Baby Killers

Last week I wrote a piece called "Chimps with Nukes." When I had a draft I e-mailed it to a bunch of old soldiers to see if anybody thought I had left anything important out. ...

Chimps with Nukes

In Jared Diamond's book The Third Chimpanzee, he points out that we share about 98 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees, which is not much greater than the difference between chimps and bonobo pygmy chimps. ...

Forgotten Valor

Where have all the soldiers gone? Gone to graveyards every one. -- Pete Seeger, 1961 James Francis Walter Ford's death was certain, but his life remained a mystery. After he was accidentally struck and killed ...

Why aren't there any Vietnamese names in the Obituary column of the UT?

Matmail: Why is it there are never any Vietnamese names in the obituary column printed in the San Diego Union? -- Mort Schwartz, Clairemont According to the local Union of Pan Asian Communities, to find ...

The 30-Year War

August, 1997. It is a sunny Saturday on Coronado's Orange Avenue. Bay Books is having a ball. Half a dozen ex-Navy SEALs sit at tables inside, each autographing the book he has written about his ...

Top Brass vs. Low Church

This is the joke among the Navy's evangelical chaplains. "Question: What do you have to do to get promoted in the U.S. Navy? "Answer: If you're a Roman Catholic, you've got to be able to ...

Sealed Fate

When is a SEAL not a SEAL? Too often, says Darryl Young, an ex-SEAL who trained in Coronado. Young heard of so many many SEAL impostors that he helped form a group called the "U.S. ...

Fighting Words: The Vietnam Books

The war had a vocabulary so different from the rest of the world that it was almost a language apart.

Veteran Readers The first three Vietnam Vets whom I asked, "What novels about the Vietnam War have you read?" hadn't read many. All three served in the Marine Corps, all were in boot camp in ...

River Rats, part two

A story of unruly sailors in a makeshift navy: The war on the Mekong

I awakened late and sat on the edge of the litter, feeling like crap. I had no idea what time it was. My watch was gone. It was probably lying in the road outside the ...

Escape! Part II

Fear and hiding in the Saigon underground, adrift at sea, capture by pirates. A former Vietnamese journalist continues his tale of terror.

Thuy told me, "They set up a trap with armed soldiers along the trail to your camp. I felt something was wrong, but it was too late to turn back."


From Saigon to San Diego: a tale of survival.

They locked me in a metal box that was just big enough for one person to lie down in. I stayed in that miserable box for nine days.

When It's Over

There's a bond that only vets can share

Fear and death are still the ties that bind.

Tales of Real Men

The time is the late ’60s and it is a typically quiet afternoon at the Coronado bar, the Tradewinds. Suddenly the tranquility is disturbed when a group of 20 to 25 young Navy midshipmen enter ...

Whither the San Diego Peace Movement?

It was back in 1970 at the mostly long-haired White Whale in La Jolla when I got my first peace handshake. My thumb caught him on the palm and he squeezed the tips of my ...

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