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02/01/13 - NNHS Newsletter - Goodnight Saigon

Saigon was an addicted city, and we were the drug: the corruption of children,
the mutilation of young men, the prostitution of women, the humiliation of the old,
the division of the family, the division of the country-it had all been done in our name...
The French city... had represented the opium stage of the addiction. With the Americans
had begun the heroin phase.”

- James Fenton
(b. 25 Apr 1949)

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,

   Today's Newsletter theme comes as a suggestion from        my #5 son, Nathaniel Harty (Hillsboro HS, IL - '97) of IL - 01/29/13, 1:40 PM - "just wondering":

Have you used Billy Joel's "Goodnight Saigon" for your newsletter yet?

   No, Faniel, I'm quite sure I have not.  I've concentrated on WWII, perhaps because the memories of Vietnam were still all too fresh in our minds, perhaps because so many of our readers are Vietnam veterans themselves, perhaps because I was loath to open painful old wounds.  On the other hand, I think that a great deal of the pain suffered arose from the veterans having never received thanks for what they did there, for what they were called to do through no choice of their own, and then being spat upon and vilified as baby-killers upon their return home.

   Maybe the time has come. Thank you, Nathaniel - for the suggestion, the nudge, and the bonus video!

BONUS - - Goodnight Saigon - Billy Joel, 1982


"Goodnight Saigon" is a song written by Billy Joel, originally appearing on his 1982 album The Nylon Curtain, about the Vietnam War. It depicts the situation and attitude of United States Marines beginning with their military training on Parris Island and then into different aspects of Vietnam combat.


   Happy Birthday today to     Paul Dobie ('66) of CO!

   Happy Birthday tomorrow to  Porter Phillips Booker ('57) AND the late    Thelma Spade Roberts ('57) (deceased - 08/26/05)  AND   John Patterson ('59) of TN AND    Alan Nesbitt ('64) of NC!

   Happy Birthday this week to:

03 - Maynard Thweatt ('57);

04 -       John London (Warwick HS - '57) of VA AND the late   Ronnie Sanders ('65) (deceased - 10/08/06);

05 - The late   Dickie Krause ('57(deceased - 12/27/99) AND    Charles Braslow ('65) of the Virgin Islands AND      Mark Hutcherson ('66) of VA;

06 -     Sue Miller Dearnley ('64) of VA AND    Steve Burns ('65) of MN;

08 -   Bob Hines ('66) of VA!

   Many Happy Returns to You All! 


February 01, 1942 - Josef Terboven, Reichskommissar of German-occupied Norway, appointed Vidkun Quisling the Minister President of the National Government.

February 01, 1942 - The U.S. Navy conducted Marshalls-Gilberts raids, the first offensive action by the United States against Japanese forces in the Pacific Theater.

February 01, 1942 - Voice of America, the official external radio and television service of the United States federal government, began broadcasting with programs aimed at areas controlled by the Axis powers.

TODAY IN 1963:

Friday, February 01, 1963 - Painter and sculptor Takashi Murakami (村上 隆) was born in Tokyo, Japan.

Friday, February 01, 1963 - Florist Fleetwood Lindley (b. 04 Apr 1887 in Illinois) died in Springfield, Illinois. He had the distinction of being the last surviving person to have looked upon the face of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln before his final burial at his tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery on September 26, 1901. Lindley was was fourteen years old at the time.

TODAY IN 1968:

Thursday, February 01, 1968 -    "General Nguyen Ngoc Loan Executing a Viet Cong Prisoner in Saigon" - Nguyen Ngoc Loan executes Viet Cong Captain Nguyen Van Lem: February 1, 1968. This Associated Press photograph, "General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon," won a 1969 Pulitzer prize for its photographer Eddie Adams. Film also exists of this event, but owing to the more graphic nature of the film, the photograph is more widely known.

      From Phil Hammond ('64) of FL - 01/31/13 - "BOYCOTT THIS MOVIE":

I agree with this message.

This is why I NEVER watch anything that contains Jane Fonda….one of our Nation’s greatest traitors!!

   Thank you so much, Phil! I think this could be one of the oldest reports available on the internet, a mixture of fact and fiction and deepest emotions and callous indifference.

      The following is I believe the least biased of the accounts (towards either side), but I somehow doubt we'll ever know the Complete and Utter Truth of the situation. Should she have been hung, as I've always believed? Maybe, maybe not. Should she have been honored as she was back in 1999? I find that unconscionable, but somehow I wasn't consulted.  I myself have enough movies to watch without ever again having to watch one of Ms. Fonda's.


Summary of Rumor:  
In protest of Jane Fonda being considered as one of the top 100 women of the century, this email reminds Americans of her controversial visit to North Vietnam during the war. 

It quotes a POW named Jerry Driscoll who was taken from his prison cell, cleaned and dressed for a visit with Fonda, then ordered to give Fonda a positive account of his treatment. He spit at Fonda and was beaten and dragged away.  Then a group of POWs which included a Col. Larry Carrigan were brought out to visit with Fonda.  According to the story, 
"...she walked the line, shaking each man's hand and asking little encouraging snippets like: "Aren't you sorry you bombed babies?" & "Are you grateful for the humane treatment from your benevolent captors?"  Many of the POW's were listed as missing in action so to identify themselves to American authorities, they each wrote their Social Security numbers on small pieces of paper and slipped them to Fonda as she greeted them.  To their horror, however, after Fonda finished meeting them, she turned to the North Vietnamese commanding officer and handed him the POW's pieces of paper.  In the beatings that followed, three American POW's died and Col. Carrigan nearly died.  The email then ends with a statement about events in North Vietnam from an unnamed American POW.

This story hearkens to a real visit to North Vietnam by Jane Fonda in July of 1972, but the stories about betraying POWs is not true.

The Fonda trip became unforgettable because it infuriated Americans, especially Americans in uniform, many of whom still regard her as a traitor.  She praised the North Vietnamese, posed for a photo at a Communist anti-aircraft gun emplacement, made several radio broadcasts for the Communist North Vietnamese in which she called American military leaders "war criminals," then when some of the POWs returned home and described mistreatment by the North Vietnamese, she said Americans should "...not hail the POWs as heroes, because they are hypocrites and liars."
There is no dispute that her visit took place and that her words and actions were in support of the enemy.  This particular email includes three stories, two of which have been denied by the POWs who are named, and one of which has been confirmed as true by the source, although he was not named in the email.

First, the "100 Women of the Century" was a project of the Ladies Home Journal and a TV special hosted by Barbara Walters that aired April 30, 1999.  Jane Fonda was one of the 100. How the email story about the POWs got started is not known, but it has been widely circulated. located Jerry Driscoll who said that the accounts about him in the email are "...the product of a very vivid imagination" and he requests that people please stop passing it on to others. also contacted Mike McGrath, of Nam-POWs, who says the Larry Carrigan events never happened either.  He says Carrigan calls the story a "hoax" and does not want to be associated with it.  McGrath also says that some versions of the email include an account from a Dave Hoffman and that his story is true.  Hoffman says he was tortured (hung by a broken arm) until he agreed to go before Jane Fonda.  He was among a small group who witnessed one of her radio broadcasts for Hanoi.  The part of the email that begins with "To Whom it may concern" is true.  It's a quote from an article titled SHAME ON JANE originally published on the Advocacy And Intelligence Index website on April 28, 1999 and written by Michael Benge who was a civilian captured by the North Vietnamese in 1968.  In his statement, he also makes reference to a missionary nurse who died in captivity.  For your interest, that was Betty Olsen, a Christian Missionary Alliance nurse from New York.

In 1988 in an interview with Barbara Walters on 20/20, Jane Fonda talked about her Vietnam visit and issued what some feel was an apology but which her critics say was not enough.

Fonda said, "I would like to say something, not just to Vietnam veterans in New England, but to men who were in Vietnam, who I hurt, or whose pain I caused to deepen because of the things that I said or did.  I was trying to help end the killing and the war, but there were times when I was thoughtless and careless about it and I'm...very sorry that I hurt them.  And I want to apologize to them and their families."

In 2005, Fonda published her autobiography in which she described in detail her decision to go to North Vietnam. She said it was primarily motivated by her desire to document the U.S. bombing of important dikes that, if destroyed, could kill tens of thousands of people and devastate the lives of millions.  The U.S. had denied the bombings. In the book, Fonda is unapologetic about the trip or her participation in broadcasts on radio Hanoi but regrets the pictures taken of her at the gun emplacement.  She said it made it appear as though she was celebrating armaments aimed at American planes, which was not how she felt and was not the context in which the pictures were taken. 
She reminds readers that the U.S. investigated her trip and found no reason to bring any charges against her.  She also describes her longstanding support of, and interaction with, U.S. military personnel and says her only beef was with the U.S. government, not the troops.

Last updated 2/16/13 (sic)

   Repentance is a wonderful principle. Its value, though, lies in the depths of its sincerity. Probably only she and the divine can judge the depths of hers.


   From Butch Ragland ('63) of CO - 01/31/13 - "Update":

Hi Carol,
It is really great to hear from you! 
I hope         Paul (Harty - Bardolph HS, IL - 61 - of NC) continues to heal from his latest illness, and please let him know he is in our prayers along with you.  Believe me when I say prayers do work; because I am proof of that!   I have to again admit that you have always amazed me as to how you continue to stay on top of all us old NNHS Old Folks! Ha!
Our Home Address is:
Butch & Ethel Ragland
2504 E. San Miguel St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Phone is:  Cell:  719-650-7868
I arrived home at 4:00 pm (MST) Monday afternoon or 6:00 pm your time.  Upon arrival I was greeted by a huge banner erected on the front porch by my grand kids (Travis & Charlotte "we call her Charley"), and my kids, (Jon & wife Diana & Carrie).  Of course they had balloons and bunting along with the sign, which brought tears to my old eyes and delayed me from exiting the van, because I couldn't see how to get down the ramp! Ha! 
Even with the minor pain, and although seeing through eyes totally teared up,  it was one of the greatest days of my life!
Tuesday and Wednesday are just a blur on my mind due to all the home care specialist, PT instructors, nurses and home care providers trying to convince me what I needed to get on with my life. 
Finally I think I got it across to them that all they really needed to do was allow me time to think and breathe on my own, and then I would be able to do everything they had already taught me to do in Rehab at Penrose Hospital!
Today has been a day of beginning to get used to being home and looking toward the future.  It has also been a day of many changing emotions; none of which has been bad!  I am beginning to understand how close I came to not being here!  I am also beginning to understand the importance of friends and family in our daily lives.  There have been so many prayers sent up for me from people I have not seen for nearly 50 years.  These have been and will continue to be appreciated by me and my family.
I have also found that my faith grows stronger as my body grows stronger.  God has been the one answering all those prayers and I don't mind telling the world that He is REAL!
But then too, I looked around the Rehab Unit after the final amputation, and realized that even though I had come near death, and gone through pretty dangerous surgeries, there were many persons in much worse situations than I was and how really fortunate I had been.  My prayers go out to, and for these people, and all others going through health issues; and any other crisis situations in their lives.
Again I want to thank you for all you have done for me and my family this past month, even when you have been ill yourself or taking care of Paul during his illness, you were still there for each of us!
Thank you dear lady & God Bless You & Your Family!
I will forever be grateful for your friendship!
Butch Ragland
Butch (Henry) & Ethel Ragland
2504 E. San Miguel
Colorado Springs, CO 80909

Phone:  CELL: 719-650-7868
Email: or

     Thank you so much, Butch! You are the most amazing man --- and ya got me again!

From Gerald Greer - 01/31/13 - "Looking to contact a member about the Buckroe Beach crash":


My name is Gerald Greer and I am looking for a way to contact
      Jean Lankes (Hampton HS - ’72 - of VA) regarding her thread about the Buckroe Beach crash involving a fighter jet.  Could you please forward my email address to her.  I lived two houses away from the impact sight.

Thank you,
Gerald C. Greer


   OH, WOW! Certainly! I hope the two of you were able to make contact! Thanks, Gerald!

      From Dimples Dinwiddie Prichard ('58) of NC - 01/31/13 - "Think Carefully About This":

Fodder for thought !

A wife asks her husband, "Could you please go shopping for me and buy a carton of milk, and if they have avocados, get 6."

A short time later, her husband came home with 6 cartons of milk.

His wife asks him, "Why did you buy 6 cartons of milk?"

He replied, "They had avocados."

If you are a woman, you may need to read this again. Men will get it the first time.

     Thanks, Dimples!


From - 01/31/13:

Ah! Yes, love is blind, and marriage is an eye opener!


1. Thursday, February 7, 2013 - The NNHS Class of 1955 holds Lunch Bunch gatherings on the first Thursday of every month at Steve & John's Steak House on Jefferson Avenue just above Denbigh Boulevard in Newport News at 11:00 AM. The luncheon is not limited to just the Class of '55; if you have friends in that year, go visit with them.
2. Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - The NNHS Class of June 1942 meets at noon on the second Wednesday of every other month for a Dutch treat lunch at the James River Country Club, 1500 Country Club Road. PLEASE JOIN THEM. Give or take a few years makes no difference. Good conversation, food and atmosphere. For details, call Jennings Bryan at 803-7701 for reservations. 

3. Friday and Saturday, October 4 and 5, 2013 - The NNHS Class of 1963 will hold their 50-Year Reunion at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Hampton on the Water. SEE: The website which has been set up for their class at; CONTACT: Frank Gibson,, Joyce Williams Nettles,, or Susie Overton Jones,

PRAYER ROLL: - updated 01/28/13

BLOG: - updated 03/13/11

Y'all take care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!  We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                                 Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309


1. Visit the main page (, scroll halfway down, and click on the Pay Pal Donate Button (;

2. Go to, log in, select "Send Money (Services) to; or

3. Just mail it directly to my home. Thanks!    

Goodnight Saigon

Written and recorded by Billy Joel, 1982
(b. 09 May 1949)

We met as soul mates on Parris Island
We left as inmates from an asylum
And we were sharp, as sharp as knives
And we were so gung ho to lay down our lives

We came in spastic like tameless horses
We left in plastic as numbered corpses
And we learned fast to travel light
Our arms were heavy but our bellies were tight

We had no home front, we had no soft soap
They sent us Playboy, they gave us Bob Hope
We dug in deep and shot on sight
And prayed to Jesus Christ with all of our might

We had no cameras to shoot the landscape
We passed the hash pipe and played our Doors tapes
And it was dark, so dark at night
And we held on to each other
Like brother to brother
We promised our mothers we'd write

And we would all go down together
We said we'd all go down together
Yes, we would all go down together

Remember Charlie, remember Baker
They left their childhood on every acre
And who was wrong? And who was right?
It didn't matter in the thick of the fights

We held the day in the palm of our hands
They ruled the nights, and the nights
Seemed to last as long as six weeks...

...On Parris Island
We held the coastline, they held the highlands
And they were sharp, as sharp as knives
They heard the hum of our motors
They counted the rotors
And waited for us to arrive

And we would all go down together
We said we'd all go down together
Yes we would all go down together

"Goodnight Saigon" midi courtesy of - 02/01/13

"Goodnight Saigon" lyrics courtesy of - 02/01/13

"Goodnight Saigon" Image courtesy of - 03/04/13 (sic)

Animated Tiny Birthday Cake clip art courtesy of Sarah Puckett Kressaty ('65) of VA - 08/31/05
Thanks, Sarah Sugah!

Army Seal clip art courtesy of Al Farber ('64) of GA - 05/24/06 (still missing...)
Thanks, Al!
Replaced by Norm Covert ('61) of MD - 02/09/09
Thanks, Norm!

Air Force Seal clip art courtesy of - 07/07/06

Animated Navy Flag clip art courtesy of - 06/18/03

Navy Seal clip art courtesy of - 05/29/06

Marine Corps Seal clip art courtesy of the late Herbert Hice of MI - one of my Famous Marines who served in the South Pacific during WWII.
Thanks again, Herbie!!

Animated BOO-HOO courtesy of Glenn Dye ('60) of TX - 08/28/09
Thanks, Glenn!

Animated Dancing Snoopy courtesy of Billy Turner ('65) of TX - 11/26/08
Thanks, Billy Turner!

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