained to fly.

These were SAC crews, trained to wage nuclear war against the Soviet Union, and carefully evaluated to ensure that they understood their mission.

Posted by: Fox 2! at October 04, 2015 01:02 AM

13 This thing rings strongly of the truth.....I still have nightmares about the Jews that got away from the SS death-camp I worked at in Poland....

Posted by: Gheyrooster's daddy at October 04, 2015 02:05 AM

14 Craigslist is a fine place to post creative writing, especially if it's bad.
In this case a mish-mash of plagiarized bits.
People believe what fits their narrative, obviously.




i posted this a few years ago on Halloween:

MISSED CONNECTION
You: running, screaming, bleeding a bit
Me: hockey mask, heavy breathing, relentless.
Let's do it again at the same campground this year,
bring some friends.


Posted by: Storm Saxon's Gall Bladder at October 04, 2015 08:23 AM

15 The person who wrote this knows little about the military OR how guy's minds work (I'm with whoever above mentioned that a guy wouldn't use the word "teal").
But I'd love to see this "vet" interviewed about the time he met Col. Kurtz; maybe the word "fuschia" could be worked in (my wife says it is indeed a color; I have my doubts -- I think it's part of some paint industry conspiracy to get men to shell out money for pink paint).

Posted by: pathfinder at October 04, 2015 10:17 AM

16 Good post. Thanks.

Posted by: Pastorius at October 04, 2015 01:16 PM

17 No B-52 pilot or crewman is going anywhere but over North Vietnam or on nuclear alert in December 1972 as Linebacker II was in full swing from 18-29 December 1972.

BS from from a Libtard.

Posted by: The Man from Athens at October 04, 2015 01:18 PM

18 How about the nonexistent gun?

This reeked of bullshit! It is like some liberal
j school grad with a double major in 3rd grade
prose. I half way expected him to write "Her eyes
Were like pools."

But by referencing an AR 15 variant that did not
exist in 1972, he obviously yanked a model no.
out of his rectal orifice. This cretin was no
doubt born LONG after the Vietnam conflict ended.

Shit, that drivel took me back to mothers steamy
romance novels. I have not read Shit that
Schmaltzy in 4 decades!


Posted by: Leonard Jones at October 04, 2015 05:17 PM

19 Rusty about vet suicides: let's remember that only the top 10 or 20%20% of military age population can be accepted under current qualifying scores
So we take the top 10-20% send them off to combat and when they return their suicide rates equal those in the bottom 80-80%
Overall vet suicides run 40% over that of the general population
Either you are weak in sttistics Rusty or you are choosing to wilfully cherry pick data.

Posted by: righter at October 04, 2015 06:33 PM

20 And only about 4% of the US casualties were from the US Navy Unless you were in a Swift boat or plane it wasn't a big danger

Posted by: righter at October 04, 2015 06:36 PM

21 From ten miles + high just how much damage could he see I mean while unassing the arena at 500 + MPH ducking SAMS and trying very hard to stay alive and free. The time it took the bombs to fall he was long gone before the first impact.

Posted by: obsidian at October 04, 2015 11:00 PM

22 #23 Ever Hear about Mesothelioma?
No glory, no medals and no neat war stories yet it will kill you dead in the most horrible way possible and hey, ya don't even have to be in combat.
Let's not forget the three big Carrier fires and numerous deck gun and turret explosions. Oh right those don't count either yet your just as dead, maimed and disabled.
Most folks in the rice paddies who stepped in real deep kimchee and called for an air strike to save their screamin' asses never give credit to the fact most of those Jets came from Carriers at Yankee Station manned by sailors who worked hard to enable those mission to be flown just to save those troops lives, I'm sure they would have rather been somewhere else.
And now due to the lack of respect for their service and sacrifice wish they had been.
If you were in combat on the ground in Vietnam it was due to the draft, logistics, luck (good or bad) and circumstance, if you volunteered for it, it's your fault quit whining.
All gave some, some gave all.


Posted by: obsidian at October 04, 2015 11:09 PM

23 Righter: How can that be? Top 10 to 20%. Yet the Military is 51% minorities? I believe you are mixing numbers. Such as, if you enlist for a certain classification such as to work in Nuclear or avionics it requires higher test scores than if you enlist in the general pool. I seriously doubt the average grunt is in the top 10% of the population. I know one thing. The top of my high school and college class didn't join the military. In fact, those who couldn't find a job were normally the ones who joined the military.
And yes I was a Military Officer. My case was a bit different. More of a traditional thing my family has always expected of us. When we were kids at the dinner table it was always "when you finish college and your military tour" then....

Posted by: Greyrooster at October 05, 2015 02:38 AM

24 Decades ago, there was a great article that covered most of the myths
involving Vietnam veterans and the conflict. The first of which was at the
height of the anti-war movement, some 60% of the American public supported
our involvement in the war.

When one started to compare apples to apples, it was revealed that the suicide
rate for Vietnam veterans was LOWER than society at large.

The VAST majority of Vietnam veterans were not homeless as the liberal narrative
implies.

Neither were the majority zonked out on drugs.

Most were better educated (Thanks to the GI Bill,) and were more likely to
have highly successful careers or own their own businesses.

Most were not waking up in a sweat from flashbacks. They were more well
rounded and stable than society at large and led happy lives.

Virtually every myth advanced by the liberal left was roundly proved to
be false by the author/s of this statistical study. Yet the left managed
to advance these false narratives by producing horrid movies that had no
basis in reality, like Acropofshit Now, Full Metal Jackoff, Spitoon, and
just about every other movie except the one that accurately portrayed the
conflict, The Green Berets.

I wish I could remember the name of either the author/s or the column.
It shredded the leftist narrative!

Oh, I just remembered another myth advanced by the left: The notion that
blacks served and died in disproportionate numbers in the conflict.
Numbers do not lie. It turns out that blacks who were drafted served and
died in nearly EXACT same percentages as whites who were drafted. I cannot
remember the details on enlistees, but I would remember if they supported
the liberal narrative. Not one single assertion of the left
about the conflict was proven to be true!



Posted by: Leonard Jones at October 05, 2015 10:49 AM

25 PS I forgot to add this to the last paragraph: The fact that blacks served
and died in similar percentages as their white counterparts, is a testament
to the fact that random numbers do not discriminate. I was shitting
peachpits as I approached 17. I just knew my number was going to come up.
Luckily, Nixon created the all volunteer military and spared me an all
expense paid trip to Southeast Asia.

In retrospect, I now understand just how fair that lottery system was.



Posted by: Leonard Jones at October 05, 2015 10:59 AM

26 Wow! Stolen valor, indeed! It's such a shame that our Vietnam War Veterans have been thus smeared.

Posted by: Mistress Overdone at October 05, 2015 12:53 PM

27 Yeah, I can see how those B-52 pilots could have PTSD. Those long bomber raids high above their target. The silent release of bombs on their way to Charlie. The long voyage home to their bases in the States. Getting home to their wives and girlfriends to sleep in their comfy overstuffed mattresses. Then one day, they look in the mirror and see the grey hair! Oh sure its years later but its still shocking.
Oh, THE HORROR, THE HORROR.

Posted by: Dr. Doom at October 05, 2015 08:06 PM

28 The long voyage home to their bases in the States.

All of the B-52 operations in SEA were run from Thailand or Guam, on <180 day TDYs. No "long voyage home" to wife or girlfriend. I think somebody saw a certain M*A*S*H episode a few times too many.

Posted by: Fox 2! at October 06, 2015 01:22 AM

29 leonard Jones: Fighter pilots who were shot down, killed or captured were disproportionally White. In fact I've never heard of one that wasn't.
Come to think of it I never seen a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War who wasn't White. For that matter a bomber pilot either.

Therefore, the Military must have believed Black lives matter more than White lives.

Posted by: Greyrooster at October 06, 2015 10:06 AM

30 Excellent point Greyrooster! I never gave it much
thought but whites were definitely over represented
in the ranks of military aviation. It was
probably due to the fact that these are the
types of jobs that require volunteers and very
advanced skill sets that require a large amount
of training, something very few draftees were
willing to do.

But it is the last line in your post that nails
it! What a way to turn things around and shove
it down the throats of the Social Justice
Warriors.

PS I never served, but I love those who did.
I have even argued with disillusioned Vietnam
vets that every life lost in the Cold War
was a noble death because it helped us win
the war in the long run. To see the Soviet
Union fall with only three civilian casualties,
caused me to give thanks to veterans of the
forgotten wars.




Posted by: Leonard Jones at October 06, 2015 04:10 PM

31 How many black airline pilots do you see? I guess they're to intelligent to take such menial work.

Posted by: Greyrooster at October 06, 2015 07:09 PM

32 Just thinking. I notice I've never seen a black Navy Seal either. All those Seal Teams Like Seal Team Six is white. What's up with that.
Are White people more expendable than blacks?

Posted by: Greyrooster at October 07, 2015 02:55 PM






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