Skip to comments.One Of John Kerry's "Band Of Brothers"
Posted on 03/08/2004 1:01:31 AM PST by Hon
Cape Vet, Kerry Renew Ties
By Jack Coleman
The Cape Codder Online
Delivering his victory speech in New Hampshire Tuesday night, U.S. Sen. John Kerry said he was indebted to a specific group around him on stage.
"In the hardest moments of the past month, I depended on the same band of brothers I depended on more than 30 years ago," said Kerry, with his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, beside him. "We're a little older now, a little grayer, but we still know how to fight for our country.
"And if I am president, I pledge that those who wore the uniform of the United States of America will have a voice and a champion in the Oval Office."
A few feet away, wearing the Marine Corps cap he has owned since serving in Vietnam, stood Brewster resident Joseph Bangert - one of the proverbial boys in the band.
Joe Bangert of Brewster can be seen directly behind Teresa Heinz Kerry in this photo from CNN of the Kerry camp celebrating John Kerry's victory in the New Hampshire primary. Bangert, like Kerry a Vietnam veteran, was in New Hampshire for five days working on Kerry's campaign. Source
Joseph Bangert, 55, a decorated Marine who met Kerry in 1970 after both became activists against the war, spent five days working as a volunteer in Kerry's campaign.
Bangert returned home yesterday, exhausted but still exhilarated.
"I woke up this morning and I noticed all these guys my age were putting their military hats and jackets on," Bangert said. "I think there's a whole bunch of people who are finding out, through this campaign, that it's OK to be a veteran."
Kerry's candidacy holds potential as "catharsis for the Vietnam generation," he said.
Bangert, of the Veterans for Kerry contingent, said Kerry has drawn together a formidable coalition of veterans, past and current anti-war activists and even some conservatives disenchanted with President Bush.
What they share, Bangert said, is anger at Bush and the federal government for cuts in veterans services and doubts that things will improve under the current commander-in-chief.
Bangert, hobbled by disability since the war, works as a volunteer teaching English to immigrant Brazilians.
He may rejoin the campaign with other veterans heading to South Carolina from Boston this weekend.
Monday night at 10, Kerry returned to campaign headquarters in Manchester for a final rally before the primary.
Kerry spotted Bangert and called out his name, then embraced him.
BANGERT. My name is Joe Bangert. I'm a Philadelphia resident. I enlisted in the Marine Corps for four years in 1967. I went to Vietnam in 1968. My unit in Vietnam was Marine Observation Squadron Six with the First Marine Air Wing and my testimony will cover the slaughter of civilians, the skinning of a Vietnamese woman, the type of observing our squadron did in Vietnam and the crucifixion of Vietnamese either suspects or civilians in Vietnam.
BANGERT. The first day I got to Vietnam I landed in Da Nang Air Base. I was picked up by a truckload of grunt Marines with two company grade officers, 1st Lts.; we were about 5 miles down the road, where there were some Vietnamese children at the gateway of the village and they gave the old finger gesture at us. It was understandable that they picked this up from the GIs there. They stopped the trucks--they didn't stop the truck, they slowed down a little bit, and it was just like response, the guys got up, including the lieutenants, and just blew all the kids away. There were about five or six kids blown away and then the truck just continued down the hill. That was my first day in Vietnam.
As far as the crucified bodies, they weren't actually crucified with nails, but they would find VCs or something (I never got the story on them) but, anyway, they were human beings, obviously dead, and they would take them and string them out on fences, on barbed wire fences, stripped, and sometimes they would take flesh wounds, take a knife and cut the body all over the place to make it bleed, and look gory as a reminder to the people in the village.
Also in Quang Tri City I had a friend who was working with USAID and he was also with CIA. We used to get drunk together and he used to tell me about his different trips into Laos on Air America Airlines and things. One time he asked me would I like to accompany him to watch. So I went with him and when we got there the ARVNs had control of the situation.
They didn't find any enemy but they found a woman with bandages. So she was questioned by six ARVNs and the way they questioned her, since she had bandages, they shot her. She was hit about twenty times. After she was questioned, and, of course, dead, this guy came over, who was a former major, been in the service for twenty years, and he got hungry again and came back over working with USAID, Aid International Development. He went over there, ripped her clothes off and took a knife and cut, from her vagina almost all the way up, just about up to her breasts and pulled her organs out, completely out of her cavity, and threw them out. Then, he stopped and knelt over and commenced to peel every bit of skin off her body and left her there as a sign for something or other and that was those instances.
BANGERT. Back to this specific instance where I talk about the disembowelment of the women--I think the person involved was a freaked out sexist, if that's what you're trying to get at. I think maybe he had problems. He had to be--he was in the Army for 20 years.
MODERATOR. Any of you gentlemen here on the panel, could you release any incidents of fragging that you ever heard of or saw?
BANGERT. A lifer was in charge of the mail. He stopped the mail for about three days because he wanted his troops to shine their shoes or something or clean up or shave or get a haircut and he stopped the mail. So someone told him if we don't get mail by noon on a specific day before midnight, that night you're going to be offered [sic]. But since he was hard and he was in the Korean War, he thought that what happened in the old Marine Corps is happening in Vietnam, he persisted and the mail wasn't gotten out and before midnight he was fragged.
Bangert Among Group In New Hampshire Stumping For Senator
Bangert, a longtime Kerry friend and supporter, was in the Granite State working at the Kerry Headquarters as part of Veterans for Kerry.
Bangert was busy "working the phones," calling veterans and their families. It was a tough job at times, because voters were becoming somewhat jaded. "The poor people from New Hampshire, they've been courted" by all the campaigns," he said. "You'll call someone and they'll say, 'This is the eighteenth call I've gotten today.'" But his status as a veteran reaching out to a fellow veteran helped a lot, he said. "There is a connection immediately."
Bangert, who served as a Marine in Vietnam, first met Kerry shortly after he came home in 1970 and joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War, of which Kerry was a prominent member. The group marched to Valley Forge in September of that year, and Kerry spoke at the event. Bangert was impressed, and years later, in 1984, worked on Kerry's campaign.
Many veterans are drawn to Kerry - who served two tours of duty in Vietnam - because of his military service, said Bangert. Veterans, Bangert said, have been an untapped political resource. "Veterans account for 19 percent of the population, and they've never been mobilized," Bangert said.
Subject: Re: I told the truth at Winter Soldier,Amen!
Date: 2001-06-08 20:51:47 PST
I am the real Joe Bangert...
For the record, I am not haunted by my actions in Viet Nam. Having chucked my medals over the fence during Operation Dewey Canyon III- my masculinity does not hinge on dusty old pieces of metal nor colorful ribbons garnered via tribal headbashing.
The Winter Soldier Investigations were timely and followed the My Lai incident- what happened at My Lai (they the DOD lied) was not an isolated incident of aberrant behavior. Real veterans were assembled from many units and time frames to explain to the American people that what happened at Pinkville was- in a sense- SOP- you can deny it- but then you would be lying- and this was just as Nixon and his lying sack of shit administration who was elected to end the war but did NOT have a secret plan to end the war, but rather expanded the war into the whole Indochina theatre- 'Dewey Canyon I' operated in Laos in 1969- I was there in the sky on the ground briefly. Thank God.
Then in 1970 Nixon's 'limited incursion' into Cambodia ended in bitter defeat in seeking 'COSVN' and ended up with South Vietnamese troops (Hackman Vo's people) beheading Cambodians and eating their livers and hearts! Having been a helicopter crew member I helped saved countless lives of wounded and transported the dead and dying to their temporary resting places in the red clay of Quang Tri and Thua Thien, Laos and Quang Nam.
This was followed by the assassination of American kids at Orangeburg and Kent State who opposed the fucking war!
Being antiwar was a continuation of saving lives and preventing more killing and wounding.
I am very proud that I worked tirelessly to undermine the Thieu regime and help the American people cut off all aid to the Nguyen Van Thieu clique They were/ and are fucking thieves and fascists. Wasn't it Nguyen Cao Ky (sun glasses and purple ascot) and a former French Air Force lackey who once said he greatly admired Adolph Hitler?
You may recall that George Herbert Walker Bush as well as Babs flew into Hanoi to give a speech on behalf of Citibank (and was rewarded with a million Moonie bucks- was rumored to also be in the market to buy 1,000,000 M-16's left behind to be used as some sort of trophy for Viet Nam War buffs- the joke going on then in Thang Long town was "Who wants to but a million ARVN M-16's- never fired- dropped once!"
I worked tirelessly after the war for reconciliation between our two peoples and nations. I have no regrets. And yes, unlike you traumatized hate-filled basket cases and right wing troglodytes I did go back and work in Viet Nam in my own pursuit of happiness.
What I did is none of your concern. I'm okay with Viet Nam- there the war is way over, it is here that closure has not occurred. I have many friends over there as well as here. My friends over there include many former PAVN soldiers who once fought against me- their friendship is a gift which I cherish- I don't pretend you are my enemies today- but you sure act it. Think about this. I'll take them anyDAY over most of you. And that is a fact.
It is 2001 boys- grow up and get a life- THE WAR IS OVER! IT's ALL OVER!
WAR WHAT WAS IT GOOD FOR? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! ' Biet roi, kho lam, noi mai nhinh thi biet' as they might say to me ovewr a few cold Halidas or Con Ho's and that is the whole truth.
Now back to your fragging- and self aggrandizing- you all deserve each other- I will drop in from time to time as is my perogative- and if you don't like it- well -tough shit then.
I will not respond to your red baiting McCarthyite tactics and ad hominem arguments.
Look at yourself in the mirror- what do you see? Pathetic nitwits.
There is one lesson I did learn in the 'Nam - some of the best people I ever met served with me and some of the worst scurrilous scumbags were there as well, as you so much remind me from time to time- Well it is time for me to noi tieng Viet Nam so
Tam Biet ya'll- and get a new target tomorrow- and that's the way it is.
G.I. Joe < ;-)
Dear Sister Peggy,
Greetings from Cape Cod! My name is Joe Bangert, and I eyed your name on the email list from an email I received today from a mutual friend- Barbara Dane- and was motivated to introduce myself to you and tell you- apart from my love of both you and your brother's musical and artistic contributions to at least three generations of my family- how gratified I am to share with you my deep admiration of Ewan's 'Ballad of Ho Chi Minh'.
Sure I learned it by heart- after returning home from my stint as a door gunner on a Marine helicopter in Quang Tri, Viet Nam circa 1969. Six months later I upped and joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), and later met Barbara in Paris at the World Assembly for the Peace and Independence of the Indochinese Peoples at Versailles. We had a great banquet with the diplomatic delegations of both the DRVN and the PRGSVN and later some music began- Barbara sang the 'Song of the Coats' and the only song the young boisterous delegation from the USA could all agree on singing together by heart when asked to sing 'an American worker's song' was "Mercedes Benz" by Janis Joplin.
Barbara then asked me to join her on the stage- for I had boldly decided to wear a close fitting shirt which had emblazened on the front of it- the flag of the National Liberation Front of south Viet Nam. It was then that I belted out both "We Will Liberate the South" (Giai Phong Mien Nam) the national anthem of the NLF in Vietnamese- for I am a linguist- and ended that portion of the show with the Ballad of Uncle Ho. It was a show stopper to say these least
Since then I have sang Ewan's delightful song over one thousand times indeed- and when I was working back in Viet Nam, in Ha Noi from 1992-1997 I had the occasion to sing it and teach it to virtually thousands upon thousands of younger Vietnamese boys and girls-I always give Ewan the credit for penning it.
I just wanted you to know that this song rocks even in 2002~!
For those of you who might not be familiar with the National Anthem of the Viet Cong, here are a few lyrics from "Giai Phong Mien Nam":
A good chance for the country has come
Dawn is lighting up everywhere
And our task is to build a more beautiful country
--by Huynh Minh Sieng.
And here is the start of the song, "The Ballad Of Ho Chin Minh":
Now Ho Chi Minh went to the mountains
And he trained a determined band
Heroes all, sworn to liberate the Indo-Chinese people
Drive invaders from the land.
--by Ewan MacColl
Founding Member of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Member of 'Hanoi Chapter of the ' Quang Tri- Thua Thien Vietnamese Veterans Association'. Inducted into the Oglala Sioux Warrior Society after serving as a member of security during the siege of Wounded Knee.
US Senate candidate John Kerry is flanked by fellow Vietnam veterans in front of the State House on September 12, 1984, as he receives their endorsement. Speaking is Joe Bangert, US Marine Sergeant and helicopter gunner.
Kerry has been using this traitorous bastard for years.
With 'brothers' like this, who needs monsters!
Why why why is the media silent on this horrible horrible candidate and his so called band of brothers.
It was hard to read the words spewed by this disgusting piece of garbage, Bangert.
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