Vietnam mission ‘well worth the effort’

“Vietnam helped me realize who the true heroes really are in this world. It’s not the home-run hitters.” — Baseball slugger Willie Stargell

Compensation for vets expanded

More than 84,000 Vietnam veterans afflicted with heart disease, Parkinson’s disease or B-cell leukemia are drawing disability compensation today thanks to a decision by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to expand the list of ailments presumed caused by exposure to herbicides, including Agent Orange, used during that war. Another 74,000 veterans have claims pending, […]

Aircraft put servicemen at risk

In a complaint to the Air Force inspector general, a retired officer alleges health officials have known since at least 1994 of Agent Orange contamination aboard C-123 aircraft flown by reserve squadrons for a decade after the Vietnam War, and failed to warn personnel of the health risks. After the Air Force stopped using UC-123K […]

Funding crucial to military operations

John Garcia, a U.S. Army veteran of Vietnam, is a former secretary of the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services. Here are his views on Congress’ potentially cutting military funding:

Marine receives Navy Cross for actions in Vietnam

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USMC: Lance Cpl. Christofer P. Baines Navy Secretary Ray Mabus presents the Navy Cross to Ned E. Seath on Feb. 11 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Va. By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Christofer P. Baines: Defense Media Activity – Marine Corps WASHINGTON — Nearly 45 years after he saved almost […]

N.M. Vietnam vets gathering photos for memorial

By Kate Nash: Santa Fe New Mexican SANTA FE — When Henry Urioste was asked to help with a project to locate photos of all New Mexicans killed in Vietnam, he quickly volunteered, thinking it would be a simple, quick task. Instead, tracking down 400 photos of the fallen turned out to be very emotional […]

Vietnam veteran inspires daughter’s service

U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Darron Salzer Army Maj. Trenia Coleman stands next to her father, Jessie Hill, a Vietnam veteran, during a ceremony at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington, Va., on Nov. 5. Coleman was promoted to major during the ceremony, and her father was formally awarded the Purple […]

Vietnam veterans reunited

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Liliana Castillo

Vietnam veterans reunited

Cannon Connections: Liliana Castillo Carlton Zarling Jr., left, and Clovis resident Romeo Sierra reunited after serving together in Vietnam 43 years ago. Clovis resident Romeo Sierra thought Carlton Zarling Jr. died in a helicopter explosion in Vietnam in April 1967. That was until he was the voice on the other end of a phone call. […]

Military update: Retroactive payments awarded

The Department of Veterans Affairs published its final regulation Aug. 31 for compensating Vietnam veterans with ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s disease or B-cell leukemia, or their surviving spouses. Veterans diagnosed with these diseases only will have to show they stepped foot in Vietnam sometime from Jan. 9, 1962 through May 7, 1975, to qualify for […]

New Agent Orange claims deadline near

By Tom Philpott: Military Update The Department of Veterans Affairs likely will begin in October to pay thousands of disability claims to Vietnam veterans with ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and B-cell leukemia — illnesses newly associated with exposure to defoliants, including Agent Orange, used in that war. A 60-day countdown to the day that […]

Veteran recalls Vietnam service

John Seifert Clarence Plank John Seifert was drafted into the Army in March 1969, then shipped to Vietnam for two years. Sgt. Seifert was an infantry man and lead a group of six to 10 men near the end of his tour. “I guess when I got drafted it was a situation I just knew […]

Agent Orange aid hits possible roadblock

By Tom Philpott Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), chief architect of the pricey post-9/11 GI Bill education benefit for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan war era, could become a new champion, for taxpayers, against what he perceives as excess spending on military pay and on a new wave of Agent Orange claims. Webb, a former […]

Vietnam veterans owed an apology

By Baxter Black: PNT columnist This Memorial Day weekend, my thoughts will go back to a friend from college — Clovis May. He was a mild-mannered, hard working, good cowboy from a ranching family in Deming, New Mexico. I don’t recall exactly what his major was, but probably range management or ag business. He was […]

Diseases linked to herbicide exposure in Vietnam expanded

By Tom Philpott: Military Update About 86,000 Vietnam War veterans, their surviving spouses or estates will be eligible for retroactive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs — an average of 11.4 years for veterans and 9.6 years for survivors — under a draft VA rule to expand by three the number of diseases […]

Claims should be filed now

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist Tens of thousands of Vietnam veterans with ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s disease or B cell leukemia should file claims now with the Department of Veterans Affairs for disability compensation, not wait until VA publishes a regulation officially linking these diseases to wartime service. Advocacy groups are urging the swift filing […]

Photos sought for Vietnam war memorial

Cannon Connections photo: Liliana Castillo Rada and Perry Winkles’ son, Harvie, died in Vietnam 40 years ago as a decorated veteran. Harvie’s photo has become part of a permanent digital display near the Vietnam Veterans memorial Wall in Washington D.C. By Eric Butler: Cannon Connections More than 40 years after her son Harvie, nicknamed “Pud,” […]

National memorial effort seeks photos of fallen Vietnam soldiers

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By Eric Butler: Freedom New Mexico More than 40 years after her son Harvie, nicknamed “Pud,” died in Vietnam, the pain of the loss still hasn’t faded for Rada Winkles of Clovis. But Winkles is still willing to share memories of her oldest boy. And, that’s exactly what organizers of the “National Call For Photos” […]

Memorial officials call for photos of Vietnam vets

USAF photo: Master Sgt. Jim Varhegyi One of the more than 400,000 motorcyclists who participated in the 17th annual Rolling Thunder “Ride for Freedom” to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., breaks down after finding the name of a fallen comrade. American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON — The National Call for Photos, a campaign […]

Soldiers’ transition top priority

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist Vietnam War veterans will nod with understanding over many of Noel Koch’s comments contrasting support for wounded troops and veterans today, from citizenry and government, compared to how it was 40 years ago. During the Vietnam War, he said, “we got very good at saving people’s lives on the battlefield. […]