From:  Marc Yablonka

   Dated:  July 12, 2019

Subject:  New Book Alert

No critters when I lodged there. Just brown water in my room on the “3th” floor (that was the sign posted outside my door). But at least it was hot. According to a Radio Japan announcer I befriended who was staying there, they only had cold water on the first floor. There were two gals who manned the front desk. One in a military uniform who could well have been Ho’s daughter. A real b***h, who was always eavesdropping on my phone calls. The other was a lovely French-speaking gal, always dressed in her white ao dai. Miss Quy. Will never forget her “Bonjour monsieur Marc” wake up calls!

    From:  Steve Sevits

   Dated:  July 12, 2019

Subject:  New Book Alert

On the subject of pilots being shot down over Vietnam, please see the attached brief excerpt from a book on Vietnam.
In 1968 or ’69 during an interview with Barry Farber on WOR in New York, I told him the war would be lost in the halls of government, not the rice paddies of southeast Asia. At that time I was not aware of the statements made in the attached excerpt. Such a policy bordered on insanity by persons who believed these actions were of a humanitarian nature, being unable to understand the awful consequences of such action. I’m not formally schooled in the art of warfare but to me giving the enemy advance targeting data was nothing less than treasonous.
How many American lives could have been spared and how much suffering could have been avoided if the “do-gooders” had not given aid to the enemy? Were not the Washington politicos directly responsible for populating the Hanoi Hilton?
Vince Lombardi once said: “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” To this I respectfully add, ‘win first then write the history – succeeding generations will only read the history written by the victors.’
Steve


    From:  Marc Yablonka

   Dated:  July 12, 2019

Subject:  New Book Alert

The guy was a total scholar, Ken. President of the Citadel for a time if memory serves and a professor at Stanford as well. But most people don’t remember him for that. Instead, they think of him as a dufus who made that unfortunate remark debating Al Gore on Larry King’s show. Hurts to think about!

​​

New Book Alert - Adm Stockdale (North Vietnam POW)

July 2019

    From:  Marc Yablonka

   Dated:  July 12, 2019

Subject:  New Book Alert

Thanks for your kind words, Steve. Everyone I talked to in pursuit of my piece on VADM Stockdale was gracious and very giving of their time. Especially Ev Alvarez, but the others as well. I must have spent 45 minutes on the phone with Mr. Alvarez and, to this day, am embarrassed by the fact that so much of my talk with him was edited out. But that's journalism for you! Following and attached is a very kind note I received from Sybil Stockdale after the article ran. The Admiral had passed and she was deep in the throws of Parkinson's when she wrote:

AFVN Group Conversations

    From:  Rick Fredericksen

   Dated:  July 11, 2019

Subject:  New Book Alert

I attended an author's presentation last night by Heath Lee. This one looks excellent and is getting lots of attention: "The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the U.S. Government to Bring Their Husbands Home from Vietnam." 
Rick Fredericksen


    From:  Rick Fredericksen

   Dated:  July 11, 2019

Subject:  New Book Alert

Never knew this other side of Joan. Her anti war history puts her pretty close to Jane Fonda in Hanoi---they both hid below the Metropole Hotel to shelter from US Bombing missions---then it was the Thang Nhat in central Hanoi. The basement room is still there but not a place where tourists are welcome. I've stayed at the hotel many times and got an autograph of Mohammad Ali in the coffee shop. League of Wives should be a stunning book. I've know the basics but Heath Lee has been researching it for 4 years and fills in lots of the blanks. 
Rick Fredericksen


    From:  Marc Yablonka

   Dated:  July 12, 2019

Subject:  New Book Alert

Rick, I can only attest to having had a cognac at the Metropole in `92. I was quartered at the "Army Guest House" in Hanoi, which, at some point is probably worth an article in its own right! But the talk of Hanoi and the women whose husbands and boyfriends were in Vietnam reminds me of the piece I wrote for Vietnam magazine about VADM Stockdale and the important part his wife Sybil played in attempting to secure his release. Including the link to it here for anyone whom this might be of interest to: 


Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale: Vietnam War Hero and Indomitable Spirit at the Hanoi Hilton


Marc Yablonka


    From:  Marc Yablonka

   Dated:  July 11, 2019

Subject:  New Book Alert

As a young college Freshman  at the University of Oregon in 1968, I recall folk singer Joan Baez and her then husband, draft resister David Harris, speaking on campus, advocating that people do what she had done--refuse to pay 60% of her taxes, which she claimed went to the Military Industrial Complex. She also joked that women should refuse to be amorous with their boyfriends and husbands who had decided to enlist in the Armed Forces. 
In fairness, there evolved another side of her later on. A side I once read about in the San Francisco Chronicle, which quoted her at an anti-discrimination rally in Berkeley, advocating that the police were among the most discriminated against people in the country and that it needed to stop. She was also the only person of fame to speak out after the war, taking out a full page ad in the New York Times decrying the killing and maiming of hundreds of thousands of loyal South Vietnamese who were killed and maimed in the communist re-education camps because of their loyalty to us. Everyone else, including the journalists who had reported on and photographed the war while it was going on, was sadly silent.

​Marc Yablonka


    From:  Rick Fredericksen

   Dated:  July 12, 2019

Subject:  New Book Alert

Sybil is perhaps the key figure in the book. I rather liked the Army Guest House, although I felt I was not alone in the room (six legged critters). 
Rick Fredericksen


    From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated:  July 12, 2019

Subject:  New Book Alert

Stockdale was ComNine when I was in recruiting.  A very nice guy who was not hung up on rank.  He respected people for how well they did their job, not how high they had ascended on the E and O scale. 
Ken


    From:  Steve Pennington

   Dated:  July 11, 2019

Subject:  New Book Alert

Great article, Marc. Joe Crecca is a good friend, and was a long held POW from our Gunfighters. Hearing his stories and meeting some of the other POWs over the years has given me some perspective of what they went through. I've told Joe many times over the years that I don't know if I could have survived what they did.

Steve