The Vietnam War

Photo Courtesy of  Mr. Raymond Ganas

 

I interviewed MSGT. Raymond M Ganas.  When I went to the Air National Guard to talk with Jody Crooms he pointed me in the right direction suggesting I interview Mr. Ganas.  He quickly agreed to the idea of helping me with my junior project.  He was one of only 2 men in the unit who were involved in Vietnam.  I also talked with Gary Drury, a good friend of my dads, who was also involved in the Vietnam War.

The Americans didn’t get involved the war in Vietnam until 1965 and pulled out in 1973, however the war had been going on since 1945.  The purpose of the war was to stop the spread of communism in Asia, after communist Chinese forces won the civil war in China.  Fearing that it may eventually spread the United States sent troops to help aid France.  In general the nation was not for the war.  No one really agreed with it and didn’t think we should be there sacrificing our soldiers.

 

 

MSGT. Ganas was in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968.  He was a crew chief, in charge of keeping the planes in the air.  He did work on them, and did observing.  He flew all over the northern part of Vietnam, around Chulai and Cambodia, in that area.  He also had to go up and do test flights, where he felt quite comfortable considering he had been flying ever since he was ten years old.  This was nothing new to him.

 

Mr. Ganas was not for the war in Vietnam.  AIt was more of a conflict than a war and we shouldn’t have been there,@ said Mr. Ganas.  AThey wouldn’t let us do what we should have done. During the day if we were fired upon by the enemy we couldn’t fire back.  If someone was shooting at you, you should be able to fire back at them.”

 

He and Mr. Drury recalled being referred to as Ababy killers@ when they got back, only because a few people did that all Veterans were given a bad name.  They were looked down upon and spit on in airports.  They certainly didn’t receive proper credit and weren’t treated with respect at all.  It wasn=t there call to go to war, but they had to do it, that=s their job, and I appreciate them for everything they did.  The guys who were involved didn’t receive the proper counseling when they got back.  “It really changed the young guys around 18 and 19 who were sent off and taught to kill at such an early age, and when they returned, they were expected to be able to fit right back in with society and live a normal life.  Some were stronger than others, but it changed everyone”, said Mr. Drury.

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Mr. Raymond Ganas

Photo Courtesy of Mr. Raymond Ganas

Both of them told me about how they enlisted instead of waiting to get drafted.  That way they got to choose what they wanted to do instead of it being chosen for them.  Chances are if you were drafted you would be put on the ground with a rifle in the midst of the mayhem, instead of getting to do what you wanted to.

 

Mr. Ganas got out of in 1971 and stayed out for several years before coming to the guard where he currently is.  His advice to me was if there ever was a draft to go ahead and enlist in the guard, that way I could do what I wanted to do, instead of them choosing for me.  That’s the easiest thing to do.

 

The interview was actually quite easy and everyone was friendly and willing to help out.  They were easy to talk to too.  I learned a lot from my trip there.  Jody Crooms showed me around and gave me a tour of the place.  I learned about some of the different things they did there and how some of the stuff worked.

 

I’d rate this interview as positive, because I learned about the soldier’s point of view and how they felt about the war.  I got to hear about what went on over there and listen to them tell the story, instead of reading about it.  They both made it interesting and made me want to learn more.

 

Here are several good sites to visit for more information on this topic

A Brief History And Timeline

 

Pictures of the Vietnam War

 

The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall Page

 

Brunswick High School Home Page