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  #41  
Old 04 February 2007, 03:44 PM
RBCal RBCal is offline
 
 
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Another reason it is likely an urban myth:

Spitting on someone is against the law and considered to be assault. I doubt most people would let someone spit on them without filing a police report. Thus it should be easy to find police and court records of it.
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  #42  
Old 04 February 2007, 04:06 PM
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FrogFeathers FrogFeathers is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdalene View Post
Actually, if you re-read this thread, we've had at least one poster state outright it happened to him.

And I told my father's account--not quite FOAF, that would be more of my father telling me it happened to one of his buddies. And while my dad can be a jackass, lying isn't amongst his vices. Sorry I can't be an eyewitness to the instance, but given that I wasn't conceived until September 1969--almost a full three years later--I'm afraid I have to rely on his firsthand account as told to me.

Magdalene
My father landed in Chicago, in uniform in 1968. He said they were escorted "privately" and not with the civilians because- he was told by the MPs at the airport: "there had been some incidents..." And, my father isn't one to tell "stories" and he rarely speaks about Vietnam in general. I tend to believe the few things he tells us.

I've been helping some friends of my parents this week (a trucker and his wife, stuck here because the wife is in the hospital with pneumonia). He served in 'Nam with the same unit as my dad, but arrived in '68 after my dad left. He went back in '70-'71. He told me just yesterday that he landed in San Fransico to change planes and a man walked right up to him and spit on him. He said he retaliated by throwing a punch and was promptly dragged off (he didn't say whether it was MPs or airport people) and escorted to his next gate.

So, since I heard it directly from him, just yesterday, at the restaurant at the Flying J truck stop before I drove him to the hospital to see his wife... I don't think that's a FOAF story either.

Frog-conceived in January 1969-Feathers
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  #43  
Old 04 February 2007, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Sara@home View Post
You know what always puzzled me? How do people spit far enough to hit someone unless they are right up next him? If you're standing toe-to-toe, it's pretty easy. But normally we aren't that close to perfect strangers as we walk through airports and the like. Can the average person spit that far? Am I that below average in my spitting ability?
In my case, I was standing in line with my boarding pass waiting to get onto the plane and someone walked up to me and spit on me from about a foot or two away.
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  #44  
Old 04 February 2007, 06:24 PM
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Bonnie Bonnie is offline
 
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For those interested, here are at least a couple previous discussions from the old board on "spat-upon Vietnam vets." (The second thread includes Jerry Lembcke's op-ed piece, which Ramblin' Dave mentions in his first post.)

http://msgboard.snopes.com/message/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/48/t/000368/p/1.html#000000

http://msgboard.snopes.com/message/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/48/t/000268/p/1.html#000000

Bonnie "dishonorable discharges" Taylor
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  #45  
Old 04 February 2007, 06:52 PM
RBCal RBCal is offline
 
 
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Originally Posted by Bonnie View Post
For those interested, here are at least a couple previous discussions from the old board on "spat-upon Vietnam vets." (The second thread includes Jerry Lembcke's op-ed piece, which Ramblin' Dave mentions in his first post.)

http://msgboard.snopes.com/message/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/48/t/000368/p/1.html#000000

http://msgboard.snopes.com/message/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/48/t/000268/p/1.html#000000

Bonnie "dishonorable discharges" Taylor
Interesting that in the older thread someone claimed to have both been spit on and had feces thrown at him.

Strange that no one reports on filing a police report for assault. This would be the first thing I would do.

Also, strange that everyone is returning back from Vietnam on commercial flights. Don't soldiers when they are being released from service fly home on military aircraft and disembark at military bases? I guess people could have been on leave but why would everyone wear their uniforms when they are on leave?

The fact that no one has found a police report or newspaper report of it happening makes it an urban legend and almost certainly untrue.
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  #46  
Old 04 February 2007, 11:18 PM
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FrogFeathers FrogFeathers is offline
 
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I once told the story of my dad being spit on, but it was a story told to me by my mom. When I got it from my dad, it was the one where the soldiers were escorted privately.

As for them returning on military vs. civilian flights. My dad flew in to San Fransico on a military flight, then boarded a commercial flight to Chicago. As for the gentleman I talked to yesterday and today- he flew into San Fran and transferred to a flight to Alaska.
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  #47  
Old 04 February 2007, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by RBCal View Post
Also, strange that everyone is returning back from Vietnam on commercial flights. Don't soldiers when they are being released from service fly home on military aircraft and disembark at military bases?
Not necessarily. It's not unusual for servicemen and servicewomen to fly back from a foreign country into a US airport and then transfer onto an airline to fly home from there.
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  #48  
Old 04 February 2007, 11:34 PM
pinqy pinqy is offline
 
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Originally Posted by RBCal View Post
Also, strange that everyone is returning back from Vietnam on commercial flights. Don't soldiers when they are being released from service fly home on military aircraft and disembark at military bases?
Not necessarily. In 8 years active duty, I never flew on a military plane. Coming from Vietnam, it would make sense for a military flight to Japan, or the Philipinnes, or Hawaii, then civilian to the States. Or, as others have said, military flight to SF then civilian on to final destination.
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I guess people could have been on leave but why would everyone wear their uniforms when they are on leave?
Because until the 1990's, official travel required wearing the uniform.
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  #49  
Old 04 February 2007, 11:49 PM
Christie Christie is offline
 
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Originally Posted by pinqy View Post
Because until the 1990's, official travel required wearing the uniform.
Would that include going home on leave though? Most of the stories I have heard seem to involve soldiers going home, not traveling for the military. I always thought they were still in uniform (especially coming from Vietnam) because they wouldn't have had civilian clothes with them, or if they did would not have had the opportunity to change.

More on topic: I remember in another thread mentioning my uncle who served in the US Army during Vietnam. He never had any stories about being spit on but it's not hard to believe that it did happen to at least a few people, based on the stories he had to tell about what did happen to him.

I always wondered if any soldier took a swing at any of the agitators who always seemed to be around airports and train stations back then.
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  #50  
Old 05 February 2007, 12:39 AM
RBCal RBCal is offline
 
 
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Originally Posted by Christie View Post
Would that include going home on leave though? Most of the stories I have heard seem to involve soldiers going home, not traveling for the military. I always thought they were still in uniform (especially coming from Vietnam) because they wouldn't have had civilian clothes with them, or if they did would not have had the opportunity to change.

More on topic: I remember in another thread mentioning my uncle who served in the US Army during Vietnam. He never had any stories about being spit on but it's not hard to believe that it did happen to at least a few people, based on the stories he had to tell about what did happen to him.

I always wondered if any soldier took a swing at any of the agitators who always seemed to be around airports and train stations back then.
Unfortunately I am old enough to remember the Vietnam war. There was even more media coverage of the war and anti-war protests then than there is now for the Iraqi war. In fact, one reason that the current Iraq war is not covered as thoroughly as the Vietnam war was is that the government learned that media coverage of body bags and coffins returning home led to the public opposing a war. Thus, now no pictures of coffins or body bags are allowed. (Off topic a bit but isn't this censorship???)

If soldiers were spat upon there would have been media reports. There are none, thus it's an urban legend.
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  #51  
Old 05 February 2007, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by RBCal View Post
Thus, now no pictures of coffins or body bags are allowed. (Off topic a bit but isn't this censorship???)
Uh...I've seen pictures of caskets of servicemen and servicewomen on television within the last few years. On CNN quite recently I saw a picture of the inside of a large transport plane (it might have been a C-17) that had some caskets covered with flags.

ETA: A cursory Google search led me to this article about a serviceman's funeral, complete with a picture of his coffin being carried by pallbearers. If I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying that this is an illegal article?

Last edited by Class Bravo; 05 February 2007 at 01:07 AM.
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  #52  
Old 05 February 2007, 01:06 AM
Christie Christie is offline
 
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Originally Posted by RBCal View Post
Unfortunately I am old enough to remember the Vietnam war. There was even more media coverage of the war and anti-war protests then than there is now for the Iraqi war. In fact, one reason that the current Iraq war is not covered as thoroughly as the Vietnam war was is that the government learned that media coverage of body bags and coffins returning home led to the public opposing a war. Thus, now no pictures of coffins or body bags are allowed. (Off topic a bit but isn't this censorship???)

If soldiers were spat upon there would have been media reports. There are none, thus it's an urban legend.
I'm old enough to remember the Vietnam War as well, although admittedly from a child's perspective. As a matter of fact we lived in Hawaii for 3 years during the mid-60s and my parents had friends who were stationed at Schofield Barracks, even without that contact it would have been difficult not to encounter soldiers. They were everywhere.

I agree with you that I personally never read about or heard about a spitting incident. I'm not so sure that means that it is completely impossible to believe that it never ever happened, not even once.

Last edited by Christie; 05 February 2007 at 01:14 AM.
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  #53  
Old 05 February 2007, 11:14 AM
RBCal RBCal is offline
 
 
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Originally Posted by Class Bravo View Post
Uh...I've seen pictures of caskets of servicemen and servicewomen on television within the last few years. On CNN quite recently I saw a picture of the inside of a large transport plane (it might have been a C-17) that had some caskets covered with flags.

ETA: A cursory Google search led me to this article about a serviceman's funeral, complete with a picture of his coffin being carried by pallbearers. If I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying that this is an illegal article?
Quote:
(CBS/AP) The debate over privacy, secrecy, and the public's right to know has again flared up at the Pentagon - this time over a very sensitive subject: the photographing of soldiers' coffins as they are shipped home.

Under a policy adopted in 1991, the Pentagon bars news organizations from photographing caskets being returned to the United States, saying publication of such photos would be insensitive to bereaved families.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in613365.shtml

For the people who claim to have a FOAF, an acquaintance, or a relative who was spat on can you please ask them why they didn't file a police report for assault and report back on what they say? Perhaps they can obtain a copy of the police report and post it?
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  #54  
Old 05 February 2007, 12:01 PM
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Richard W Richard W is offline
 
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Originally Posted by RBCal View Post
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in613365.shtml

For the people who claim to have a FOAF, an acquaintance, or a relative who was spat on can you please ask them why they didn't file a police report for assault and report back on what they say? Perhaps they can obtain a copy of the police report and post it?
I have no opinion one way or the other on the "spitting" issue, but I do think it's a bit much to expect that everybody who was spat on would immediately run off and file an assault charge. It would certainly never occur to me to do so, and I wouldn't expect the police to take it seriously if I tried to.

Who would you be filing the charge against, for one thing? Do you demand ID?
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  #55  
Old 05 February 2007, 12:49 PM
pinqy pinqy is offline
 
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Ok, I think we can agree that, do to lack of news coverage, there probably was no regular, and likely no instances at all, of groups lining up and spitting at returning soldiers. However, we cannot discount the possibility, the likelihood, that individual acts of spitting did occur. Some of the accounts likely have been conflated...individuals relating bad treatment including spitting even though it didn't actual occur (when telling stories to relate a general principle, such as bad treatment of vets, individuals will often include as happening to them incidents they had heard from others). For example, I served in Desert Storm, returned to Germany afterwards and personally was not present at any parades or celebrations, but when talking about general treatment of troops it wouldn't be dishonest of me to say that "after Desert Storm we were greeted with parades" because such parades did occur and "we" meaning returning vets were greeted with them, even though I personally did not participate. So even a few isolated incidences could be honestly spread so that it appears to be more.

pinqy
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  #56  
Old 05 February 2007, 01:46 PM
Magdalene Magdalene is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBCal View Post
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in613365.shtml

For the people who claim to have a FOAF, an acquaintance, or a relative who was spat on can you please ask them why they didn't file a police report for assault and report back on what they say? Perhaps they can obtain a copy of the police report and post it?
If you actually read my account of my dad's experience--he was on his way to get back home to see his mom before she died. (As it was, she died within 12 hours of my dad's arrival.) Dying mom vs. Idiot woman who spit on him--does it really take a genius to figure out why he didn't bother to take the time out to try and file a police report?

Magdalene
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  #57  
Old 05 February 2007, 02:33 PM
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"based on a true story"

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Originally Posted by SiKboy View Post
Huh? The movie "Rambo: First Blood" is based on the novel "First Blood" by david morrell. I've never heard anyone claim it was based on a true story. The wikipedia page for it ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambo ) doesnt mention it being based on a true story either. Now, I'm not saying that wiki is the be-all and end-all here, but do you have a cite for this?
I did put that in quotes on purpose. I belive original press for the film stated it was based on a true story, however as I was not in a privledged position to see that press, this as well may be an Urban Legend.

It is possible that the ideas of the film are inspired by actual events, though greatly exagerated, but that's not important. My main intention was simply to state that neither the film nor the book could be the origin of the story as the leged is presented without question, and as such was proabably a generally accepted legend.

As I had heard the story was "based on a true story" it is possible the legend also relates to whomever the story was based on, but then again, as it is only "based on" a true story, the individual incident may not be true.
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  #58  
Old 05 February 2007, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
I have no opinion one way or the other on the "spitting" issue, but I do think it's a bit much to expect that everybody who was spat on would immediately run off and file an assault charge. It would certainly never occur to me to do so, and I wouldn't expect the police to take it seriously if I tried to.

Who would you be filing the charge against, for one thing? Do you demand ID?
Excuse me, Richard, but I think you've got this turned around. I agree that it's a bit much to expect every vet who was spat upon to file a police report. To me, though, and I think to others in this thread, it's a bit odd that not one of the vets who were spat upon would have done so. Until two or three police reports appear, I'm going to remain convinced that the total number of spitting incidents in this country is probably somewhere between zero and ten. (Do I need to clarify that I'm referring particularly to spitting attacks on returning Vietnam vets?)

I was a teen-ager, and became draft-eligible a scant six months before the US' involvement in that war ended. You can bet I followed the war and anti-war news pretty closely in those days. I'm quite sure that if there had ever been a reportable incident of peace activists, or anyone, spitting on a soldier, it would have made the front pages. It would have been much too (ahem) juicy a story to ignore.

I'm not saying it never happened, but I think the few incidents in which it did happen were isolated, very much a case of one guy, for whatever disturbed reason, spitting on one veteran. There's no way this happened in mob scenes, with veterans being bombarded by loogies from all sides.

Dog (Where was Zsa Zsa Gabor at the time?) Friendly
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  #59  
Old 05 February 2007, 04:45 PM
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You are personally invited to wander down to LAX, and walk up to the nearest security person and say you want to file a police report that some unknown person had spit on you. You can then post a copy of said report on the board showing that the people who said they were spit on really weren't because they can't show you a piece of paper. After you finish this exercise in futility, you will discover that even in today's much more stringent security atmosphere, including the possibility of disease transmission, you will be laughed at. Not to mention that it may take you several hours to try to complete this mission at which time you would have missed your airplane.
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  #60  
Old 05 February 2007, 05:03 PM
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wanderwoman wanderwoman is offline
 
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Originally Posted by hardhead View Post
You are personally invited to wander down to LAX, and walk up to the nearest security person and say you want to file a police report that some unknown person had spit on you. You can then post a copy of said report on the board showing that the people who said they were spit on really weren't because they can't show you a piece of paper. After you finish this exercise in futility, you will discover that even in today's much more stringent security atmosphere, including the possibility of disease transmission, you will be laughed at. Not to mention that it may take you several hours to try to complete this mission at which time you would have missed your airplane.
Well, that's another thing. Why would people only spit at airports?

And even if security wouldn't intervene for a spitting incident, they would have for the ass-whooping incident that would most certainly have followed in some instances, if this had been a common phenomenon.

As others here have said, the odd incident of spitting might have happened. However, there are too many holes in the story for it to have been the frequent occurance that some have alleged it was.
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