Thursday, November 16, 2006

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Chief DeWayne Browning

Chief DeWayne Browning in Iraq

Old guys in a new Army
The difference between Vietnam and Iraq from Vietnam veterans working in Iraq.

In Iraq, "no such thing as POW". The enemey has "absolutely no value" for life.
Iraqi civilians near the base are growing "more positive toward U.S. forces".
"...the people in the United States respect what the soldiers are doing,"
"At its peak the Vietnam War had more than three times as many on the ground as the roughly 140,000 in Iraq today. The new Army that these vets serve in is all volunteer. There are women in uniform all around, as pilots, MPs, mechanics and nearly all other jobs except for infantry and armor units."

One Vietnam vet's Iraqi mission
By Patrick Jackson,
BBC News -November 15, 2006

DeWayne Browning is one of a small number of Americans uniquely qualified to compare the Vietnam and Iraq conflicts, having served in both as a helicopter pilot.

With George W Bush visiting Vietnam for the first time this week, the recently retired pilot spoke to the BBC News website about his efforts, second time around, to bring some humanity to the horror of war.

Mr Browning got drafted - but not for Vietnam. Ironically, his combat call-up only came in 2004 when he was asked to go to Iraq as a 55-year-old reservist in the California Army National Guard.

Back in 1969, he had pre-empted the draft by signing up for helicopter training, seeing it as a more interesting prospect than the regular army.

Serving in Vietnam with the Americal Division, he flew Huey troop carriers and occasionally Cobra gunships.

He went to Iraq theoretically as a higher staff officer but was soon transporting soldiers on a Black Hawk, the Huey's successor.

And his commanders had another, more unorthodox job for Chief Browning which indirectly led to a humanitarian mission of his own.

"...Why?"


Vietnam vets in Iraq see 'entirely different war'
By Steven Komarow,
USA TODAY - June 20, 2005

TIKRIT, Iraq — Before dawn, the pilots digest their intelligence briefing with coffee. The sun rises as they start preflight checks. Just after 7:30, they start rotors turning on their UH-60A Black Hawk, and ease it smoothly into the desert sky ...Read it all.

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