Marine Veterans Remember Final Hours Of Vietnam War

It’s been four decades since Marine veterans John J. Valdez and Douglas Potratz were side-by-side in Vietnam. Both were stationed as security guards at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, where they helped evacuate more than 7,000 people during the final 31 hours of the war.

The two men recently reunited at Valdez’s Oceanside home to reminisce about their time in Vietnam and make plans to return ...

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Midday Edition From The Midway: Special Coverage To Mark End Of Vietnam War

Midday Edition is taking its Friday show to the USS Midway Museum in downtown San Diego. The show starts at noon and is part of KPBS’ special coverage of the fall of Saigon, an event that marked the end of the Vietnam War on April 30, 1975.

In the final hours of the war, a helicopter airlift brought thousands of Americans and South Vietnamese from Saigon to safety aboard the ...

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USS Midway Museum Teaches Lessons Of Vietnam War

The USS Midway aircraft carrier served for an unprecedented 47 years, becoming the longest-serving Navy carrier in the 20th Century. The Midway was decommissioned in 1992 and became a museum on the San Diego Bay in 2004.

As part of the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and Operation Frequent Wind, the Midway is commemorating its role in the evacuation of 3,000 American and Vietnamese on April 29 ...

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Midway Air Boss Recounts Rescue Of Thousands As Saigon Fell

The USS Midway played a major role in rescuing 3,073 refugees in 30 hours when Saigon fell on April 29 and April 30, 1975.

The coordinated military rescue called Operation Frequent Wind began when the signal song “White Christmas” was broadcast over American Armed Forces Radio.

That day, the Midway's air boss, Vernon Jumper, was in charge of every plane and helicopter landing onto a patch of the ...

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Traveling Vietnam War Memorial Replica Helps Veterans, Families Heal

The first day Patty Lee returned to school in 1967 after her father was killed during the Vietnam War, a classmate approached her with a message.

“My parents said your dad deserved to die,” the classmate told 12-year-old Lee.

Now a 60-year-old grandmother, Lee said that experience taught her to stay silent about her father’s service in one of America’s most unpopular wars.

“From that I learned when ...

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Vietnam War Ended 40 Years Ago But Lives On For MIA Families

It has been more than four decades since Elaine Zimmer Davis got the knock on her door that no Marine wife wants to hear.

“And I didn’t want to open it because I knew, I knew what was coming,” she said.

Her husband’s F4 Phantom plane had been shot down over a remote mountainside in Vietnam on Aug. 29, 1969. Witnesses described a fiery crash. Capt. Jerry Zimmer ...

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National Guard Seeks New Mission After War

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base." This is the first of four reports this week about the National Guard.

The Army spent billions of dollars getting the National Guard ready for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But now that the money has been spent and troops ...

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USS Carl Vinson Begins Journey Home To San Diego

The San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its escort ships have left the waters around the Middle East to begin the long voyage home from deployment, the Navy announced Friday.

The Vinson, guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill, and guided-missile destroyers USS Gridley, USS Sterett and USS Dewey have been gone for nearly eight months.

Carrier Air Wing 17 has been conducting strikes on targets of the self-proclaimed Islamic ...

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USS Gary Returns To San Diego From Final Voyage

The guided-missile frigate USS Gary returned home to San Diego Friday following a nearly seven-month deployment to Central America.

The voyage was the final one for the Gary, which will be decommissioned, and the last one for a frigate on the West Coast. The Navy is phasing out the type of ship in favor of the new littoral combat ships — vessels designed for fighting in coastal waters.

The crew members ...

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Coast Guard, Fed Operation Results In Massive Cocaine Seizure

Federal officials have seized more than 56,000 pounds of cocaine in only six months into the new year.

The U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and federal law enforcement agencies seized the cocaine in a record-breaking operation. The coalition seized 53,000 pounds of cocaine in 2014.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said big busts like these have a huge impact on the international war on drugs.

“The seizures of ...

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2 Army Reservists Plead Not Guilty To Selling Firearms To Undercover DEA Agent

Two U.S. Army reservists assigned to an East County National Guard Armory pleaded not guilty Thursday to selling firearms, ammunition and body armor to an undercover DEA agent posing as a drug cartel member.

Jaime Casillas, 22, of El Cajon and Andrew Reyes, 34, of La Mesa were ordered held without bail pending a detention hearing Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell Dembin.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew ...

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Marine Corps Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing In Solana Beach

A fluid leak forced the crew of a military helicopter on a routine training flight out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar today to make a safe precautionary landing at Del Mar Shores Beach.

An instrument indicating low oil pressure aboard the CH-53E Super Stallion prompted the pilots to set the aircraft down at the waterfront park off South Sierra Avenue in the far southern reaches of Solana Beach about ...

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Another Guilty Plea In Navy Bribery Case Involving 'Fat Leonard'

A U.S. Navy officer went before a federal judge Wednesday and admitted that he accepted cash, hotel expenses and the services of a prostitute in exchange for providing classified U.S. Navy ship schedules and other internal Navy information to an executive of a defense contracting firm.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Todd Dale Malaki, 44, will be formally sentenced July 6 in San Diego. He pleaded guilty to one count ...

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San Diego-Based Troops Return From Middle East

San Diego-based Marines and sailors with the newly formed Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Central Command are scheduled to return to Camp Pendleton on Thursday after a seven-month deployment to the Middle East.

The unit, made up of up of 2,300 combat infantry Marines, logistic forces and aviation assets from Camp Pendleton, Miramar and Twentynine Palms, was heavily involved in Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition campaign focused on ...

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San Diego-Based USS Carl Vinson Prepares To Sail Home

The San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson Monday turned over command of operations in the Arabian Gulf to another flattop, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, and is preparing to sail home.

"There is still much to be done, but it will be nice to have the compass rose point in one direction for miles at a time," after months of traversing the narrow gulf, Capt. Karl Thomas said in a ...

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Special Operations Marine To Receive Navy Cross At Camp Pendleton

A special operations Marine will receive the Marine Corps' second-highest combat medal during a ceremony Thursday at Camp Pendleton.

Gunnery Sgt. Brian Jacklin, 32, of the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion will receive the Navy Cross for his heroic actions carried out on June 14, 2012, in Afghanistan.

Jacklin, a Los Angeles native, and his team were conducting village stability operations in the volatile Upper Gereshk Valley of Helmand Province ...

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Building Civilian Career Is Challenge For National Guard Members

Building a career is no easy task for those in the National Guard who have to balance their commitment to be available for military training with a civilian job.

The National Guard can be mobilized at any moment in a crisis, but its members have to support themselves by working in the civilian workforce. While many veterans find it challenging to transition from military to civilian life, those in the ...

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US Special Ops Forces Skeptical Women Can Do Their Job

Surveys find that men in U.S. special operations forces do not believe women can meet the physical and mental demands of their commando jobs, and they fear the Pentagon will lower standards to integrate women into their elite units, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Studies that surveyed personnel found "major misconceptions" within special operations about whether women should be brought into the male-only jobs ...

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Marine Corps Recruit Depot Sports Facility To Be Named After Jerry Coleman

A sports facility at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego Friday will be named after Marine aviator, New York Yankees second baseman and longtime Padres announcer Jerry Coleman.

Murals, photos and a painting of Coleman, who died at 89 last year, will be unveiled, according to base officials. Coleman flew more than 120 combat missions in World War II and the Korean War, earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses ...

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Navy Decommissions USS Peleliu In San Diego Ceremony

The Navy Tuesday decommissioned the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu — known as the "Iron Nickel" — in a ceremony at Naval Base San Diego.

The 820-foot-long vessel, which called San Diego and Long Beach home during its nearly 35 years of service, deployed 17 times and steamed more than 1 million nautical miles, according to the Navy. Its final deployment ended last Christmas Eve when it pulled into San Diego Bay ...

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