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Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part VI

Posted by on January 8, 2015 with 0 Comments

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part VI

The answer from Part V on the young girl may surprise you.

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part VI

9-year-old Kim Phuc Route 1 near Trang Bang June 8, 1972

Myth: Kim Phuc, the little nine year old Vietnamese girl running naked from the napalm strike near Trang Bang on 8 June 1972, was burned by Americans bombing Trang Bang.

No American had involvement in this incident near Trang Bang that burned Phan Thi Kim Phuc. The planes doing the bombing near the village were VNAF (Vietnam Air Force) and were being flown by Vietnamese pilots in support of South Vietnamese troops on the ground. The Vietnamese pilot who dropped the napalm in error is currently living in the United States. Even the AP photographer, Nick Ut, who took the picture was Vietnamese.

The incident in the photo took place on the second day of a three day battle between the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) who occupied the village of Trang Bang and the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) who were trying to force the NVA out of the village. Recent reports in the news media that an American commander ordered the air strike that burned Kim Phuc are incorrect. There were no Americans involved in any capacity. “We (Americans) had nothing to do with controlling VNAF,” according to Lieutenant General (Ret) James F. Hollingsworth, the Commanding General of TRAC at that time. Also, it has been incorrectly reported that two of Kim Phuc’s brothers were killed in this incident. They were Kim’s cousins not her brothers.

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part VI

The Vietnam War was not lost by the US Military.

Myth: The United States lost the war in Vietnam. The American military was not defeated in Vietnam. The American military did not lose a battle of any consequence. From a military standpoint, it was almost an unprecedented performance. (Westmoreland quoting Douglas Pike, a professor at the University of California, Berkley a renowned expert on the Vietnam War)[Westmoreland] This included Tet 68, which was a major military defeat for the VC and NVA.

THE UNITED STATES DID NOT LOSE THE WAR IN VIETNAM, THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE DID after the U.S. Congress cut off funding.  The South Vietnamese ran out of fuel, ammunition and other supplies because lack of support from Congress while the North Vietnamese were very well supplied by China and the Soviet Union.

Facts about the end of the war: The fall of Saigon happened 30 April 1975, two years AFTER the American military left Vietnam.

The last American troops departed in their entirety 29 March 1973.

How could we lose a war we had already stopped fighting? We fought to an agreed stalemate. The peace settlement was signed in Paris on 27 January 1973. It called for release of all U.S. prisoners, withdrawal of U.S. forces, limitation of both sides’ forces inside South Vietnam and a commitment to peaceful reunification. [1996 Information Please Almanac] The 140,000 evacuees in April 1975 during the fall of Saigon consisted almost entirely of civilians and Vietnamese military, NOT American military running for their lives. [1996 Information Please Almanac] There were almost twice as many casualties in Southeast Asia (primarily Cambodia) the first two years after the fall of Saigon in 1975 then there were during the ten years the U.S. was involved in Vietnam. [1996 Information Please Almanac]

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part VI

Vietnam Prisoners of War

POW-MIA Issue (unaccounted-for versus missing in action)

Men like U.S Navy Lt. Mike McGrath who was 27, spent almost six years in North Vietnamese prisons, enduring torture and beatings before he was released in the spring of 1973 with nearly 600 men whose plight united a nation, otherwise bitterly divided by the drawn-out war.

Politics & People, On Vietnam, Clinton Should Follow a Hero’s Advice, contained this quote about Vietnam, there has been “the most extensive accounting in the history of human warfare” of those missing in action. While there are still officially more than 2,200 cases, there now are only 55 incidents of American servicemen who were last seen alive but aren’t accounted for. By contrast, there still are 78,000 unaccounted-for Americans from World War II and 8,100 from the Korean conflict. “The problem is that those who think the Vietnamese haven’t cooperated sufficiently think there is some central repository with answers to all the lingering questions,” notes Gen. John Vessey, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Reagan and Bush administration’s designated representative in MIA negotiations. “In all the years we’ve been working on this we have found that’s not the case.” [The Wall Street Journal]

Capt.-Eleanor-Grace-Alexander

Capt. Eleanor G. Alexander and operating nurse died in Vietnam in 1967

Women – The Forgotten Soldiers

Between 1962 and 1973, according to the Veteran’s Administration statistics, approximately 11,000 women served on active military duty in Vietnam. Nurses made up approximately ninety percent of the women serving in Vietnam.

One of the servicewomen decorated was First Lieutenant Sharon Ann Lane, who was posthumously awarded the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross and the Bronze Star for Heroism. She died from shrapnel wounds following a 1969 rocket attack on the hospital where she was working. She was only one of many that was placed in harms way. Under horrible conditions our military nurses worked to save our combat warriors. Some of these hospitals were on the front lines of combat. One location was called Cu Chi that served the local Vietnamese and our troops. Cu Chi was overrun by the Viet Cong, and we discovered they had tunnels beneath their base camp.

The Series:

  1. Part 1 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  2. Part 2 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  3. Part 3 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  4. Part 4 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  5. Part 5 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  6. Part 6 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part VI

Sources

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part V of VI

Posted by on January 8, 2015 with 0 Comments

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part V

Vietnam War Its History Is Statistics Part V of VIThe war in Vietnam was fought mainly by the sons, brothers, husbands, and friends of the working class. The nucleus for this was because the national structure at the time made it easy for large numbers of men to participate in draft deferment by going to college, getting married, feigning homosexuality, or faking a medical condition. As such, this privileged class were often the radical opposition to the war. They remained detached and impersonal because they personally didn’t know anyone that was fighting in the war. Protesting came easy for them.

Myth: Air America, the airline operated by the CIA in Southeast Asia, and its pilots were involved in drug trafficking.

The 1990 unsuccessful movie “Air America” helped to establish the myth of a connection between Air America, the CIA, and the Laotian drug trade. The movie and a book the movie was based on contend that the CIA condoned a drug trade conducted by a Laotian client; both agree that Air America provided the essential transportation for the trade; and both view the pilots with sympathetic understanding. American-owned airlines never knowingly transported opium in or out of Laos, nor did their American pilots ever profit from its transport. Yet undoubtedly, every plane in Laos carried opium at some time, unknown to the pilot and his superiors. For more information see: http://www.air-america.org 

Facts about the fall of Saigon

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part V of VIMyth: The American military was running for their lives during the fall of Saigon in April 1975. The picture of a Huey helicopter evacuating people from the top, of what was billed as being the U.S. Embassy in Saigon during the last week of April 1975 during the fall of Saigon helped to establish this myth.

This famous picture is the property of UPI Corbus-Bettman Photo Agency.

It is one of 42 pictures of this helicopter that UPI photographer, Hubert Van Es took on 29 April 1975 from UPI’s offices on the top floor of the Saigon Hotel that was several blocks from the Pittman Apartments. [People]

Here are some facts to clear up that poor job of reporting by the news media. It was a “civilian” (Air America) Huey, not Army or Marines. It was NOT the U.S. Embassy. The building is the Pittman Apartments, a 10 story building where the CIA station chief and many of his officers lived, located at 22 Ly Tu Trong St. The U.S. Embassy and its helipad were much larger.

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part V of VI

Vietnamese Refugees Evacuating 1975

The platform is the top of the elevator shaft for the building and was not designed as a helipad.  [People] The evacuees were Vietnamese not American military.  Two high ranking Vietnamese where among those taken that day to Tan Son Nhut airport, General Tran Van Don and the head of the secret police Tran Kim Tuyen.  Both immigrated to Europe and both have since died.  [People]

The person who can be seen aiding the refugees was CIA operations officer, Mr. O.B. Harnage, who is now retired in Arizona.  The pilots who were flying this helicopter, tail number N4 7004, were Bob Caron who lives in Florida and Jack “Pogo” Hunter who died in 1997.  [People] 

It has been said that the American’s were the perpetrators of a famous photo was taken of nine year old Vietnamese girl running naked from the napalm strike where she was burned near Trang Bang.

This was a horrific event for the young girl, and the Americans were blamed for the incident by the protestors.

The Series:

  1. Part 1 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  2. Part 2 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  3. Part 3 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  4. Part 4 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  5. Part 5 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  6. Part 6 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part VI

Sources

 

You will learn more about what happened on this day in Part VI of this series and the women that serve in-country.

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part IV of VI

Posted by on January 8, 2015 with 2 Comments

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part IV

 Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part IV of VIIn Southeast Asia, the United States government used the domino theory to justify its support of a non-communist regime in South Vietnam against the communist government of North Vietnam, and ultimately its increasing involvement in the long-running Vietnam War (1954-75).

Myth: The domino theory proved false. The domino theory was accurate. The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand stayed free of Communism because of the U.S. commitment to Vietnam. The Indonesians threw the Soviets out in 1966 because of America’s commitment in Vietnam. Without that commitment, Communism would have swept all the way to the Malacca Straits that is south of Singapore and of great strategic importance to the free world. If you ask people who live in these countries that won the war in Vietnam, they have a different opinion from the American news media. The Vietnam War was the turning point for Communism. [Westmoreland]

Democracy Catching On – In the wake of the Cold War, democracies are flourishing, with 179 of the world’s 192 sovereign states (93%) now electing their legislators, according to the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union. In the last decade, 69 nations have held multi-party elections for the first time in their histories. Three of the five newest democracies are former Soviet republics: Belarus (where elections were first held in November 1995), Armenia (July 1995) and Kyrgyzstan (February 1995). Two are in Africa: Tanzania (October 1995) and Guinea (June 1995). [Parade Magazine] 

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part IV of VI

Vietnam War Warriors

Myth: The fighting in Vietnam was not as intense as in World War II. The average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War II saw about 40 days of combat in four years. The average infantryman in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year thanks to the mobility of the helicopter. One out of every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. 58,169 were killed and 304,000 wounded out of 2.59 million who served.

Although the percent who died is similar to other wars, amputations or crippling wounds were 300 percent higher than in World War II. 75,000 Vietnam veterans are severely disabled. [McCaffrey] MEDEVAC helicopters flew nearly 500,000 missions. Over 900,000 patients were airlifted (nearly half were American). The average time lapse between wounding to hospitalization was less than one hour. As a result, less than one percent of all Americans wounded who survived the first 24 hours died. [VHPA 1993]

The helicopter provided unprecedented mobility. Without the helicopter it would have taken three times as many troops to secure the 800 mile border with Cambodia and Laos (the politicians thought the Geneva Conventions of 1954 and the Geneva Accords or 1962 would secure the border) [Westmoreland] 

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part IV of VI

Helicopters in Vietnam War

More helicopter facts: Approximately 12,000 helicopters saw action in Vietnam (all services). [VHPA databases] Army UH-1’s totaled 9,713,762 flight hours in Vietnam between October 1966 and the end of American involvement in early 1973. [VHPA databases] Army AH-1G’s totaled 1,110,716 flight hours in Vietnam. [VHPA databases]

The Huey is believe to be along with the Huey Cobra having more combat flight time than any other aircraft in the history of warfare assuming you count actual hostile fire exposure versus battle area exposure.  As an example, heavy bombers during World War II most often flew missions lasting many hours with only 10 to 20 minutes of that time exposed to hostile fire.  Helicopters in Vietnam seldom flew above 1,500 feet, which is traffic pattern altitude for bombers. In addition, the helicopters were always exposed to hostile fire in their base camps.

The Series:

  1. Part 1 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  2. Part 2 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  3. Part 3 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  4. Part 4 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  5. Part 5 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  6. Part 6 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part VI

Sources

 

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part III of VI

Posted by on January 6, 2015 with 3 Comments

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part III

Images of the U.S led massacre at My Lia dominated the television, yet the daily atrocities committed by North Vietnam and the Viet Cong rarely made the evening news. The Vietnam War, exacerbated by the anti-war movement at home, gained increasing media attention. The Vietnam U.S. warriors were forgotten when they needed the support from home the most.

 Video: Courtesy of Adam Richards, Instructor – Master Degree in History

 

The Vietnam media war coverage, and its resulting impact on public opinion, has been debated for decades by many intelligent scholars and journalists, yet they are not the most qualified individuals to do so: the veterans are.

 

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part III of VI

Field Hazard – Python

Journalists based in Saigon daily reported facts about battles, casualties, and the morale of the troops, yet only a soldier could grasp the true reality of war. Veterans understand what really occurred in the jungles of Vietnam, and only they can compare the truth to what was portrayed on television. Furthermore, their homecoming stories most accurately reveal how the American public has cruelly mistreated the Vietnam veteran.” [Erin McLaughlin]

 

Myth: The media have reported that suicides among Vietnam veterans range from 50,000 to 100,000 – 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population.

Mortality studies show that 9,000 is a better estimate. “The CDC Vietnam Experience Study Mortality Assessment showed that during the first 5 years after discharge, deaths from suicide were 1.7 times more likely among Vietnam veterans than non-Vietnam veterans. After that initial post-service period, Vietnam veterans were no more likely to die from suicide than non-Vietnam veterans.” [Houk]

 

PERSONAL COMMENT: 

The research numbers on this topic did not agree with earlier research. Various Veteran Healthcare Hospitals, academics, and the DOD participated in the completion of the studies. The numbers are sometimes 100% out of phase with reality. The standard for this research was supposed to be that conducted by the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS) that ordered by congress in 1983.

 

As a matter of full disclosure, I have not conducted a comprehensive statistical study, and I can only offer an “opinion based on personal observation and a small statistical sample”.

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part III of VI

Vietnam warrior deals with stress of combat

When the warriors returned from Vietnam, PTSD did not exist as it is known today. This was because associated stereotypes such as shell shock, and other non-flattering names were seen as shame full by the warrior. The veteran typically buried the disturbing events deep into the recesses of their minds, but not deep enough that it did not peek its ugly head to disrupt their life. This included conflict within the family, depression, substance crutches, and the inability to deal with the persecution from the civilian population for serving in the Vietnam War.  The latter was a huge catalyst that exacerbated the gyrations of the mind when returning from a combat environment.

Today we are seeing PTSD from these Vietnam veterans that were quasi successful in dealing with the problem by way of avoidance through activity. Pouring themselves into work and other activities that kept their mind busy, and that successfully allowed them to have a normal life leaving most of their strife hidden while they remained active. Suddenly retirement is in effect, they physically have slowed down and those memories begin to emerge to their detriment. Typically the veteran does not recognize what is happening and it is usually their support mechanism that sees it first, if they have one, if not they have a higher rate statistically of detrimental problems that can lead to an ultimate disaster. [R. Jeffery Daley, PhD]

The Series:

  1. Part 1 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  2. Part 2 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  3. Part 3 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  4. Part 4 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  5. Part 5 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  6. Part 6 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part VI

Sources

 

Time Not Forgotten in The Valley of the Sun

Posted by on January 4, 2015 with 0 Comments

Time Not Forgotten in The Valley of the Sun

Time Not Forgotten in the valley of the sun

Zeus

A New Year has begun and I cannot help think about what happened to the old one. I could not help the nostalgia that crept into my thoughts that brought flashbacks of previous events of which there was many, some outstanding, and some not so outstanding. However, there was a standout, and it reappears often – Something very special.

We had a close, very close family friend that took flight and had to leave us. We remember the good times and fun times we had together. As a puppy he would lay in Jane’s lap with his feet in the air, getting a tummy rub, and he would grunt like a pig from shear enjoyment. We couldn’t help chuckle at how he delighted in his tummy rubs.

As he continued to mature, he took his position as caretaker of the family. The children were small then and he would spend hours watching them making sure they stayed out of harm’s way.

He swam with us and usually stayed close to the children who loved to grab him by the tail and let him pull them around the pool. To this day, I am not sure who enjoyed it more, the children, or Zeus, a German Shepherd, and family member.

WEB-Hikers-Zeus_02He loved his excursions with the Men’s Hiking Club that number from as little as four to over 20. He felt it was his duty to lead them safely down the chosen trails and if a new hiker was added he made sure they were given a greeting.

Zeus was snake trained and would often point out a rattlesnake that was by the trail but camouflaged to the human eye. There was different levels of athleticism in the group so Zeus would find himself negotiating narrow trails to get back to the slower hikers and encourage them to keep up with the group. The hikers enjoyed watching him perform so much that they sometimes lagged back a bit just so they could watch Zeus bring us altogether.

Time Not Forgotten in the valley of the sun

Angry Javelina is Dangerous

One evening I headed down our long driveway to place some mail in the box and was surprised to have a wild pig attack me from the common area. I readied myself to kick the Javelina in hopes it would back off but in the back of my mind I knew that would be a futile effort. The pig was about six feet from me when Zeus ran between us and jumped the pig. He rode his back all the way to the end of the driveway and I whistled for him to return. He immediately responded and I told him, “to heck with the mail, let’s get back inside the house,” and he happily complied walking close to my side and in the alert mode on our return.

Time Not Forgotten in the valley of the sun

Zeus Baby Sitting

He was special, but like all of us, the years take their toll. We did not want to see him leave but he finally told us it was time. We called our veterinarian and explained the situation.

She came to the house and it seemed clear that Zeus knew this would be his last few minutes with us. I laid on the floor and he placed his body tight against mine and stuck his nose on my shoulder next to my cheek.

As I stroke him, I felt him take his last breath on my cheek.

It was a typical day in Arizona with beautiful blue skies, sunny, and not a cloud in the sky. The brightness of this day was to become wet and cloudy as he completed his last mission.

Zeus is still missed, but I am sure he has many to care for until we meet again at our final Rally Point.

Article: Time Not Forgotten in the valley of the sun
By: R. Jeffery Daley, PhD

 

Winfield is located on the Carefree side of Scottsdale. Learn more about Winfield

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part II of VI

Posted by on January 3, 2015 with 5 Comments

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part II

Vietnam War–Its History and Statistics Part II of IV

Operation Harvest Moon

Marines under fire attack Viet Cong positions during Operation Harvest Moon. December 1965. Aggressive American tactics such as this kept the enemy off balance and forced the Viet Cong onto the defensive. The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) was soon to respond.

 Myth: A disproportionate number of blacks were killed in the Vietnam War.

  • 86% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasians, 12.5% were black, 1.2% were other races. (CACF and Westmoreland)

Sociologists Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler, in their recently published book “All That We Can Be,” said they analyzed the claim that, ‘blacks were used like cannon fodder during Vietnam”, and can report definitely that this charge is untrue. Black fatalities amounted to 12 percent of all Americans killed in Southeast Asia – A figure proportional to the number of blacks in the U.S. population at the time and slightly lower than the proportion of blacks in the Army at the close of the war.”

Myth: The war was fought largely by the poor and uneducated.

  • Service men who went to Vietnam from well-to-do areas had a slightly elevated risk of dying because they were more likely to be pilots or infantry officers.
  • Vietnam Veterans were the best educated forces our nation had ever sent into combat. 79% had a high school education or better. [McCaffrey]
Vietnam War History and Statistics – Part II of VI

Vietnam War Statistics

Here are statistics from the Combat Area Casualty File (CACF) as of November 1993.

The CACF is the basis for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall):

Average age of 58,148 killed in Vietnam was 23.11 years. (Although 58,169 names are in the Nov. 93 database, only 58,148 have both event date and birth date. Event date is used instead of declared dead date for some of those who were listed as missing in action) [CACF]

 

Vietnam Death Stats Vietnam War History and Statistics

  • The youngest man killed in Vietnam was 16 years old (RABER, PAUL J.)  [CACF]
  • The oldest man killed was 62 years old (TAYLOR, KENNA CLYDE). [CACF]
  • 11,465 KIA’s were less than 20 years old. [CACF]

Myth: The average age of an infantryman fighting in Vietnam was 19. Assuming KIA’s accurately represented age groups serving in Vietnam, the average age of an infantryman (MOS 11B) serving in Vietnam to be 19 years old is a myth, it is actually 22. None of the enlisted grades have an average age of less than 20. [CACF] The average man who fought in World War II was 26 years of age. [Westmoreland]

It has not gone without notice that in the movie’s, and on television that the Vietnam veteran is not portrayed as a brave soldier; rather, he is a violent psychopath who continuously experiences flashbacks of the war. Many Vietnam veterans feel that uncensored and overly negative television coverage helped turn the American public against the war and against the veterans themselves.

In Part III – We’ll look at how the war was covered by the media, and how it affected the image of the Vietnam veteran?

The Series:

  1. Part 1 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  2. Part 2 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  3. Part 3 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  4. Part 4 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  5. Part 5 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  6. Part 6 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part VI

Sources

 

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part I of IV

Posted by on January 3, 2015 with 5 Comments

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part I of IV
Part 1 of 6 in a Series of the Vietnam War History


Vietnam War – Its History and Statistics Part IThe Vietnam War has been the subject of thousands of newspaper and magazine articles, hundreds of books, and scores of movies and television documentaries. The great majority of these efforts have erroneously portrayed many myths about the Vietnam War as being facts. [Nixon]

“No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now. Rarely have so many people been so wrong about so much. Never have the consequences of their misunderstanding been so tragic.” [Nixon]

Myth: Most American soldiers were addicted to drugs, guilt-ridden about their role in the war, and deliberately used cruel and inhumane tactics.

The facts are:

  • 91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served [Westmoreland]
  • 74% said they would serve again even knowing the outcome [Westmoreland]

There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and nonveterans of the same age group (from a Veterans Administration study) [Westmoreland]

Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part I of IV

North Vietnamese Army (NVA)

Isolated atrocities committed by American soldiers produced torrents of outrage from antiwar critics and the news media while Communist atrocities were so common that they received hardly any attention at all. The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on civilians while North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece of its strategy. Americans who deliberately killed civilians received prison sentences while Communists who did so received commendations.

From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725 South Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on leaders at the village level and on anyone who improved the lives of the peasants such as medical personnel, social workers, and schoolteachers. [Nixon] Atrocities – every war has atrocities. War is brutal and not fair. Innocent people get killed.

  • Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison – only 1/2 of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes. [Westmoreland]
  • 97% were discharged under honorable conditions; the same percentage of honorable discharges as ten years prior to Vietnam [Westmoreland]
  • 85% of Vietnam Veterans made a successful transition to civilian life. [McCaffrey]
  • Vietnam veterans’ personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent. [McCaffrey]
  • Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than our non-vet age group. [McCaffrey]
  • 87% of the American people hold Vietnam Vets in high esteem. [McCaffrey]


Myth: Most Vietnam veterans were drafted.

2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. [Westmoreland] Approximately 70% of those killed were volunteers. [McCaffrey]  Many men volunteered for the draft so even some of the draftees were actually volunteers.

 

What are some of the myths and facts concerning black veterans, the poor, uneducated, KIA’s, WIA’s, MIA’s statistics on the Vietnam War?

The Series:

  1. Part 1 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  2. Part 2 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  3. Part 3 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  4. Part 4 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  5. Part 5 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics
  6. Part 6 – Vietnam War Its History Its Statistics Part VI

Sources

 

Getting Mortgages for Properties in Flood Zones

Posted by on December 12, 2014 with 0 Comments

Properties in Flood Zones

Getting mortgages for properties in flood zones can be frustrating. Buying a house that’s located in a flood zone won’t affect your mortgage eligibility, but indirectly it is going to make the purchase more costly. If your new home is in a flood zone, your lender is likely going to require that you buy flood insurance, with an average annual premium cost of around $650, according to the National Flood Insurance Program.

Where are the Major Flood Risk Areas?

Some areas of the country are naturally higher-risk than others, and while some of these areas are obvious—like Manhattan, New Orleans, and southern Florida—there are many other locations where the risk isn’t immediately apparent. It’s also important to note that areas that are not currently at risk may become so over the next several decades, as a result of climate change that may alter weather patterns and sea levels in ways that increase flood risks. Several states, including Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Massachusetts, have communities that may be affected in this way in the future.

If you’re not sure whether you live in a flood risk area, there’s an easy way to find out. At the FEMA website, homeowners can access flood maps that show the level of flood risk in their location. Currently, there are over 20,000 communities that are designated by FEMA as “flood zones.” Homeowners in these communities are eligible for the National Flood Insurance Program.

Properties in Flood Zones

Getting Mortgages for Properties in Flood Zones

Why Some Mortgage Lenders Require Flood Insurance

When you get a mortgage, you’re taking out a loan that uses your newly-purchased home as collateral. Mortgage lenders naturally require that your collateral be insured, because they have a significant financial interest in it—especially at the beginning of the loan term, when the lender usually has a larger financial interest in the property than the owner does.

If you live in a high-risk flood zone, you are almost always required to purchase separate flood insurance that covers the property for the entire lifetime of the mortgage. A standard homeowner’s policy doesn’t cover flood damage, because flooding isn’t a significant risk in all parts of the country, so there’s no need for it to be part of a standard policy. Note that flood damage is by definition different from water damage—a house can incur water damage in the absence of a flood, because water damage can be caused by events unrelated to flooding. For example, water damage that results from a leaking tap doesn’t count as flood damage and isn’t covered by the NFIP.

When does Your Mortgage Require Flood Insurance?

In the case of federally regulated or insured lenders, flood insurance is mandatory for homeowners in high-risk areas. These federal-associated lenders include institutions like Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation), the Federal Housing Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. So, if you are applying for a mortgage from one of these federally regulated lenders, and the property is in a high-risk flood zone, then you are required to have separate flood insurance in order to qualify for the mortgage.

Not all lenders require that new homeowners purchase separate flood insurance. For lenders that are not federally-regulated or insured, there’s no mandate that stipulates they must require flood insurance. In these cases it’s up to the lender’s discretion, and therefore up to the home-buyer to find out from potential mortgage lenders whether the insurance is necessary.

It’s important to note, however, that properties in low-risk and moderate-risk areas are not immune to flooding and flood damage. According to the NFIP, nearly one-quarter of its claims come from homeowners who live outside high-risk flood areas. Because of this, the NFIP recommends flood insurance to all homeowners, and many lenders require homeowners purchase flood insurance even when the property is not in a high-risk area.

Paying for Flood Insurance Is Required at Closing

If your flood insurance is legally mandated—that is, if you’re in a high-risk zone and your mortgage comes from a federal-associated lender—then you’ll probably be required to make a certain number of premium payments up front. When this is the case, those payments must usually be made at or before closing time, and an entire year’s worth must be paid at this time.

The upside is, that providing the first year’s worth of payments are made at or before closing, the standard 30-day wait for the policy to come into effect doesn’t apply. If the premium is paid at or before closing, the flood insurance is in effect immediately at the time of closing.

Summary

  • Homeowners in eligible areas can purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program
  • If your mortgage lender is federally-regulated or insured, you must buy flood insurance if your property is in a high-risk flood zone
  • If your lender isn’t federally-associated, or you’re not in a high-risk zone, you may not be required to buy flood insurance
  • The NFIP strongly recommends homeowners buy flood insurance even if they’re not in high-risk zones, because flood damage occurs even in low and moderate-risk zones
  • In most cases a homeowner is required to pay the first year’s worth of premium payments at closing

 

Article: Getting Mortgages for properties in flood zones

Author/Contributor: Trey Conwey can be contacted at Mortgage Calculator

To-Dos For Your November Home Checklist |Scottsdale Real Estate

Posted by on November 7, 2014 with 0 Comments
To-Dos for Your November Home Checklist

To-Dos For Your November Home Checklist

To-Dos For Your November Home Checklist | Scottsdale Real Estate

The weather may be turning chillier and the leaves disappearing, but with Thanksgiving and the winter holidays approaching, you’re likely to have a bustle of activity indoors. Get ahead of things this November by checking these 12 items off your to-do list, and rest easy in a cleaner, cozier home.

1. Decorate for the season naturally. You don’t need to spend much (if anything) to bring a seasonal touch to your home. Hang a wreathon the door, and collect acorns and pinecones from outdoors to make a simple centerpiece that will last indefinitely. Bowls of apples, pomegranates and nuts in the shell make for easy (and edible) table decor.

2. Make a donation to your local food pantry.  Getting Thanksgiving meal essentials to families in need can make a big impact at this time of year. Check with your local food pantry before you go shopping to see what it is most in need of — it can be hard to keep fresh items that families need, like milk, in stock, so see which fresh items are needed. Of course, food pantries need support throughout the year, so consider making donating a monthly to-do.

3. Schedule a pre-holiday carpet cleaning. Whether you rent a carpet cleaning machine or hire pros, getting rugs freshened up before holiday gatherings will help your home look its best. If you hire a carpet cleaner, consider having your upholstery done, too.

4. Set up a humidifier— and keep it clean. When you’re running the heater a lot, the air can get very dry. Using a humidifier puts moisture back into the air, which can help your space feel warmer and more comfortable. But be vigilant about keeping the humidifier clean — it can easily become mildewed, which can be harmful, especially for allergy sufferers.

5. Check the sump pump. If you have a sump pump to protect your basement in case of flooding, be sure to check it and make sure it is working properly before the November rains take their toll.

6. Deep clean the kitchen. Cleaning everything thoroughly now will give you a chance to take stock of what’s in those cupboards and pantry before any major holiday cooking happens.

Clear expired food out of the pantry, fridge and freezer; clean appliances; and clean dust and grime from the light fixtures and range hood.

7. Organize closets. With bulky fall and winter clothes taking up more space, it’s natural for closets to get overstuffed at this time of year.

Take a day to clear through some of the clutter, and donate a bag of clothes to charity. Make sure there is nothing on the closet floors — use shelves, bins and hooks to store things and prevent future pileups.

8. Order holiday cards and update your contact list. Planning to send out holiday cards? Make it as stress free as possible by ordering early and gathering everything you’ll need in one place.

Take a half hour to make a list of people you want to send cards to, and check that you have the most current contact information.

9. Check walkways, railings and stairs for winter safety. Clear away gardening supplies and anything else that’s in the way on walking paths. Check that railings and stairs are in good repair.

10. Keep furry friends safe. Keep pets safe by storing antifreeze and other harmful chemicals securely. And with shorter days and longer nights, winter is a more dangerous time for pets to be outdoors. Get a reflective collar for your dog, especially if he or she tends to escape or you live near a busy street, and consider keeping indoor-outdoor cats inside for winter.

11. Have trees trimmed. Trees are dormant at this time of year, which makes it a good time to have the trees on your property professionally trimmed. Trimming trees helps prevent unstable limbs from falling and causing damage during winter storms.

12. Clear rain gutters and downspouts one last time. If more leaves have fallen since the last time your gutters were cleaned, be sure to have them cleared out one last time before winter. Leaves left clogging gutters and downspouts can cause water and ice to pool, potentially causing damage to your siding or even leaks.

Brought to you by The Luxury Valley Homes Team at 480-595-6412  | Scottsdale Real Estate 

Twelve Cleaning Projects That Go a Little Deeper, Naturally | Scottsdale Real Estate

Posted by on October 22, 2014 with 0 Comments
Twelve Cleaning Projects That Go a Little Deeper, Naturally | Scottsdale Real Estate

Twelve Cleaning Projects That Go a Little Deeper, Naturally | Scottsdale Real Estate

Twelve  Cleaning Projects That Go a Little Deeper, Naturally | Scottsdale Real Estate

Most of us keep up with everyday cleaning — dusting and vacuuming, wiping kitchen counters, scrubbing the bath. But what about those cleaning jobs that are a step beyond the regular routine? You don’t have to wait for spring to get them done. Fall, when we spend more time indoors and prepare for the holidays, is ideal too.

Here are 12 cleaning projects that will freshen up your home in any season. Many don’t take much time, and no toxic chemicals or smelly bleach is needed.

1. Detox your oven. Some oven cleaners can be highly toxic. But bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, can tackle any burned-on grime. Simple scrape off as much of the grime as you can, then mix plenty of baking soda with a little water to make a thick paste. Spread it all over the sides and bottom of the oven (make sure the oven is cold) and leave it overnight. The next day wipe it down with hot water. If necessary, repeat the process.

2. Clean and deodorize your microwave. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix 4 ounces of water with 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Place the mixture in the microwave and heat on high for two minutes. Remove the bowl and simply wipe the moistened interior surfaces of the microwave clean.

 3. Descale your kettle. To remove the scale from your electric kettle, empty it and pour white vinegar over the element. Leave for one hour before rinsing it with cold water. Pour fresh water into the kettle to cover the element. Boil it, then throw this water away. Done!

 4. Replace bed pillows. Can you recall the last time you bought a new pillow? If not, it’s time for a change. While you’re busy stripping the bed of those thick wool and electric blankets, think about swapping out those pillows, too. Look for pillows that contain natural materials, such as down, wool, organic cotton and natural latex.

5. Freshen clothes with lavender. Lavender has long been considered an ancient symbol of love and cleanliness, so why not use it to freshen the clothes hanging your wardrobe? Feng shui experts also sometimes burn lavender sticks to shift negative, stagnant energy in a home and create a feeling of space.

6. Clean your bathroom tile. Scrub the grout between floor and wall tiles with a mixture of baking soda and water on an old toothbrush. Work the baking soda paste into the grout, then rinse off with clean water.

 7. Opt for a natural drain cleaner. Clean drainage holes by rubbing them with a cut lemon. And instead of resorting to bleach, flush boiling water and a handful of salt down any blocked or unpleasant-smelling drains.

8. Clean your office keyboard. The keyboard is a vital part of your computer, but it’s notorious as a breeding ground for bacteria. Before you start cleaning and disinfecting your keyboard, ensure that everything is switched off. Next, dust it with a soft brush before wiping it gently with a clean, slightly damp cloth.

Tip: Spray the cloth with a mixture of ¼ teaspoon eucalyptus oil and ½ cup water. It’ll do the trick.

9. Wipe door handles. Think of how many times door handles are used every day and how many germs might be lingering there. A simple way to clean and disinfect them at the same time is with a cloth dampened with a little eucalyptus oil.

10. Give your phone a good cleaning. You can also clean and disinfect your phone by wiping it with a clean cloth that has a few drops of eucalyptus oil on it. It will leave it smelling good, too. While you’re on a cleaning streak, use the same solution to give all the light switches in your house a good wiping.

11. Go heavy duty on the windows. Chemical window cleaners can be expensive and leave a strong odor and streaks. Try making your own cleaner — one that’s cheaper, smells great and is more environmentally friendly.

Here’s how: Combine 10 ounces distilled water, 5 ounces white vinegar and five drops each lemon and lavender essential oils. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake well. Spray it onto the glass, then wipe it off with a clean cloth.

Tip: Try washing your windows on a cloudy day and not in direct sunlight — streaks are caused by the cleaning solution’s drying too quickly.

12. Scrub the swimming pool. It’s easy to clean swimming pool tiles — simply place a little baking soda on a soft cloth and scrub, scrub, scrub.

Brought to you by the Luxury Valley Homes Team at 480-595-6412 | Scottsdale Real Estate

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