Veterans share thoughts on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan – Macomb Daily


Don A. Kramer was part of Operation Frequent Wind, from April 29 to 30, 1975, the final phase of the evacuation of American and Vietnamese civilians at risk from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), in South Vietnam. More than 50,000 people fled by air, most of them on US Air Force planes. The city was taken over by the North Vietnamese People’s Army of Vietnam. The era was known as the Fall of Saigon.

Kramer was aboard the USS Enterprise CVAN 65.

“I heard… ‘set up your combat posts, this is not an exercise’,” he said. The crew were ordered to load ammunition – 500 pound bombs – onto the plane.

“As soon as we launched and retrieved the birds, the process started all over again,” he said. “At the end of the second day we start to see a number of helicopters approaching the ship and it turned out to be the USMC Hueys. The Marines on board were exhausted, their birds showing signs of damage from bullets piercing the skin of the aircraft. I was amazed that they could fly as most of them were badly damaged.

Recently, Kramer witnessed the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

“It’s not really different. I’m sure the CIA had informed the JCS (Joint Chiefs of Staff) that the Taliban were crushing the Afghan forces, ”he said.

John Hogan was a teenager when the fall of Saigon happened, but he remembers what he saw on the evening news – Vietnamese desperately trying to board helicopters evacuating Americans from the US Embassy .

As a US Air Force and Air National Guard veteran with over 25 years of service, he is very familiar with Afghanistan where he was deployed for almost a year.

“It’s heartbreaking to see how we left Afghanistan,” he said. “I want politicians to leave the wars, battles and military actions that should be carried out to the military and not leave them to themselves or to the tribunal of public opinion. Sometimes the military has to make tough, brutal decisions that aren’t always popular decisions, but that’s their job.

“You don’t come out all of a sudden. You first make sure things are secure. You don’t have a target date of X and don’t adjust, you have to adjust as things go. I knew some of the performers there and I hate even to think about brutality; things that would happen to these people, ”he said.

“The other thing I remember is the way society treated Vietnamese veterans. It was horrible. It was like you should be ashamed of having fought in the Vietnam War, ”said Hogan, 65. “In Afghanistan, I made weather forecasts for various air operations. I went there a year and a day after September 11th.

Patriot Day is an annual celebration in the United States to remember and honor those who were injured or killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

local observances

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 Honor Guard The Point Team assists the Clinton Township Police Honor Guard with a volley of rifles, chaplaincy service and beating during the ceremony. Clinton Township Patriots Day at 10 a.m. on September 11 at the Resurrection Cemetery at 18201 Clinton River Road.

The Selfridge Military Air Museum conducts Operation Merci as a memorial tribute to military first responders, medical workers, firefighters and police officers on the 20th anniversary of September 11 at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Harrison Township.

The Michigan WOW Chapter of the Rosie-the-Riveter Association joins the museum’s celebration from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. September 11th. There will be a colored guard and the singing of the national anthem and “God Bless America” and remarks from museum director Steve Mrozek and others.

There is a card making station. WOW members will send them to first responders, active duty military personnel and veterans. There is a silent auction and raffle draws to benefit the museum’s new aviation education center hangar. There is also a scavenger hunt to learn more about the history of Selfridge ANG base.

Admission of first responders is free upon presentation of an ID. Regular admission to the museum is $ 5 for adults and children 13 and over; $ 4 for seniors and the military; $ 3 children 4 to 12 years old. Register on

Return to Home Vets Shelter at 17955 E. 11 Mile Road, Roseville is hosting an open house, noon to 4 p.m. September 11th. At 2:00 pm, the Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter Elizabeth Bienaime presents Founder and Director Sandy McNabb Bower with her Medal of Honor “for his commitment and selfless service to homeless and veterans in crisis.”

There is also a commemoration of the anniversary of September 11.

Departmental ceremony

The annual Macomb County Fallen Heroes 9/11 Ceremony takes place on September 11 at 4 p.m. at 40 N. Main St., Mount Clemens, in Macomb County Court. In addition to commemorating the September 11 attacks, there is a remembrance of all the fallen heroes of Macomb County who died in the line of duty. This year, 911 dispatchers will be recognized. The New Haven Fire Department will exhibit part of the World Trade Center I-beam.

Souvenir from the national cemetery

The Great Lakes National Cemetery Advisory Council is sponsoring a recognition and commemoration ceremony at 10 a.m. on September 11 to honor those who lost their lives on September 11. It will be held in the bell tower area of ​​the cemetery located at 4200 Belford Road, Holly.

There is an “Unaccompanied Veterans Funeral Service” at 11:30 am on September 10 in the Bell Tower area. The Daughters of the American Revolution are co-hosting the event with the Great Lakes National Cemetery Advisory Council which has allocated $ 500 to purchase wreaths for this event. The veterans are those who have no family to attend their funerals and the women of the DAR replace them as mothers.

There are 33 honor guard rifle teams with 211 people – many of them from veterans organizations – offering their services for such events at the cemetery.

National compliance

The mission of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City remains the annual commemoration ceremony. Family members of 9/11 victims gather in the Memorial Square to read aloud the names of those killed in the September 11 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Six minutes by silence will be observed, recognizing when each of the World Trade Center towers has been struck and fallen, and the times corresponding to the Pentagon attack and the crash of Flight 93. The program begins at 8:30 am, and the first moment of silence is at 8:46 am The places of worship then ring their bells. Reading the names will take up to approximately 13 hours. At sunset, the annual “Hommage à la lumière” lights up the sky.

Send news about service clubs and veterans organizations to Linda May at [email protected] or call landline 586-791-8116.


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