Search Results for: “the real deal”

The Real Deal

Quite some time ago Medic actively participated in New York’s thriving poetry and performance scene. ABC No Rio, The Pink Poney, The Carmine Street Cafe, Dixon Place, Brown Bear, The Saturn Reading Series are a few of the venues that come to mind.  Medic used these open mics to read in public what he’d long […]

“That’s great fun! I really like to do that!”

Chris Marker (29 July 1921 – 29 July 2012) was a French writer, photographer, documentary film director, multimedia artist and film essayist. Among his best known films is A Grin Without a Cat, released in 1977. The film’s title refers to the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. The metaphor compares the promise of the […]

Still Caring for John C

The last time I saw John C he’d been hit by a nervous LOACH door gunner and was screaming bloody murder. “Doc, get up there,” shouts the lieutenant. I scramble up the hill, straddle John’s belly, Cobra gunship comes in, lays down rockets and 40mm grenades right over us. I mean right over us. I […]

High Points at High Point University

In March 2023 Medic was invited by High Point University to speak about his 1970 tour in Vietnam and Cambodia. I spoke first to the 40 students of Dr. Joey Fink’s history class. That evening, I spoke to the public at High Points off campus museum. For the student talk, after Dr. Fink’s excellent intro, […]

Medic on Netflix

In March of 2018 Medic was contacted by GEP Umbrella Inc, which sought to license one of my war photos for the Netflix sci fi series The Umbrella Academy. In short order a sum was agreed upon, a contract was signed. Below is the image as used in the series. Beneath it, the actual photo. […]

The War…On Drugs

Medic asked his grunt and Arty friends if they smoked weed in Vietnam. Officers and NCOs were asked how they handled men who did pot. Here are the replies: Arlan Ervasti  Bravo 1/7 Cav ’69 I was in Vietnam from April till late Oct 1970. I can’t recall anyone smoking dope or getting high in […]

Jessica Lynch

Jessica Dawn Lynch was born in Palestine, West Virginia. Since her family could not afford to send her to college, in September 2001 they encouraged her to enlist in the army, where she became a supply clerk and later deployed to Iraq. On 23 March 2003 the Army’s 507th Maintenance Company and elements of the […]

A Soldiers’ Home Companion

When first published on Medic in the Green Time the name of the Salem, Mass veterans agent was fictionalized.  On 11 November 2021 the article appeared in CounterPunch, where Medic named the veteran’s agent. Subsequently, the Secretary of Veterans Services for Massachusetts and the veterans agent expressed their strong disapproval of the story. See addendum. […]

Jack Murphy Brings It Home

Recently Medic received an email from noted song writer and musician Jack Murphy, a heavy combat grunt/RTO with Delta Company, 5th Battalion, 12th Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade. A video link accompanied the words “PLEASE SHARE IT.” I don’t particularly care for music long on sentiment, short on talent, and the title of the track […]

Mike Derrig: The Road from Cambodia to Portland, Maine

Mike concluded his story with a final burst of email: “Before the litter basket dropped through the jungle, and I was hoisted to the medevac bird, some of the guys came by and said, “You lucky bastard. That’s a million-dollar wound and you’re going home.” Little did I know they were right. It wasn’t long […]

A Discomforting Letter From A Comfortable Town

First published on CounterPunch on 24 July 2019 Once, on a good day in a bad war, as we lay in wait, four young men, unsuspecting of what lay ahead, walked into the perfect ambush, and we took no casualties. After we scavenged the bodies for souvenirs, silently, we marched away. An hour later, a […]

All My Vexes Are In Texas

This article by Medic first appeared in the 25 April 2019 issue of CounterPunch. Maya Lin’s war monument succeeds by its simplicity. The long tapering wall gradually rising to a delicate peak, falls equally away. Unencumbered, row upon row, by the tens of thousands the mute granite names speak to us, and we are filled […]

In the Summer of ’67

Medic’s friend Peter Sablock was drafted in August 1966. He took basic at Fort Dix and AIT at Fort Knox, where he was a proud participant in the Vietnam indoctrination course, which culminated in a ground assault on a mock Vietnamese village during a driving Kentucky snowstorm. In Vietnam Pete was a Scout Observer with […]

Willimantic, 10.11.2000

First published on Slow Trains in 2001. The bus ride from New York’s frenetic Port Authority to sleepy Willimantic, CT took four sleepless hours and cost twenty-nine dollars. Willimantic, once thread capitol of the world, until thread went south and the town went quiet. Tomorrow, a local college would host a forum on Vietnam, known […]

How Stevie Nearly Lost the War and Other Postwar Stories

“Rhythmic, visceral, laconic, powerful, Levy’s stories will haunt the reader long after reading them.” Nguyen Ba Chung, William Joiner Center “… Any family member, any therapist, who wants to know something of the pain that vets carry in their heads and hearts…should read this book.” Hamilton Gregory, author of MacNamara’s Folly “His quiet voice details […]

The Best of Medic in the Green Time

“Reading this collection of Vietnam-related stories and recollections is excruciatingly painful — which is precisely why it demands to be widely read.” —Andrew Bacevich, professor emeritus, Boston University – “This is a powerful tribute to a generation that was told by society to quietly put away their uniforms and never speak again of what the […]

Grade 5 Class Portrait:Class picture of the Academy Hill School fifth grade, 1957. Back row, left to right: Peter Metters, Frank Powers, Barry Zlotin, Dick Larrabee, Nick Ferrantella, Dennis Brown, Leonard Ringler, David Hardy, Dan Connell. Middle row: Donna Glidden, Pam Lawrence, Sandy Pope, Melodie Watts, Karen Lamb, Haydi Craig, Cynthia Perkins, Susan Lusk, Joanna Simms, Susan Michetti. Front row: Mary Jean Nelson, Sheila Fulton, Louisa Dennis, Susan Chase, Susan Tucker, Jackie Mainhart, Marie Stackpole. Academy Hill School. Nantucket 1957

For Students

THE DRAFT Were you drafted? After dropping out of college I was living at home. There wasn’t much on offer in the way of work and my parents were not emotionally well people,making life increasingly difficult. I needed an escape and the Army promised a career and the chance to find myself. And it was […]

On Being Frank

In early 2017 I mailed a hard copy query to a man in upstate New York: “Recently I published How Stevie Nearly Lost the War and Other Postwar Stories. The connecting theme is war and its aftermath. I think we both know a little about PTSD. Would you consider writing a blurb? I look forward […]

The Dark Angry Secrets of Mike and Doc

Mike and I keep in touch. We talk about Vietnam. About nightmares and startle reflex, battles with anxiety, depression, flashbacks. “Doc, good thing you called,” he said. “I’m having a rough night. The way you talk–you being a medic, settles me down. “Any time, Michael,” I said. We agreed I’d visit in August. Six months […]

A Swiss Direct Hit

Medic and Nam vets Henry Roll, George Knoll, Rick Claggett, Rick Owen, and Randy Brack were recently contacted and interviewed by high school student Frank Nygegger, who attends Kantonsschule Wohlen in Switzerland. With Frank’s permission Medic is delighted to publish his exceptionally well written research report, US Soldiers in Vietnam. The paper is divided into […]

Being Jane Fonda

A good friend of Medic has reviewed a book on the actress Jane Fonda. During the war Fonda was among three hundred anti-war activists who traveled to Hanoi. A popular story that she turned smuggled messages from U.S. POWs over to their captors and caused them to be tortured is untrue; the identified POWs have […]

Sitrep: Hometown Unwelcomes Vietnam Vets

Near the center of my hometown, opposite the block wide brick post office, abutting a municipal parking lot, adjacent to four lanes of non stop traffic, sits the distinctly out of place spit of land known as Riley Plaza. Named for a past century Medal of Honor winner, it is a forbidding circle of stone […]

War Talk, American

  In 2008 Medic met the distinguished photographer Jeff Wolin, then working on his book Inconvenient Stories: Vietnam Veterans. Jeff has kindly lent permission to excerpt several of those stories and their accompanying photographs. Benito Garcia 173rd Air Borne, PFC May 1965-1966; 1966-1967; 1968 “The first time I saw a dead American, there were three […]

The Sad Song of Yellow Skin

Recently Medic discovered this 1970 direct cinema style documentary on the effects of the Vietnam War on street children in Saigon. The 58-minute film was written, directed and narrated by Michael Rubbo for the National Film Board of Canada. Rubbo had originally gone to Vietnam to make a film about the work of Foster Parents […]

Five Simple Words

More than thirty vets have responded to Medic’s open query: what do you feel, think and say when someone says to you “Thank you for your service.” Bill Ehrhart 1/1 Marines Infantry (corporal) Vietnam 1967 Over the past decade or so, it’s become quite the fashion, when people learn that I once served in the […]

Overrun in Cambodia

On 11 May 1970 troops from Delta 1-7 First Cav combat assaulted into an abandoned NVA base camp in Cambodia. In a very short time, the vast area, shown above as the choppers touch down, would be transformed into the ill fated LZ Ranch. Ranch was the first of a trio of  US bases in […]

In the Days After: Part IV

As the plane landed at Andrews Air Force Base the nurses on the plane said goodbye to the patients on board. Then the huge loading ramp opened, letting in fresh air and sunlight. After twenty-two hours of darkness and noise I was happy to be stateside but wary of the future. A crew of soldiers […]

The Sad Case of SSgt Hambleton

Medic was not present when staff sergeant Mark Hambleton hit the trip wire of an Automatic Ambush, which detonated the Claymores, which exploded and killed him. In 2003 Kirk Anderson sent this harrowing eye witness account. Other recollections follow. For reasons that will become clear Medic has waited until now to publish them. “Hambleton was […]

Johnny Doe: Case Closed…

“You must remember what you are and what you have chosen to become, and the significance of what you are doing. There are wars and defeats and victories of the human race that are not military and that are not recorded in the annals of history. Remember that while you’re trying to decide what to […]

Combat operations at Ia Drang Valley,Vietnam,November 1965. Bruce P. Crandall's UH-1 Huey dispatches infantry while under fire. Photo US Army

Jack Smith: Death in the Ia Drang Valley

Private First Class Jack P Smith saw horrific combat while serving with the Army’s 7th Cavalry in November 1965 during one of the first battles pitting US troops against NVA forces. He described those experiences in a 1967 Saturday Evening Post article.                      *   *   *   *   *   * The 1st Battalion had been fighting […]

Claymore mine hidden along the side of a trail.

What Rick Said

An Automatic Ambush consisted of one or more Claymore mines spread several meters apart on the side of an enemy trail. Each mine contained two pounds of plastique explosive embedded with 700 lead pellets. A trip wire,connected to a firing device,was strung across the trails width. At the slightest touch the mines exploded. Instantly legs […]