CIB Badge

Of all the Medals Upon our Chest From the Battles and War we knew, The one admired as THE VERY BEST
Is the one of Infantry Blue. It is only a rifle upon a wreath,
So why should it mean so much?
That gives it that Magic Touch. To earn this special accolade
You faced the enemy's fire
Whether you survived or not
God dialed that one desired.
For those of us who served the cause
It is the

CIB Badge

Posts Tagged ‘Vietnam_War’

74- Reunion of combat comrade-in-arms after 43 years

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

This episode describes the story of a “one-in-a-billion” chance meeting of myself and my best buddy and hootch-mate in Vietnam, the closest of the brothers that I had — after 43 years.

This meeting was surrealistic, euphoric, emotional and most memorable of all the events in my life — as I am sure it would be in yours, if you had met your closest buddy and best brother from your time in combat after over 4 decades.

As you will hear in this episode, my best buddy — let’s call him “Bob” — took this photo with a borrowed Instamatic(C) camera while we were in Da Nang, as we were getting resupplied, because we were to go out the next morning from the helipad on another mission in the bush.

A photo of me taken by Bob in DaNangAs you will also hear in this podcast audio episode, I differentiate this type of reunion (with Bob) from two other instances where I had run into very short meetings with other members of my company — but these were grunts with whom I was not that close, and who were not my best buddies.

The meeting and reunion with Bob was tremendous — 80 per cent of the time was spent in laughing and remembering the good times. However, 20 per cent of the time, we also communicated about the bad times (even though we never had mentioned it or spoken about it ever in 43 years to anyone else).

For those of you who may be wondering — yes, there was a negative effect of such a reunion. For several days of being in a surrealistic “fog” (very much like being in a trance or a dream), the evenings would produce flashbacks and nightmares for several days after the meeting. I don’t think you can EVER get around that, because those consequences are lifelong and unannounced.

But the end of the episode touches upon the wonderful situation you can encounter if you ever reunite with your best buddy from the war — especially one who was your “hootch-mate” from the bush when you were both GRUNTS in VIETNAM.

Select this link to listen to the audio episode in another window.

Copyright (C) 2015, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All rights reserved.

72- The HUMP- the Army’s 1st major battle in Vietnam, 1965

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

In this episode, we deliver a description of the Army’s first major battle in the Vietnam War. Known as THE HUMP, this battle was fought by the 173rd Airborne Brigade (nicknamed “The Herd”).


This episode is delivered as an audio narration of the article from VIETNAM(R) Magazine. It is delivered complete and unabridged. The author of the article is Al Conetto,  a veteran who also served as commander of D Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, 1967-1968.

The article is a detailed account of the planning, the execution and the aftermath of the battle that took place in November, 1965.

The description is factual, from a participant of the event and an eyewitness. It does not glorify war from the eyes of the combat infantryman, but merely relates the day-by-day happenings.

173rd under sniper fire 1965====

Select this link to listen to the audio episode in another window.

Copyright (c) 2015, VIETNAM(R) Magazine, Vol. 27, No. 6, pages 26-33, June, 2015 edition. Article by Al Conetto.  All rights reserved

65- Reflections from a Combat Infantryman- receiving Bronze Star after more than 40 years later

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Click here to listen to the audio episode.

 In April of 2012, Tony Martinez finally received the recognition and award for his service during the Vietnam War — some 42 years after the incident for which the BRONZE STAR medal with the “V” device for Valor  was given.

Tony currently serves as the Commander of Division 4 of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association. His memories from his days in Vietnam with Bravo Company Recon (a LRRP outfit) in the 11th Light Infantry Brigade of the 23rd Infantry Division “Americal” still haunt him for the loss of his comrades-in-arms, his buddies and his “brothers.”

However, as you will hear in this audio episode of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association Podcast, Tony explains what the medal means to him — even after 42 years since he earned it.

As you will hear in this audio episode, there is also honor given to those 3,417 Texas who died in Vietnam with the 2014 Dedication of the Texas Vietnam Veterans Monument, located at the Texas State Capitol building grounds in Austin. And Tony has participated as part of the Honor Guard for events that have led up to the final dedication of such a memory to those whose lives were taken during the Vietnam War from the state of Texas.

Our thanks to Tony for his service and dedication and heroism, for we know as CIB recipients what it means to have earned this medal and the suffering, pain and danger that accompanied it.

Copyright (c) 2013, Matrix Solutions Corporation and the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, H21 Southern Branch, Austin Chapter, Division 4. all rights reserved.


50- I served with these men- A combat infantryman’s story

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

From the Americal Journal, the quarterly newsletter and magazine of the Americal Division Veterans Association, comes a combat infantryman’s story–John Hastings, who earned his CIB in Vietnam as a sniper, Recondo and Ranger in G Company, 75th Ranger detachment of the 23rd Infantry Division (Americal).

His story is found on pages 29-32 of the aforementioned publication, and this episode is an audio narration of that article.

As you will hear in this audio episode, John Hastings left a stateside position in the National Guard and volunteered for Vietnam. He went to Recondo School in country (which led to being a Ranger and wearing the black beret of the 75th Ranger Detachment in Chu Lai — G Company), and where he eventually became a sniper (after several days of sniper training at the Sniper School in Chu Lai).

You can see the subdued CIB on his tiger-stripe fatigues as one of the Recon units of the Americal.  This article highlights the tremendous esprit de corps of the Rangers, as delivered by the man himself who walked in the shoes of the Recon Rangers of the Americal–a combat infantryman of the Vietnam War.

Copyright (c) 2011, Matrix Solutions Corporation and the Americal Division Veterans’ Association. All rights reserved.

41- Debunking the Myth wrongly created by the Media about the Vietnam War Combat Infantryman

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

In this episode of the H21 Southern Chapter of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we deliver the audio narration of the article from VFW Magazine’s February, 2010, edition titled:  “Debunking the Myth of the ‘Addicted’ Army.’

This is an article written by Jeremy Kuzmarov, in which the truth about the perpetration of a stereotype and myth was created by the Media, journalists, reporters, and even members of the US Congress and government about the Vietnam Combat veteran. This MYTH was so outrageous–but unfortunately, it caused so much damage–that is pictured the combat Vietnam veteran as a ‘baby-killer, psycho, dope-addict, heroin-addict and loser.’

As if a combat veteran needs more stigmas and more depression delivered by the rejection of an ungrateful American public, the Vietnam veteran had to cope with this for over 40 years. Now, the truth about the lies that were spread by TV, media, news and Congress is finally delivered–and even with the statistics and studies that show who the guilty parties were.

Thus, how can you blame a Combat Vietnam Veteran like myself that cannot trust the media at all? or who hates the mere presence of reporters and journalists and equates them to the lowest scum of the earth and slimiest creatures with nothing else on their minds except getting sensationalism to exaggerate the facts and get their story published?

And, most of all, don’t you think it is ironic that perhaps THEY THEMSELVES–the reporters and journalists who went out with the combat troops for only a couple of days (instead of the entire mission) and returned to the safety of the REAR and the security of hot water, clean linen and the comforts of ‘home’ to their typewriters would be the ones creating this sensationalistic exaggeration of the real situation about drugs in Vietnam?

I suggest that these same reporters, journalists and scum of the media were the ones who smoked the heroin, smoked marijuana and took the pills and got high while in the rear–because the could do so while the grunts kept them secure–and then blamed the partaking of drugs on the grunt himself. After all, he who wielded the pen controlled the media.

Little did they know how much damage, pain, loss of job and happiness, and how much misery they would cause in the lives of honest, returning Vietnam combat veterans who only did their duty, but would find the same words when they returned home to this frenzied stereotype:  “Sorry, we don’t want any Vietnam Vets; we don’t want any trouble from psychos, baby-killers or drug-addicts.”

Yes, Media and reporters and journalists. Thank you for the forty years of misery and pain–just so you could get your exaggerated story published, while the combat vets were spilling their blood and guts every day in the bush, the paddies and the mountains, the Central Highlands all the way from the DMZ to the Delta.

The question is: has the media changed since then?

In my opinion, I think not. Very little has changed, and the soldiers are the ones that have to fight the misinformation and exaggeration delivered to the public by the worthless entity called the Mainstream Media (or should we call it “Lame-stream Media”?).

Copyright (c) 2010, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

39- Combat Infantrymen in Vietnam and the soldiers of today

Friday, December 25th, 2009

In this episode of The Combat Infantrymen’s Association, H21 Southern Branch Austin, Texas, Chapter, we deliver to you an audio narration of the article published in the supplement called “Welcome Home” of The VVA Veteran publicatiion (from the Vietnam Veterans of America organization) in November/December, 2009.

The title of this article is:

“…What is the diffeence between the soldiers you knew in Vietnam and the soldiers of today?”

Joe Galloway after the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial Wall replica in Mineral Wells, Texas

The article starts on page 4 of the WELCOME HOME supplement publication and is delivered complete in its entirety and unabridged.

The article is delivered from the heart by Joe Galloway. In an earlier episode of this podcast series, we had the opportunity to meet Joe in person and interview him for 8 minutes with his thoughts about the value of the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, especially as it relates to the Vietnam War Grunt.

As you will hear in this audio narration, what is exceptional in this article is that the Vietnam Veteran Combat Infantryman is the leader in providing the welcome-back, the thanks-for-your-service, and the honor to those who sacrificed from the conflicts today in the Middle East. And we feel similarly– as Joe mentioned–that as long as a Vietnam War grunt still exists, there will ALWAYS be this honor and gratitude rendered to those returning from sacrifice and service overseas from being in harm’s way.

As most Vietnam War veterans, Joe is in his late sixties (68, as of last May in 2009, if we remember from the in-person interview) as far as age goes. His experience and his sacrifice in valor speaks for itself:

Joseph L. Galloway is a military columnist for McClatchy. During the Vietnam War, Galloway served three tours in Vietnam for United Press International. Decorated for rescuing wounded American soldiers under heavy enemy fire during the battle at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley, he was the only civialian awarded the Bronze Star by the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War. With Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore, Galloway co-authored a detailed account of these experiences in the bestselling book WE WERE SOLDIERS ONCE…AND YOUNG.

Copyright (c) 2009, Matrix Solutions Corporation and Vietnam Veterans of America. All Rights Reserved.

33- Seeking ways to help Combat Veterans with Experiential Treatment

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

In this episode of the Southern Branch, H21, Austin Chapter, of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we bring you an excerpt from an interview that we had with Gayle Temkin, who has over 30 years experience in treatment of physical and cognitive issues.

In this informal discussion, Gayle seeks for ways to help the Combat Veteran with experiential treatment–either by trying to get a funding grant that would support the combat veteran audience, or by recommending to organizations (such as the VA) the type of treatments needed for veterans still suffering from the aftermath of combat.

From this audio episode, it is interesting to note that many people — even the professionals who provide healing treatment for others — have a difficult time in trying to understand the plight, the suffering, the symptoms and the actual episodes that the veterans suffer. The textbook-type treatments have proven somewhat ineffective when dealing with actual Vietnam Combat Veterans.

How true is that addage: “if you haven’t been in combat, then you can’t be expected to really understand.”

Gayle’s practice has given her a wealth of experience from which to draw, and her recommendations are such that the VA should note.

In addition to her therapy practice for over 30 years, she is also trying to advance her Coalition for Emotional Literacy.

Coalition for Emotional Literacy web site

However, unless the formal organizations receive either grant funding from this administration; or unless the VA seeks to really help the Vietnam Veterans (and not just “set them aside” because they have to make room for those returning from SouthWest Asia during this present conflict), then these types of treatment alteranatives that can really help veterans may fall on deaf ears.

However, it is great to realize that there are those individuals who really do care about the appropriate treatment that should be given to the veterans who are suffering from PTSD and other symptoms, so that they can have a chance to improve their constant adjustment to the “World” upon their return from their tours of combat or improve their quality of life after suffering for over 30 to 40 years.

Copyright (c) 2009, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All Rights Reserved.