Saturday, September 26, 2009

The LuLac Edition #955, Sept. 26th, 2009



Much is made of the fact that many of the WWII greatest generation are passing on. Sadly the men who fought the fight in Vietnam are dying and leaving the scene. My cousin who served in Vietnam died in 2006 way too young. A good friend e mailed me about the passing of his friend Tom McEntee. McEntee was a Green Beret but later worked in the music business. He worked at ABC/DOT records and was responsible for launching the career of Jimmy Buffet with his intial hit on ABC Dunhill “Come Monday”. He was waiting for a bone marrow transplant and got an infection. None of the Vietnam vets were greeted with huge airport celebrations, banners and bunting and top of the segment news stories like you see for today's returning vets. When we talk about WWII vets we also hear that they are reticent to tell stories of their heroics, putting it as part of their past. Many Vietnam vets did the same thing. Here’s a story shared from my friend about his friend, Tom McEntee.
Tom was one of the original Green Berets caught up in the glamour and adventure of JFK’s elite Special Forces. It was a good way to get away from New York City. He eventually found himself somewhere in the Mountains of South Vietnam with the Legendary Montagnyard Tribesmen as an advisor.
Coming home for the first time on leave to New York City, Tom emerged from the subway decked out like a warrior. Green Beret, spit shined Jump Boots, Dark Green Class A Dress Uniform with Medals and Sergeants Stripes and a duffel bag over his shoulder. As he walked home he noticed that he was being followed by a growing group of neighborhood kids. He felt proud.
They think I am a Soldier home from a new war and they admire me, he thought to himself. The little boys want to be like me and the girls think I’m handsome. He went on thinking along those lines for several blocks. Upon reaching his family’s front door, Tom turned to face his followers.
One little boy looked up at him and said, “Hey, mister. You in the Boy Scouts?”
That’s the only Army Story Tom ever told me.


Sept. 26th, ’64 Phillies.

In a 3 hour game, Phils pitcher Art Mahaffey gives up 10 hits. The Milwaukee Braves Joe Torre, Hank Aaron, Felipe Alou and Rico Carty pound the Phillies in a 6 to 4 loss. Bobby Shantz takes the loss in relief. The reeling Phils make some lineup changes starting Cookie Rojas in Center while putting Frank Thomas back at first after his return from an injury. Denny LeMaster started the game for the Braves. When he left after one inning, the Braves used 7 other pitchers including Frank Lary, winner Wade Blasingame (8-5) and future Hall of Famer Warren Spahn to put this game away.


At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Submit that story to Humor in Uniform if there is still a Readers Digest.
The Vietnam Vets are in their 60s or early 70s now.
We as a Nation made a promise to these guys to look out for them. Its always time to examine how good a job we are doing. All who served anywhere anytime earned some degree of ever lasting respect. Too easily we forget!

At 4:56 AM, Blogger Jo Ann said...

Thank you for writing about Tom. We last saw him 3 years ago in Nashville, and had no idea he was ill. Still reeling from the shock of his very unwelcome passing.


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