Author: The Vietnam War Era

50 years later, Marine gunny to be awarded the Medal of Honor for Hue City heroics

50 years later, Marine gunny to be awarded the Medal of Honor for Hue City heroics

“The need for men and supplies for Vietnam overwhelmed the services’ ability to fly and ship them,…”

“The need for men and supplies for Vietnam overwhelmed the services’ ability to fly and ship them, particularly in the early years of the buildup. This made plenty of work for private ships working in the Military Sea Transportation Service, the merchant marine. When their ships were required for secret missions, their civilian crews needed security clearances. In San Francisco at Fort Mason, it was the job of Lieutenant (junior grade) Jim Spahr to do the footwork for the Office of Naval Intelligence and conduct the necessary background checks.
         Usually, this meant little more than looking in to the crews’ police records. Barring some serious crime, approval was routine. IT was while looking into such records, however, that Spahr began running across police accounts of individuals who had been observed at a ‘known homosexual gathering place.’ Under regulations, this meant the crewman could not be cleared for work: He might be queer and a security risk. To keep the government’s business, the shipping company must fire the crewman.”

Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military by Randy Shilts, page 49.
(via vietnamwarera)

To the other anon: LGBT+ servicemembers’ stories are also part of history.

It’s ALL history. One part cannot be divorced from another simply because it makes you uncomfortable.

I’d kind of like to learn about history, and the Vietnam War in general. Why does sexuality have to be dragged into it? I’m not here to learn about sexuality. I’m here for the history. Guess I’ll unfollow.

I wrote an entire post answering this question: On why telling the stories of LGBT+ service members is important.

No one is teaching you about sexuality here. This is about the contributions of different people, in this case LGBT+ veterans. 

themightyfoo replied to your post “I want to say thanks for covering the issues of LGBT* Vietnam…

themightyfoo
replied to your post “I want to say thanks for covering the issues of LGBT* Vietnam vets….”

The Boy Who Picked The Bullets Up by Charles Nelson. A novel, but a landmark work of LGBT fiction and (according to the author) “25% autobiographical.”

I’ll definitely add that to my list, but in mentioning historiography I’m talking more about the studies done by scholars. Peer reviewed works and such. Not that other books don’t add to it, but yeah.

I want to say thanks for covering the issues of LGBT* Vietnam vets. It’s not a commonly discussed topic and, as a bisexual history major, it’s great to learn about. Keep up the good work.

It’s not. As a history major you’ll understand when I say the historiography regarding this is completely empty, minus the Conduct Unbecoming book I’ve used here. There’s just nothing there that I’ve seen.

I’d kind of like to learn about history, and the Vietnam War in general. Why does sexuality have to be dragged into it? I’m not here to learn about sexuality. I’m here for the history. Guess I’ll unfollow.

I wrote an entire post answering this question: On why telling the stories of LGBT+ service members is important.

No one is teaching you about sexuality here. This is about the contributions of different people, in this case LGBT+ veterans. 

October is LGBT+ History Month

vietnamwarera:

I’m bringing back the Pride Month posts. There is a slight chance that I’ll add new ones.

If anymore homophobes or Nazis want to unfollow because of this, feel free. You’re not wanted here anyway.

-Signed, Joe, a bisexual transgender man

“Life was much tougher at the front lines, because the field offered so few opportunities for privacy…”

“Life was much tougher at the front lines, because the field offered so few opportunities for privacy and because the soldiers at the front tended to be younger and less confident in skirting the rules. The Vietnam experience was far less libidinous for the typical gay soldier than was later fantasized in homophile fiction and erotic filmmaking.
       Danny Flaherty, for instance, had only one homosexual experience in Vietnam, with his first sergeant’s effeminate driver in the back of a truck. There was, however, a near encounter a few months later, as Danny was smoking pot with a heterosexual sergeant. As Danny took a deep drag of marijuana, he saw that his friend had opened his zipper and was glancing toward him. Danny was extremely stoned; it took a moment to appreciate what was going on. It was a moment too long. The next thing he knew, the zipper was closed. The two of them continued smoking and joking, and neither of them acknowledged that anything out of the ordinary had happened.”

Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military by Randy Shilts, page 43.

See this quote for what life was like in rear areas of Vietnam.

(via vietnamwarera)

October is LGBT+ History Month

vietnamwarera:

I’m bringing back the Pride Month posts. There is a slight chance that I’ll add new ones.