A photo I took a long time ago I call, "Footprints on the Beach", Near Ferndale, CA around 1990. Appropo for the references of the beach at Normandy, France in 1944
Thank all of you for visiting the art auction that I had posted during the last week. I bid on two items and seems that I won them both. They will grace our Days of the Dead display next November.
I have stayed very busy and it looks as though this will remain the trend right on through Summer. Every day I hear about something or some event or I am asked to attend this or that. Now, there is a mini-reunion in the works for later in June with all my cousins on my Dad’s side of the family. I have absolutely no problem changing my plans to attend this event. I was going to be out in Northern California, but I’ll just start the trip a little earlier and head back home in time to make the party.
There are more events coming up in May. Every weekend is full on the calendar and the days of the week are filled with doctor’s appointments, work at the food shelf and general get-something-done-and-finish-the-projects-you-started-like-the-downstairs-bathroom!
So, just for a complete change of pace and some mind fodder for you the reader to read and take a look at, I am posting some very interesting and historical photos. I received these some time ago from a friend that I shared military service with in the 1960’s. It was a whole Keynote presentation. I have copied just seven of these amazing photographs for this post. The entire project has over 40.
If you can, go back to World War II and the invasion of Normandy.
These comparison photos are actual before and after shots of buildings and street scenes from the Allied occupation after June of 1944 and those taken at the same places fifty or more years later.
Having been in the American war in Vietnam, I have seen places where I have served blown to bits, but never have seen any pictures of any rebuilding that has taken place, nor do I know if anything like that has ever been done. Maybe some day I will return to Vietnam, but as of now, there are no such plans in my future.
But I do have some facts about Vietnam and the years the United States was involved there. These statistics are staggering. I will print them after this paragraph and intersperse the before and after pictures from Normandy amongst them. I'm sure statistics such as these will be maintained about the progresss of the current wars the United States is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Click on any photo for an enlarged view).
These statistics were taken from a variety of sources to include: The VFW Magazine, the Public Information Office, and the HQ CP Forward Observer - 1st Recon April 12, 1997. Read these facts and get a sense of the real cost of war to our families, communities and our countries.
STATISTICS FOR INDIVIDUALS IN UNIFORM AND IN COUNTRY VIETNAM VETERANS:
"Of the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam , Less than 850,000 are estimated to be alive today, with the youngest American Vietnam veteran's age approximated to be 54 years old."
* 9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam Era (August 5, 1964 - May 7, 1975).
* 8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug 5, 1964-March 28,1973).
* 2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam , this number represents 9.7% of their generation.
* 3,403,100 (Including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the broader Southeast Asia Theater ( Vietnam , Laos , Cambodia , flight crews based in Thailand , and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).
* 2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan. 1,1965 - March 28, 1973). Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964.
* Of the 2.6 million, between 1-1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack.
* 7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam .
* Peak troop strength in Vietnam : 543,482 (April 30, 1968).
The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1958. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.
Hostile deaths: 47,378
Non-hostile deaths: 10,800
Total: 58,202 (Includes men formerly classified as MIA and Mayaguez casualties). Men who have subsequently died of wounds acco unt for the changing total.
8 nurses died -- 1 was KIA.
61% of the men killed were 21 or younger.
11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.
Of those killed, 17,539 were married.
Average age of men killed: 23.1 years
Total Deaths: 23.11 years
Enlisted: 50,274 22.37 years
Officers: 6,598 28.43 years
Warrants: 1,276 24.73 years
E1: 525 20.34 years
11B MOS: 18,465 22.55 years
Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.
The oldest man killed was 62 years old.
Highest state death rate: West Virginia - 84.1% (national average 58.9% for every 100,000 males in 1970).
Wounded: 303,704 -- 153,329 hospitalized + 150,375 injured requiring no hospital care.
Severely disabled: 75,000, -- 23,214: 100% disabled; 5,283 lost limbs; 1,081 sustained multiple amputations.
Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WWII and 70% higher than Korea .
Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WWII.
Missing in Action: 2,338
POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity)
As of January 15, 2004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
DRAFTEES VS. VOLUNTEERS:
25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees. (66% of U.S. armed forces members were drafted during WWII).
Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam .
Reservists killed: 5,977
National Guard: 6,140 served: 101 died.
Total draftees (1965 - 73): 1,728,344.
Actually served in Vietnam : 38% Marine Corps Draft: 42,633.
Last man drafted: June 30, 1973.
RACE AND ETHNIC BACKGROUND:
88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian; 10.6% (275,000) were black; 1% belonged to other races.
86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (includes Hispanics);
12.5% (7,241) were black; 1.2% belonged to other races.
170,000 Hispanics served in Vietnam ; 3,070 (5.2% of total) died there.
70% of enlisted men killed were of North-west European descent.
86.8% of the men who were killed as a result of hostile action were Caucasian; 12.1% (5,711) were black; 1.1% belonged to other races.
14.6% (1,530) of non-combat deaths were among blacks.
34% of blacks who enlisted volunteered for the combat arms.
Overall, blacks suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the percentage of blacks of military age was 13.5% of the total population.
Religion of Dead:
Protestant -- 64.4%; Catholic -- 28.9%; other/none -- 6.7%
Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups.
Vietnam veterans' personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.
76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/working class backgrounds.
Three-fourths had family incomes above the poverty level; 50% were from middle income backgrounds.
Some 23% of Vietnam vets had fathers with professional, managerial or technical occupations.
79% of the men who served in Vietnam had a high school education or better when they entered the military service. 63% of Korean War vets and only 45% of WWII vets had completed high school upon separation.
Deaths by region per 100,000 of population: South -- 31%, West --29.9%; Midwest -- 28.4%; Northeast -- 23.5%.
There is more information available. If you are interested in receiving the entire Vietnam statistics report and/or the Normandy Keynote Presentation, let me know via e-mail and I’ll send them along. In the meantime, have a great day.