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A question to Vietnam Veterans, or those with extensive knowledge of the history.

mskafka

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I hope that this is the correct forum. If it isn't, I'm sure that someone will let me know.

I had an uncle who died 15 years ago from cancer. We knew that he'd served in the Army, but no one but his wife knew about the extent. He confided in my father, less than an hour before his (my uncle's) death, that he'd been in some missions which required high-security clearance, somewhere in Southeast Asia. We know that he went to jump school and that he served from 64-68. He told Dad that this was a joint effort with the CIA, and that he'd been responsible for killing "many people".

My question is....if anyone knows: Why did he keep it a secret for nearly 30 years? What the heck was he involved with? And why can I find NO record of his military service, even though I've seen multiple photos of him in Army Dress? MACV-SOG? Is that too sensitive a subject still? I would just like to know.

Any takers?
 
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I hope that this is the correct forum. If it isn't, I'm sure that someone will let me know.

I had an uncle who died 15 years ago from cancer. We knew that he'd served in the Army, but no one but his wife knew about the extent. He confided in my father, less than an hour before his (my uncle's) death, that he'd been in some missions which required high-security clearance, somewhere in Southeast Asia. We know that he went to jump school and that he served from 64-68. He told Dad that this was a joint effort with the CIA, and that he'd been responsible for killing "many people".

My question is....if anyone knows: Why did he keep it a secret for nearly 30 years? What the heck was he involved with? And why can I find NO record of his military service, even though I've seen multiple photos of him in Army Dress? MACV-SOG? Is that too sensitive a subject still? I would just like to know.

Any takers?

I'm assuming you've tried: Veterans' Service Records
 

High_Gravity

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I can't say for sure what your uncle was involved with when when the Military sends you on a classified mission you cannot tell anyone about it until it becomes declassified.
 

Ringel05

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He was probably SAD/SOG.
 
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mskafka

mskafka

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I can't say for sure what your uncle was involved with when when the Military sends you on a classified mission you cannot tell anyone about it until it becomes declassified.

It must still be classified, because most of us are still completely in the dark about it. It will probably stay that way.
 
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High_Gravity

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I can't say for sure what your uncle was involved with when when the Military sends you on a classified mission you cannot tell anyone about it until it becomes declassified.

It must still be classified, because most of us are still completely in the dark about it. It will probably stay that way.

If this mission involved other countries or intel agencies like the CIA it probably still is, alot of these missions stay classified indefinently.
 

Warrior102

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Ask his wife. If she's the only one who knew, per your OP - she should have his DD214/Dischage papers. The DD214 will tell you what units he served in.

I lost a cousin over there in December '65. I know for a fact they were involved in some behind the scenes/not for public consumption stuff. They trained in the PI in 64 and were some of the first guys in Nam.

Utter's Batallion was the bunch - my cousin was with F/2/7, U.S. Marine Corps.
 
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mskafka

mskafka

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Ask his wife. If she's the only one who knew, per your OP - she should have his DD214/Dischage papers. The DD214 will tell you what units he served in.

I lost a cousin over there in December '65. I know for a fact they were involved in some behind the scenes/not for public consumption stuff. They trained in the PI in 64 and were some of the first guys in Nam.

Utter's Batallion was the bunch - my cousin was with F/2/7, U.S. Marine Corps.

Sorry for your loss. Thank you for the information.
 

uscitizen

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I can't say for sure what your uncle was involved with when when the Military sends you on a classified mission you cannot tell anyone about it until it becomes declassified.

It must still be classified, because most of us are still completely in the dark about it. It will probably stay that way.

yers it was classified and much still is.
I was there. And spent much of my military service in a country adjacent to South Vietnam.
Sorry I am not allowed to say much either.
I would hate to spend my short remaining time in Govt detention.

Yankee doodle dandy and all that crap.

You know the movie Air America?

Highy stylized for hollywood, but the basic concept was absolutely true and it operated under multiple names.
the miliitary did not mind the moving being made it added an air of deniability and consipiracy theory to the whole thing.

but that was just one aspect of illegal/covert military activities.
 
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Warrior102

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Ask his wife. If she's the only one who knew, per your OP - she should have his DD214/Dischage papers. The DD214 will tell you what units he served in.

I lost a cousin over there in December '65. I know for a fact they were involved in some behind the scenes/not for public consumption stuff. They trained in the PI in 64 and were some of the first guys in Nam.

Utter's Batallion was the bunch - my cousin was with F/2/7, U.S. Marine Corps.

Sorry for your loss. Thank you for the information.

Hope it helps. If you find out what unit(s) he was with - search the internet and you may find that they have a "forum" to tell war stories and get reunited with former people they've served with. You may get lucky finding someone who knew your uncle...
 

uscitizen

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If you do find his military records and he did serve in a covert capacity, the records will be false.
Good luck but I suspect you will have to be content with what you have unless some liberal journalist breaks some information loose.
 

The Gadfly

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I served in Vietnam as an airborne infantry officer. There were a number of clandestine units/projects in and around the RVN (South Vietnam). Some were military, others were run by the CIA, sometimes using a combination of CIA, special operations, and other military personnel. If your uncle passed away 15 years ago, then even the mere existence of the Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) that you mention had not been officially acknowledged at the time. While the unit was eventually awarded a Presidential Unit Citation, most of its operations are, and are likely to remain, classified. There were also other units and missions, which are still partly or entirely classified, and will remain so, for the foreseeable future.Your uncle fits at least part of the profile- army, airborne qualified, to possibly have been assigned to Special Forces, and possibly to clandestine units/operations; and at the time of his passing, that deathbed revelation to your dad would be, in my experience, as much information as any man involved in covert operations would be likely to divulge, and that about the only circumstance in which one would divulge it. My best guess would be that your uncle was a very brave man, who served his country with quiet distinction, and, as he was sworn to do, took this nation's secrets to his grave, as others of us will also have to do.

Until and unless further declassified information is released, I can only offer you this: war is a terrible thing, and sometimes its circumstances require that its awful business has to be done in the shadows. Some of what is done there is ugly; but you may rest assured that some of it is noble, and necessary; done by good and dedicated men, not for self-satisfaction or personal glory, but for the sake of duty, honor and country, and the preservation of freedom. There is many a story of courage and sacrifice, that must forever remain untold and unremembered, known only to those who lived them. That, too, is part of the price paid for liberty. God rest his soul, and those of all our brothers who have left us, until we all regroup, on the other side of the river.
 
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SFC Ollie

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I believe that any records prior to 1984 can be requested by anyone under the Freedom of Information act, you do not have to be Next of Kin. I just received the records for a veteran who died in 1955, I needed his discharge to get VA to make him a grave marker. I'm not his relative but I got the records I need.

And yes Being in Communications Security I was at a few places where I was there.......
 

whitehall

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I hope that this is the correct forum. If it isn't, I'm sure that someone will let me know.

I had an uncle who died 15 years ago from cancer. We knew that he'd served in the Army, but no one but his wife knew about the extent. He confided in my father, less than an hour before his (my uncle's) death, that he'd been in some missions which required high-security clearance, somewhere in Southeast Asia. We know that he went to jump school and that he served from 64-68. He told Dad that this was a joint effort with the CIA, and that he'd been responsible for killing "many people".

My question is....if anyone knows: Why did he keep it a secret for nearly 30 years? What the heck was he involved with? And why can I find NO record of his military service, even though I've seen multiple photos of him in Army Dress? MACV-SOG? Is that too sensitive a subject still? I would just like to know.

Any takers?

I expect it's a fake post but in case it isn't ...here's some advice...Put the guitar down and do the freaking research yourself. Find out your mysterious uncle's full name and DOB and alleged branch and date of service and service number. Military records are public records.
 

American Horse

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Submit his name and vitals HERE. They claim to have the complete list of all people who served as MAC-SOG and willingly serve as a clearinghouse to debunk claims of service.
From the site:
This URL http://www.archives.gov/research_room/obtain_copies/veterans_service_records.html*will take you to where you can download, then print, a SF-180, which is the form used to request copies of a veterans service records.* You can request anyone's records, anyone can.* You will not get as complete a copy as the veteran themself would get.* If you can get the person to sign the SF-180 you will get more information.* But you don't need the veterans permission to request the records.* In most cases we don't have the veterans permission.* It also depends on which clerk gets the request in St. Louis.* In some cases we get a lot of information back, other times we get just a brief synopsis of the records, and what type of discharge they received
 
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