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Viet Nam War Era Cover Addressed To My Father;

 
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Posted 02/20/2019   11:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add stampfan9 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
My father was the C.O. of the 125th Signal Bn. 25th Infantry Div. "Tropic Lightning" at the time this cover was mailed. Geographically the cover was mailed from Bangkok, Thailand to Cu Chi, Viet Nam:

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Robert

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Posted 02/20/2019   11:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add craigk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great cover. I recall reading an article many years ago written by an officer who was at Cu Chi in early March of 1969 when a second Tet offensive was staged. Did not get the same press coverage as the '68 Tet but casualties were extensive. I know the 25th was involved and the late NOV '68 date on your father's letter cuts it pretty close to that assualt.
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Edited by craigk - 02/21/2019 12:03 am
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Posted 02/21/2019   02:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampfan9 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sincerely hoping that I do not offend anyone here on the forum I will share the contents of the cover.

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Robert
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Posted 02/21/2019   03:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Hal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi STAMPFAN9

Great topic. Great postal history item. Thank you for the post.

Nobody should be offended by postal history...it goes with the subject and topic...and if they do, that's their problem -- not the person that has posted the item. Believe me, there are far more sensitive areas postal history topics shown and discussed on the Forum than the Viet Nam War.

Hal
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Posted 02/21/2019   05:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampfan9 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for the kind replies. Dad passed away 5 January this year. He had 34 years military service as an enlisted and as an officer.
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Robert
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Posted 02/21/2019   06:37 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...Nobody should be offended by postal history...it goes with the subject and topic...and if they do, that's their problem -- not the person that has posted the item...

I disagree with Hal's opinion above, classifying something as 'history' does not remove the rights of those who originally wrote a letter thinking it was private. Embarrassing content can also affect family members even when the original sender and receiver are no longer alive.

How would you feel if someone gets a hold of your old hard drive one day and publicly publishes all of your old emails justifying it as 'history'? Where is the line between postal history and voyeurism or gossip? If you have a letter which contains content which describes a historically significant event but also admits to infidelity, is it ok to publicly publish it? How do you know the impact to others by publishing it? Unless it is in the document, only the originally sender and receiver know their intent. Without an understanding from the original sender and receiver, any possible justification(s) has to include apathy.

Making thing worse, it is often common that the chain of ownership of these letters is not known. Obviously the letter was originally saved but was the letter retained for the purpose of retaining history or was it retained for reasons of the heart? Was the letter thrown into the garbage and someone else salvaged it? Perhaps a box of letters and documents were stolen.

In this specific case (the letter above), I think that Robert was in a position to make an informed judgement on its release. He knows the chain of ownership, the impact, and it is his own father's letter. But in many other cases people do not consider the impact of publishing these letters and I cannot help but feel that this causes some people to spin in their graves.
Don
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Posted 02/21/2019   10:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add craigk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for sharing. Not sure how much material your father passed on to you but I came across a magazine called 'Tropic Lightning News' which reported on activity at CuChi. The date of the letter is Nov 19, 1968 and this is the Nov 11, 1968 issue.

The second story is about a PFC who literally gets hit twice in the body by two RPG's and the grenades fail to detonate. Also, stories about the infamous tunnels.

Your father may have known the fellow(s) at the tail end of the article.

https://www.25thida.org/TLN/tln3-46.htm

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Posted 02/21/2019   7:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Hal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I understand and can agree, to some extent, with the thoughts and feelings Don (51studebaker) expressed in response to my comments on postal history and the footprint, written or digital, that remains of one's existence while they are alive. The courts are full of cases attempting to prove and disprove ownership of one action after they have been released to the public domain.

Don asks, "How would you feel if someone gets a hold of your old hard drive one day and publicly publishes all of your old emails justifying it as 'history'?" Well, in my case I don't have a problem. I've had nothing on any of my hard drives to be embarrassed about, but Don makes a valid point.

Don asks, "Where is the line between postal history and voyeurism or gossip?" I say anyone ...and I mean anyone who picks-up a letter or group of correspondence not addressed to them and reads it is in fact a voyeur...a gossip... an eavesdropper... a snoop...a spy...an intruder...a trespasser --a robber and stealer of someone else's information NOT belonging to them!

Don postures this question: "If you have a letter which contains content which describes a historically significant event but also admits to infidelity, is it ok to publicly publish it?" My response to this is a resounding, "NO!", and here's why. Discretion. I believe you need to use common sense and discretion in what you write; there is "history" and then there is, using Don's words, "gossip"...I prefer the word voyeurism.

Finally, I think the most valid point's Don makes are: "... the chain of ownership of these letters is not known. Obviously the letter was originally saved but was the letter retained for the purpose of retaining history or was it retained for reasons of the heart? Was the letter thrown into the garbage and someone else salvaged it? Perhaps a box of letters and documents were stolen." More importantly, Don answers the problem he questions with, "... I think that Robert was in a position to make an informed judgment on its release. He knows the chain of ownership, the impact, and it is his own father's letter. But in many other cases people do not consider the impact of publishing these letters and I cannot help but feel that this causes some people to spin in their graves.

Unfortunately, here is where I disagree with Don...but only a little bit, after a cover and its contents have been released into Public Domain. If you don't want your "private" information seen by anyone else ... DESTROY IT!...or leave instructions for it to be destroyed upon your demise. Sloth is never an excuse for stupidity. The onus is on family members of the Executor to protect the original owner of the material. Otherwise, you should have every expectation that your personal belongings will be sold or thrown away after your death, without being checked for family information that should have been destroyed. Stolen property is a completely different story, that was not given permission to be released and "chain of custody" would apply.

I buy covers (not intentionally) that include contents that should have been thrown away. Yes, I admit I scan the letters for historical information, however IF the letter is strictly "gossip" I do what the relatives should have done BEFORE they sold the correspondence... I tear-up and throw away the correspondence; I don't retain it for resale. I do that in ALL cases with the exception of stampless covers. Before I purchase a stampless cover, I always request a scan of the inside or look at the inside of the SFL before I make the purchase. If the stampless cover does not have historical content, I don't purchase it; but that's me.

At some level I hope postal historians have the ability to know what is proper to publish and what is not proper -- it's called common sense. I have correspondence from British Jewish Civilian Internment Camps that I would never publish. I have group of Black American ex-slave covers, between a woman and her husband (both ex-slaves) describing the conditions of "treatment" under their new white masters, I would never publish, dating from early 1900s, and so on.

Don, when I posted my comments, my thoughts were concerning the "topic" and not regarding the "content". Thank you for your post.

Best regards,
Hal
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Posted 02/22/2019   07:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampfan9 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Craigk, From the March 11 1968 issue of "TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS" is this item concerning my Dad:

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Robert
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Posted 02/22/2019   08:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add modernstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for sharing.
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Posted 02/22/2019   12:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add funcitypapa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This issue about the privacy of correspondence from people deceased is a very interesting one and one I have ambivalent feelings about because while I agree that in many, if not most cases, the original writers of letters wrote them never anticipating that anyone other than the recipient of the letter would ever see them. However I am a collector of historical manuscripts and a good deal of what we know of historical personages is gleaned not from official, but private correspondence. Also I have recently inherited a treasure trove of family correspondence from my mother's estate including love letters between my parents and even grandparents going back to the 1920's. I am certain they never thought I would see these letters and would feel bad if they were offended that I had seen them. They add a dimension to their personalities and lives that I did not previously appreciate or understand. I am preserving these letters to honor them and their memory and also in the off chance that my children and grandchildren at some point may want to know what came before them—this is a wish and hope only.

In historical times, particularly around the American revolution, some of the signers, for example Arthur Middleton of SC would either write in code or not sign their letters figuring that the identify of the sender would be obvious to the recipient just by the script and content. It has been said that the founding fathers knew that were going to be eternally famous and often played to their future audience (us) posturing or showing us what they wanted us to know and no more. Others, and here I am thinking of John Adams, seems to have not been able to contain themselves with their true feelings—which is why his letters continue to delight. In our more recent time, Harry Truman often did not hesitate to tell it like it is.
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Posted 03/16/2019   08:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampfan9 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Corrected to credit photographer.

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Robert
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