BY XANDE ANDERER
A good meal, first and foremost, must be served hot. And this meal is very hot.
Rolling waves of steam sweep upward, filling the air with the aroma of garlic
and paprika. Dinner tonight is sausage and spicy Cajun rice. There’s
almond poppyseed pound cake for dessert and hot chai tea. Where, pray tell,
is this meal is being served?
Would you believe on a remote mountain pass in Afghanistan’s
The age-old maxim holds that an army moves on its stomach.
But soldiers from the Napoleonic Wars to Vietnam were forced
to eat essentially the same tins of meat and beans. That
has all changed in recent years as scientists and nutritionists
have joined forces to make extraordinary changes in what
American soldiers eat in the field.
To see just how far battlefield rations have come in recent
years, you only need to see how little it improved over its
first 170 years.
complete article ]
BY FRED J. WILHELM
A light rain is falling. Marilyn and I hear something in
the distance, a voice, but we cannot make out what is being
said. Walking closer, I can hear names being read one by
one. We are in Washington, D.C., to visit two old friends,
Raymond J. Kiesler and Charles Hicks.
Closer now, I can see The Wall and veterans, friends, and
families listening in the rain to the names being read.
We walk by the vendors, and we look at the Three Soldiers,
at their equipment, the M-60 and the M-16. And always in
the air, the names are being read, one by one.
I gaze at the people touching and staring at the names,
hugging each other and leaving mementos. A stage with a podium
stands in the grassy area. From here, more than 58,000 names
are being read day and night until they are all heard by
the men and women who have been here for 25 years.
BY MARC LEEPSON
Thirty years ago, a brash, new veterans’ service organization
was founded in Washington, D.C. Vietnam Veterans of America
quickly qualified as a 501(c) (19), the special, tax-exempt,
non-profit designation given by the IRS to organizations
made up of war veterans that have programs that help needy
and disabled veterans and their families and do community
service work. But soon after that, VVA added a new component,
the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, which was organized
as a 501 (c) (3).
“There was always a question about the fundraising
abilities of a c-19,” said Skip Roberts, who served
as VVAF’s executive director in the late 1980s. “All
the other veterans’ service organizations had foundations;
that’s how they raised funds outside of membership
dues. I don’t think any VSO can survive just on membership
At first the Foundation was used, Roberts said, “as
a checking account mechanism to fund VVA.” Then, beginning
in August of 1987 when Bobby Muller stepped aside as VVA’s
first president and headed the VVAF, the Foundation began
making charitable contributions. That included providing
grants to homeless veterans’ programs and the Vets
Vote! program, which worked, Roberts said, “on voter
registration and other ways to get veterans involved in the
Mark Jury was sent to Vietnam in July 1969. This was not
one of the military’s wisest personnel moves.
Drafted into the Army, Jury was eager not to fight in the
war but to document it. For the next 12 months, armed with
a trio of battered Nikon cameras and supplied with 36-exposure
rolls of Tri-X film by his Aunt Nink in Pennsylvania, Spec
5 Jury roamed South Vietnam more or less at will, unrestrained
by rank, empowered by his military press card.
His assignment as a photographer was nebulous, and he took
full advantage of his situation. Shooting film instead of
ordnance, he captured the “quiet war” beyond
the body count, the ambience of fire bases and hospitals
and rear-area offices. Mostly he caught the symbols and scrawls
of peace and rebellion of a new generation of soldier less
enamored of winning the war than with simply surviving his