What happens when a unit of Marines throws a wild party in an L.A. County barrio?

After returning from the Vietnam War in December 1966, I went home on leave for 30 days to my parents’ house in Southern California in the San Gabriel Valley south of Los Angeles, and then reported to my next duty station, the 4th Marine Division at Camp Pendleton. If you know anything about the 4th Marine Division, you might be thinking that couldn’t be right, because the 4th Marine Division was a reserve unit in the 1960’s.

If that’s what you thought, you’d be right, because the 4th Marine Division has been a reserve division since February 1966 to the present, but in 1966, the headquarters battalion was stationed at Camp Pendleton, not New Orleans, Louisiana where it is located today, and it was staffed by active duty Marines who were all Vietnam combat vets. Our mission was to train and support the reserves and to be ready if the division was activated.

In World War II, the 4th Marine Division saw action in Kwajalein, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima.  It served again in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and that probably explains why the division headquarters battalion moved to New Orleans to be closer to the east coast and the wars in the Middle East.

That’s enough history.

Back in 1967, a few months after returning from combat in Vietnam, I asked my brother if my unit could borrow his house in San Dimas near Los Angeles for a party, and he said yes. His wife volunteered to invite all of her single girlfriends and any single girls they knew.

A few weeks later on a Saturday morning, we drove in a caravan of cars more than 90 miles to San Dimas where we filled the entire block on both sides of the street with our parked cars.

We also brought trays of food from our unit’s mess hall because all of the enlisted men were invited, all ranks, but no officers. The previous weekend, I’d driven to Mexico with money collected from everyone in the unit to buy enough booze to fill the trunk of my car. While crossing the border on our way back, the booze was confiscated and my car was impounded. It was 2 a.m., and I made one phone call to the duty sergeant, who woke everyone up and collected enough money to get my car out of impound and replace the booze we’d lost but from a liquor store in the U.S.

My brother worked the graveyard shift so he wasn’t there for most of the party, and to make room for all the Marines and women my sister-in-law had invited, we moved all of the furniture out of the house to the garage and changed all of the light bulbs in the house and on the front porch to red ones.

The party launched about 9 p.m. and roared through the night with loud music, dancing, food, drinking and other activates that will go unmentioned here. Use your imagination. What happens when you mix dozens of Marines, booze and broads, who are all in a party mood?

About one a.m. I was sitting on the curb with two other Marines sharing a fifth of Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey, and we weren’t feeling any pain when a car rolled to a stop in front of us.  There were several other cars, bumper to bumper, behind it. All of the cars were lowriders with hydraulics that lowered the chassis to the ground, and they had expensive paint jobs. Each car was crowded with tattoo laden gang bangers looking tough with their dark glasses on.

The window was down and the passenger in the front seat, who was wearing a white T-shirt with a red bandana tied around his forehead, said, “We come to party.”

I smiled. “This is a private party, and you and your friends weren’t invited, and I think you should stop and think about who’s in that house. Look at the rear bumpers of all the cars parked on both sides of this street before you do anything.”

The fancy lowrider in front of me had a spot light on the driver’s side in front of the rearview mirror. The spot came on and the beam sliced through the dark and settled on the bumper decal of the nearest parked car that revealed it was a parking permit for Camp Pendleton and belonged to a Marine. The car pulled up and the spotlight moved to the next car’s rear bumper and then the next one and the next.

A few other Marines had come out of the house. One had a cast on his right arm and he held an empty vodka bottle in his left hand. It was obvious he was tanked when his glazed, glassy eyes glanced left and then right as he counted the cars filled with obvious gangbangers. He smiled and broke the end of the empty bottle against a tree leaving a jagged glass weapon in his hand.

The lead car drove away and the rest of the gang followed. They never returned.

The loud music continued along with the dancing and some hot sweaty romance when some of the girls coupled up with a few of the Marines.

At 2 a.m. I was still sitting on the curb with a few other Marines nursing another bottle of Jack when a sheriffs black-and-white squad car turned the same corner with its spot light on inspecting the rear bumpers on all the parked cars. It moved slowly down the street, did a U-turn at the stop sign and came back inspecting all the rear bumpers on the other side.  We watched the squad car stop at the opposite stop sign and idle. We heard one of the two officers on his mike calling their dispatcher, but we didn’t hear what he was saying.

With the call finished, the squad car made another U-turn and came to a stop in front of me. The two officers were not wearing dark glasses and the uniformed sheriff in the passenger seat asked, “Our shift ends at three and the entire squad wants to join your party. Is that okay?”

I shrugged. “It’s okay with me.” I looked at the Marine on my right, and then on my left. Without saying a word, they both nodded.

“We’d appreciate it if you turned the music down about halfway,” the officer said. “We had several complaints called in.”

By 3:30, more than a dozen off duty sheriffs in their civilian clothes joined the party that didn’t end until dawn. By noon, the house had been cleaned, the furniture returned and we were on our way back to base.

Two marriages resulted from that party and one of the girls was pregnant when she said yes to her Marine boyfriend that she’d met there. My brother came home from work about the time the sheriffs arrived, and a few minutes later he threw one of the Marines through a closed window, breaking the glass, when he discovered him in the back bedroom breaking the rules we’d agreed to before he’d said yes to the party.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His second novel is the award winning love story and suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he didn’t do while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

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The Politics of Deceit

Every Thursday afternoon I drive to a local VA medical clinic and join a veteran writers group. One of the regular members, who never served in combat, seems obsessed with the glory of war. He can’t seem to hear enough stories from us combat vets. To listen to him, it seems that he sees war as wonderful and proof that the United States is defending and supporting democracy and freedom everywhere in the world.

Most combat vets don’t think the same. In fact, I haven’t known a combat vet yet who doesn’t question everything an elected representative or corporate CEO claims on almost any topic that leads to more profits or power for a member of the 0.1%. For some reason, being shot at by bullets, mortar rounds and rockets—not counting the threat of stepping on a land mine and getting your legs blown off—creates skeptics of most combat vets who saw action.

Now I have read for the first time in Newsweek [RECOMMENDED READING] that the POW-MIA flag was another propaganda campaign backed by President Richard Nixon to fool the American people and demonize the enemy and create justification for the Vietnam War and his illegal bombings of Cambodia and Laos that he kept secret from the U.S. Congress (National Geographic Magazine). The POW-MIA flag was originally created to embarrass President Lyndon Johnson as a way to end the war instead of turning the Communists in North Vietnam and their South Vietnamese Allies into monsters who—it turns out—in reality didn’t hold a candle to the monsters the United States and its dictator in South Vietnam were.

If the United States is a great country that supports democracy and freedom throughout the world, why have there been so many repeated lies to start wars?

It’s obvious that the Vietnamese, who fought the United States, were not doing anything different than the Vietnamese have done before when they fought for 1,000 years to be free of China’s occupation starting in 111 BC and continuing to 938 AD.

The Vietnamese also fought French occupation for decades—French Indochina was formed in October 1887. After Gia Định fell to French troops in 1859, many resistance movements broke out in occupied areas. In the north, most movements were led by former court officers and lasted decades, with Phan Đình Phùng fighting in central Vietnam until 1895. In the northern mountains, former bandit leader Hoàng Hoa Thám fought until 1911. Even the teenage Nguyễn Emperor Hàm Nghi left the Imperial Palace of Huế in 1885 with regent Tôn Thất Thuyết and started the Cần Vương (“Save the King”) movement, trying to rally the people to resist the French. He was captured in 1888 and exiled to French Algeria. By 1900 a new generation of Vietnamese were coming of age who had never lived in precolonial Vietnam. These young activists were as eager as their grandparents to see independence restored.

Then beginning in 1950, American military advisors arrived in what was then French Indochina. U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s and escalated dramatically after the so-called Gulf of Tonkin incident that resulted in Congress giving the U.S. president authorization to increase U.S. military presence.

I arrived in Chu Lai, Vietnam in 1965 with the 1st Marine Division’s 1st Tank Battalion. At the time we didn’t know that the Tonkin Gulf incident was exaggerated and based on a lie. The original American report blamed North Vietnam for both incidents, but eventually became very controversial with widespread claims that either one or both incidents were false, and possibly purposefully so. While four North Vietnamese sailors were claimed to have been killed and six more wounded, there were no U.S. casualties.

In 1995, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara met with former Vietnam People’s Army General Võ Nguyên Giáp to ask what happened on 4 August 1964 in the second Gulf of Tonkin Incident. “Absolutely nothing”, Giáp replied. Giáp claimed that the attack had been imaginary—manufactured by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s White House staff with his permission.

Then there is President G. W. Bush’s lies about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq causing Congress to once again authorize another war based on more exaggerations and lies.

If you have watched the videos and read this post, are you still a deaf, dumb and blind U.S. patriot totally obedient to the elected and corporate leaders of the United States?

I wonder if you also know that similar lies and propaganda have been used for decades in the United States to destroy the labor unions of middle class workers and also demonize public school teachers—all for profit and power.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His second novel is the award winning love story and suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he didn’t do while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

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Capturing the pulse of a nation at the end of an unjust war

While reading Last Plane Out of Saigon, an opinionated but accurate memoir by Richard Pena and John Hagan, I did a lot of reflection and here are some of my thoughts.

During a war, the U.S. government has the power to draft—against their will—recruits who might end up fighting in a just or unjust war. Then there are those Americans who join voluntarily to serve in the military. It’s been 49 years since I served as a volunteer in the U.S. Marine and fought in Vietnam, and for the last several decades, after a lot of research to understand what happened and why the U.S. started that war, I have concluded that the war in Vietnam was wrong and it was based on lies. I think the same about the Iraq War.

There is a big difference between volunteering versus being drafted and forced to serve, and two-thirds of the U.S. troops who served in Vietnam were volunteers and about 70% of those who were killed were also volunteers and 62% of the troops killed were age 21 or younger.

For me, a few weeks before I graduated from High school, I voluntarily surrendered the freedom most Americans take for granted and joined the U.S. Marines on a delayed deferment. In fact, once you join any of the branches of the U.S. military, you leave your free choice behind, and you don’t get it back until after you are honorably discharged. The military is another world with its own courts, hospitals and prisons, and the troops are trained to serve and obey without question. Disobey and a recruit might end up in prison or even executed for the crime of treason.

In the summer of 1965, I was in boot camp at MCRD in San Diego when we heard that the U.S. war in Vietnam was escalating and once we left boot camp every recruit was going to be on his way to fight. That scuttlebutt turned out to be true, and I arrived in Chu Lai, Vietnam, about 90 miles south of Da Nang on March 28, 1966.

About halfway through my combat tour, the first draftees started to arrive, and one was assigned to the communications platoon where I was a field radio operator. To me, and the other Marines in that platoon, it was considered wrong that anyone should be forced to serve in the U.S. Marines and fight in one of America’s wars, and we went out of our way to shelter that draftee.

In Richard Pena and John Hagan’s “Last Plane out of Saigon,” on page 100, Pena wrote something that I agree with: “I submit that the true American patriots are those who see the faults of our country and do not hide from them but instead attempt to rectify them.”

I didn’t always think that way. As a child, I grew up in a totally non-political family, and at the same time I was also being brainwashed by patriotic films disguised as adventures, thrillers and suspense out of Hollywood—for instance, most John Wayne movies. My parents never voted and the one time I asked my father why, he said all politicians were crooks, and it was a waste of time to vote because it wasn’t going to change anything. When I was in college on the GI Bill 1968 – 1973, I would become more aware and today I disagree with my father, because I think that when we don’t vote, the criminals in the White House and Congress get away with their crimes, but active, knowledgeable voters can change that.

To understand the dramatic attitude shift of the Vietnam War in the United States, in August 1965, when I reported to boot camp at MCRD, 62% of Americans agreed with the war. By the time I flew home from Vietnam near the end of December 1966, that number was down to about 52% and dropping. In 1968 when I was honorably discharged from active duty, support for the war was down to 37%, and by 1971, during my third year of college on the GI Bill, support was down to 28%.

“Last Plane Out of Saigon” is Richard Pena’s story, and it roughly captures the nation’s mood at the end of the war. Pena was drafted—forced to fight in a war that was clearly wrong. His book is a journal of what he felt, thought and did in Vietnam where he witnessed the horrors of war working in the operating room of Vietnam’s largest military hospital in Saigon.

I served in Vietnam in 1966 during the buildup. Soon after I left, U.S. troop strength reached about a half-million. But by the time Richard Pena arrived near the end of the war as a draftee in the fall of 1972, U.S. troop strength in Vietnam was down to about 100,000 and dropping.

I think many of American’s troops—both volunteers and draftees—served honorably for mostly honorable reasons, but many of the leaders of the United States who supported the war and sent the troops to fight justified their criminal actions based on lies and deceit.

That leads to a question I have no answer for. How does one serve honorably in a dishonorable war? As for the 5-stars I gave this book, how can I justify loving a book about a dishonorable war? I awarded the 5-stars based on the honesty of the book that revealed the reason why more than 70% of Americans were not allowing themselves to be fooled by the liars who started the war.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

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His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

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Comparing the results of 2 films may reveal a sad fact about the values of the average U.S. citizen

There are some films and documentaries that should be required viewing the same as taxes and death. The Hornet’s Nest is one of those films that should be viewed not once, but at least three times or more, but, sad to say, average American values are on display when we compare two films that came out on the same weekend.

The Hornet’s Nest, a film my wife and I recently watched at home on a DVD, is a documentary shot by two journalists, a father and son, Carlos and Mike Boettcher, who were embedded with front-line U.S. combat troops in one of the most dangerous combat zones in Afghanistan.

The Hornet’s Nest is not based on a true story—it is a true story.

“The Hornet’s Nest is a groundbreaking and immersive feature film (documentary), using unprecedented real footage to tell the story of an elite group of U.S. troops sent on a dangerous mission deep inside one of Afghanistan’s most hostile valleys. The film culminates with what was planned as a single day strike turning into nine intense days of harrowing combat against an invisible, hostile enemy in the country’s complex terrain where no foreign troops have ever dared to go before. … What resulted is an intensely raw feature film experience that will give audiences a deeply emotional and authentic view of the heroism at the center of this gripping story.”

Yet, this film was never released to theaters outside of the United States and earned a total lifetime gross of $312.7 thousand.  The same weekend that The Hornet’s Nest was released on May 9, 2014, Neighbors, a film I did NOT see and don’t plan to see, came out.

Neighbors grossed worldwide more than $268 million, and was released in 3,311-theaters compared to 57-theaters for The Hornet’s Nest.

I know that the corporate goal in the private sector is all about making profits almost any way possible, legally or illegally, but this is ridiculous—because if we lose the world-wide war against Islamic extremism, there may be no profits for corporate capitalists to earn, and consumers, those who are still alive and have converted to Islam to survive, may have few if any products to buy as they get out their prayer rugs at daybreak, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening and turn toward Mecca to pray to the Prophet Muhammad’s tomb. Oh, and the prayers must be said in Arabic, no matter what the native tongue is.

The United States has been fighting the war in Afghanistan since 2001, and the Iraq and Afghan wars against Islamic terrorism have cost $4 to $6 Trillion (so far), in addition to thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injured U.S. troops, and that isn’t counting the hundreds of thousands of deaths of civilians who lived in Iraq and Afghanistan and the millions who have fled to refugee camps to escape the horrors of war.

According to Hollywood Reporter, the average cost of a movie ticket is $7.96. That means 39,285 people may have seen The Hornet’s Nest documentary, compared to about 34-million viewers who watched Neighbors, a film about a couple with a newborn baby who end up having a loud, hard partying fraternity move in next door; a film with an R rating “for pervasive language, strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity and drug use throughout. “

Rotten Tomatoes listed six media critics who reviewed The Hornet’s Nest and those six gave the film a 100-percent rating. Variety critic, Joe Leydon said, “This gripping documentary about soldiers in harm’s way during America’s longest war seems all the more relevant as we begin the countdown to troop withdrawals from that war-torn land.”

How about Neighbors?

Rotten Tomatoes reported that 44-critics reviewed the film with an average rating of 73-percent. One of the top critics, Christy Lemure, said, “I have been both of the people at the center of the conflict in “Neighbors.” I have been the drunken sorority girl who doesn’t want the party to end and I have been the perplexed new mom who’s desperate for some sleep. … If only the stakes were higher for all of these characters, it might even be possible to care about who wins.”

For those who care about the truth; the reality and quality of life, you may download the full film of The Hornet’s Nest for $3.99, and watch it starting with the next embedded video, or buy the DVD from Amazon by clicking the previous link.

As a combat veteran who fought in Vietnam, believe me when I say that you can’t hide from the harsh reality of life. Fantasies of sexy vampires, and visits to Disneyland and/or Magic Mountain will not protect you from that reality, because it will find you sooner or later, and it is a hard-wired fact that the United States has hundreds of thousands if not millions of enemies in the Middle East who want to destroy everything there is about America and the citizens who live here.

_______________________
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

Low-Def Kindle Cover December 11His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Is it possible to protect the United States from ISIS jihadi attacks?

Yellow journalism is based upon sensationalism and crude exaggeration, and a yellow journalist dressed up as an ISIS jihadi was videotaped as he walked across the border to Texas from Mexico with a fake severed head in hand, and the story made the news on September 5, 2014, at Inquisitor.com.

Then Senator Rand Paul—evidently out to earn points with his Tea Party followers—strongly urged the Obama administration to secure the borders to prevent ISIS from infiltrating the country.

I’m tired of reading biased crap like this from propagandists from both ends of the political spectrum. What Ran Paul urged makes it seem as if the current president would be at fault if a terrorist slipped into the United States and killed some Americans. Heck, we can’t even stop Americans from killing Americans—did you know that the CDC reported 16,238 homicides in 2011, and 11,068 were from firearms?

Here’s what I have to say to anyone ignorant and foolish enough to think any President can secure the borders of the United States.

First—several hundred thousand illegal immigrants slip into the United States annually and continue to exceed the number of legal immigrants—a trend that has held steady since the 1990s. NPR

Second—General Fields established the 1st Marine Division Headquarters at Chu Lai in March 1966. My battalion was on the division perimeter. The perimeter guarding the Chu Lai airbase was heavily fortified with concertina wire, bunkers, and mines. Chua Lai was spread over an area of 130 square miles. The perimeter of an area like this would run about 46 miles.

The Marines sent out regular night patrols, recon teams, and snipers and set up ambushes, and still the Vietcong slipped through the heavily defended perimeter to hit different areas inside the division on a regular basis.

For a comparison, the U.S. covers 3.794-million-square miles and has a 5,525-mile border with Canada and a 1,989-mile border with Mexico. Our maritime border includes 95,000 miles of shoreline. Each year more than 500-million people cross the borders into the United States and about 330-million are non-citizens.

What does the U.S. Border Patrol have to secure this area and the U.S. borders?

The U.S. Border Patrol has more than 21,000 agents. The Agents patrol the border in vehicles, boats, aircraft, and afoot. In some areas, the Border Patrol employs horses, all-terrain motorcycles, bicycles, and snowmobiles. Air surveillance capabilities are provided by unmanned aerial vehicles.

Let’s compare the size of the Border Patrol to one U.S. Marine Corps division that couldn’t stop an elusive enemy from slipping through a few miles of a heavily armed and mined perimeter.

A full Marine Corps division has about 25,000 troops.

Do the math.  There is no way any president—even Reagan, who is worshiped by a political cult of ignorant fools—could have secured the U.S. border.

The U.S. Marines in Chu Lai had about 192 Marines for each square mile and 546 Marines to cover each mile of the perimeter including the shoreline. The US Border Patrol has about 0.005 agents to cover each square mile of the U.S., and less than three agents for each mile of border between Canada and Mexico and this isn’t factoring in the 95,000 miles of shoreline.

To turn the United States into a fortress equal to what the Marines built in Chu Lai, Vietnam—for instance—the U.S. Border Patrol would have to have about 10.4-million agents.

Of course, if we did increase the Border Patrol to 10.4 million agents, we’d end unemployment, because The Washington Post reported that the Bureau of Labor Statistics says there are 10.3 million Americans who are unemployed, and maybe another 21 million people who are “on the sidelines” of the job market [whatever that means].

I’m sure we could make corporate America happy by turning this job over to them, so they could profit off the taxpayers as they are already doing with private-sector prisons and private-sector, for-profit Charter schools that are often worse or only equal to the public schools they are replacing.

We can also be sure that the military-industrial complex would be ecstatic to produce all the uniforms, weapons and supporting equipment that a military force of this size would require to do its job. But even with 10.4 million troops guarding the U.S. borders and shorelines, if an ISIS jihadist wanted to slip into the United States to blow up a few hundred or a few thousand Americans, and the U.S. Marine Corps and the Army couldn’t stop the Vietcong in Vietnam, or Islamic terrorists in Iraq, and today, in Afghanistan, how can any fool expect the U.S. Border Patrol to achieve what the U.S. Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy has never achieved.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

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And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

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U.S. Troops and the Prostitutes Who Service Them (Viewed as a Single Page)

“The sin we condemn — the sinner … we try to understand.” – Adam Michnik (1946 – )

It has been said that prostitution is the world’s oldest profession. For instance, in 2400 B.C., the Sumerians listed prostitution in one the earliest lists of professions, and the practice of prostitution in ancient Rome was both legal and licensed, and even Roman men of the highest social status were free to engage prostitutes of either sex without incurring moral disapproval. In fact, rent from a brothel was considered a legitimate source of income in the Roman Empire.

In addition, Hammurabi’s Code (1780 B.C.) specifically mentioned the rights of a prostitute or the child of a prostitute.

And in 600 B.C. China, brothels were legal, while in Greece (594 BC) state brothels were founded and a prostitute’s earnings were taxed. Source: Historical Timeline – Prostitution

In fact, historically, “where there are soldiers, there are women who exist for them. In some ways, military prostitution (prostitution catering to, and sometimes organized by, the military) has been so commonplace that people rarely stop to think about how and why it is created, sustained, and incorporated into military life and warfare.” Source: The Asia Pacific Journal

That leads to when I was a 20-year old U.S. Marine in Okinawa on my way to fight in one of America’s endless wars, and I arrived a virgin who desperately didn’t want to be one. And when I left Okinawa for Vietnam, I had achieved a goal that hundreds-of-thousand—and maybe millions—in the US military have achieved both during peace time and war.

When I joined the US Marines, I was a high school graduate and an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy. I was not an intellectual—instead, I was a walking libido filled to overflowing with testosterone like so many of my fellow Marines.

I turned twenty-one in Vietnam, and up to that time Vietnam veterans were the best educated force the United States has ever sent into combat—79% had a high school education or better. Two-thirds of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers, and 86 percent of those who died in Vietnam were Caucasians, 12.5% were black, and 1.2% were from other ethnic/racial groups.

If I had gone straight to Vietnam instead of spending a few weeks in Okinawa for additional training, I could have died a virgin—having never known what it was like to be sexually intimate with a woman.

And that reminds me of Mrs. Henderson Presents staring Judi Dench as Mrs. Laura Henderson who opens a theater in London during World War Two with an all-nude female review for the allied troops, because her son had died in combat a virgin, and she didn’t want these young men to die without having at least seen a young, nude woman at least once.

Before I shipped out to Vietnam, I never received any classes, lectures, in services or workshops on Southeast Asian culture and at that age—without a college education—I wasn’t curious or interested.

We were US Marines trained to kill. We weren’t there to study the culture. The only workshop I remember was one on how to avoid getting an STD and how dangerous one strain of syphilis/gonorrhea was in Vietnam.

We were told that if we were careless with a Vietnamese woman, it could be a very painful death sentence from a viral form of an STD that no drugs could cure.

In fact, I didn’t know anyone in my unit who expressed the slightest bit of interest in Vietnam’s culture or history. When we went on five days of R&R during our tour of combat—for example to Hong Kong, Thailand, Okinawa, Japan, or the Philippians—most of us were interested in only one thing: getting drunk and getting laid.

And the hundreds of thousands of US troops who felt the same way were not alone in history.

“According to Beth Bailey and David Farber, during the Second World War a large number of prostitutes in Hawaii, each servicing upward of 100 men a day, made a fiscal killing. Shackjobs, or long-term, paid relationships with women of Hawaiian or Filipino descent were also common among military personnel stationed in Hawaii (as they were later in Vietnam).”

And “during the war in Indochina, U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright and Sunday Times of London correspondent Murray Sayle maintained, independently of one another, that U.S. forces in South Vietnam had turned Saigon into a “brothel”—a reference to the estimated 500,000 Vietnamese prostitutes who served an approximately equal number of GI’s. John Brown University

“There were 20,000 prostitutes in Thailand in 1957; by 1964, after the United States established seven bases in the country, that number had skyrocketed to 400,000.” Prostitution in Thailand and Southeast Asia

“At the height of the US presence in the Philippines, for example, more than 60,000 women and children were employed in bars, night clubs and massage parlors around the Subic Bay and Clark Naval bases alone. Estimates of the total numbers of Filipina women and girls engaged in prostitution and other sex-based industries range between 300,000 and 600,000.” PeaceNews.info – Command and control: the economies of militarized prostitution

And if you think times have changed, read this: “As recently as 2002, a brothel in Australia closed their doors when a group of 5,500 U.S. Sailors coming back from a war zone stopped off in Australia. From the article: Mary-Anne Kenworthy said she was forced to close the doors of her famous Langtrees brothel for only the third time ever yesterday because her prostitutes were so worn out they could no longer provide a quality service.” Cause of Liberty – Prostitution

Do you condemn those who sinned—if it was a sin—or is it wrong to send a young virgin off to possibly die for his country while denying him the pleasure of a woman even if a prostitute was his only choice? What do you think?

_______________________
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

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I was never a POW but what about the next American War?

Two things happened in the last few days. First, I was shopping at Wholefoods and while waiting in line to buy dinner, I saw the cover of a May 2014 Economist Magazine with an Eagle sitting on a desktop globe and the banner headline asked: What Would America Fight For? The question haunting its allies

Cover of Economist Magazine May or June 2014

In that cover piece, The Economist said, “A survey last autumn by the Pew Research Centre suggests that 52% (of Americans) want the United States to ‘mind its own business internationally’, the highest figure in five decades of polling.”

After reading that, I laughed and thought: Americans may not have any say about the next war just like they had no real say in Vietnam or the 2nd Iraq War because they were lied to.

That leads me to mention one of my favorite quotes from President Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

You see, the reason I laughed is because all Congress and the President has to do is come up with a lie that fools more than half of all adult Americans to have the okay from the people to start the next war—and when that happens will probably be decided by those who profit the most from war.

It wasn’t that difficult to discover the corporations that benefit the most from death. I Googled: “who profits the most in the United States from wars” and discovered from USA Today that the business of war is profitable. In 2011, the 100 largest contractors sold $410 billion in arms and military services. Just 10 of those companies sold over $208 billion. Based on a list of the top 100 arms-producing and military services companies in 2011 compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 companies with the most military sales worldwide.”

The top five were:

  • Lockheed Martin with arms sales of $36.3 billion in 2011—total sales were $46.5 billion
  • Boeing with arms sales of $31.8 billion—total sales were $68.7 billion
  • BAE Systems with arms sales of $29.2 billion—total sales were $30.7 billion
  • General Dynamics with arms sales of $23.8 billion—total sales were $32.7 billion
  • And Raytheon with $22.5 billion in arms sales and $24.9 billion in total sales

What happens to individual fortunes and lost jobs when 78% of Lockheed Martin’s income comes from arms sales; 46% of Boeing’s; 95% for BAE Systems; almost 73% for General Dynamics, and more than 90% for Raytheon?

If you’re curious how much the defense (arms) industry spends to lobby Congress, all you have to do is visit Open Secrets.org to discover that 978 lobbyists who worked for this industry in 2011 spent/donated $138,182,721 to influence elected representatives to make sure the federal government continued to spend heavily on defense and of course the best way to justify this much spending is to start another war, and who will the U.S. attack next?

Then Sunday Morning (May 11), I went to the theater to see “The Railroad Man”, and the horror of war hit home hard. I think this is a film that every adult American should see—especially the CEOs of the arms industry, the lobbyists who work for that industry, Congress and the President. “The Railroad Man” was based on a powerful, real story of British troops who became POWs in Singapore during World War II. The main character, Eric Lomax played by Colin Firth, survived the war but came back with a severe, traumatic case of PTSD that makes what I brought home from Vietnam seem tame in comparison, but I was never a prisoner of war—water boarded and tortured.

Let’s look at the cost of two recent wars: the Vietnam War (1965-1975) cost $738 Billion with 58,209 U.S. deaths and 153,303 wounded, and the 2nd Iraq War (2003-2010) cost $785 Billion with 4,800 U.S. deaths and 31,965 wounded—according to a report issued June 29, 2010 by the Congressional Research Service.

The reason I mention only these two wars was because both were started based on lies fed to America through the corporate owned media so enough Americans would be fooled long enough to support the wars.

What do you think the next lie will be, and where will that war be fought?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

Photo for Amazon Countdown Deal

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

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