LZ Lambeau

May 22, 2010

All Posts, News

Forty-two years after the siege of Khe Sanh and the Tet Offensive and thirty-five years after the fall of Saigon the state of Wisconsin officially welcomed the troops back home from Vietnam this weekend. The event is called LZ, for Landing Zone, Lambeau.

The official welcoming began Friday with a motorcycle “honor ride” of 1,244 Wisconsin Vietnam veterans from La Crosse, on the Mississippi River side of the state to Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The number of riders represented the number of men Wisconsin lost in Vietnam.

Riders attended a mandatory safety meeting Thursday night to be briefed on “specific details about the times and routes, along with the ‘rules of the road.’” Riders then left La Crosse in small groups “at different intervals to avoid congestion and collisions on the road.”

Welcome Home

Honor riders were also welcomed home with the opportunity to purchase an official “Honor Ride package from Global recognition to include a LZ Lambeau Honor Ride patch, windscreen logo, hatpin, and a LZ Lambeau Honor Ride challenge coin. This package costs $20.”

The event was sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, the Wisconsin Historical Society and Wisconsin Public Television. Between 50,000 and 70,000 people were expected to attend.

The motorcycle ride was led by a man named Gary Wetzel who was awarded a Medal of Honor for his actions on January 8th, 1968. He was a door gunner on a helicopter that was shot down by a rocket propelled grenade. He was severely wounded, passed out twice from the loss of blood and still managed to hold off the enemy with his machine gun until relief could arrive.

Wetzel told the Appleton (Wisconsin) Post-Crescent, “We are constantly saying thank you to our World War II veterans. This is a thank you to the Vietnam veterans. Amen.”

Responsible Opposing View

A small group of veterans protested the event. A man named Buzz Davis who represents a group called Veterans for Peace told the ABC affiliate in Green Bay that, “The idea is good, but It’s all been taken over by pro-military, pro-war and recruitment efforts.” Then he told NBC, “It has turned into a million dollar extravaganza, motorcycle rides and all that sort of thing.”

A man named Will Williams described the event as “a promotion for militarism, for support for current wars and to recruit young people.”

The event ends Sunday with an event called the “Wiping of the Tears Ceremony.”

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34 Responses to “LZ Lambeau”

  1. John Cokos Says:

    Charlie O:
    Spot On with your observation. I thought it was just me who was paranoid. The cheering section for the War Effort has spread to many other organization as well. It all sounds like Republican Talking Points with whatever Vet’s organization your with. I think the parimiter has been breached, Sapper’s in the Wire.

  2. Emily Says:

    Great post and no further comment necessary.

    DocB ……
    Same Country, Same Year, Same Branch, Same War

  3. DocB Says:


    And a welcome home to you as well.
    Welcome home to all the vets from all branches in all wars and actions. To all still serving, We’re here for you when you get back and condolences for your lost brothers.

    None Forgotten None Left Behind


  4. bob Says:

    I’m too young to have served in the Vietnamese Conflict(graduated from high school in ’75). I did a peacetime enlistment in Schofield Barracks(11b ’83-’85)where I bought an ’83 XLX and brought it back to Va. because I was a sp/4 at ETS.I’ve heard accounts of Vietnam vets being disrespected by VFW members back in the day,but guess what:it’s vets from the ‘Nam era running and supporting those posts ,now.We respected the combat vets who were around during my enlistment and besides Tropic Lightning vets ,there seemed to be a lot of 1stCav,101st,173Abn combat vets,among others.I reckon all I’m saying is that your service and sacrifice is more acknowledged by appreciative and respectful folks than you may think.

  5. RVN69 Says:

    Welcome Home brother!

  6. DocB Says:

    Great post and no further comment necessary.

    DocB ……
    Same Country, Same Year, Same Branch, Same War

  7. Not Surprised Says:

    Echoing sled tramp. Respect to all who served and in memoriam to my own father who flew 17 more bombimg missions than required to rotate home, particpated in 16 behind enemy lines rescues and was awarded the DFC US Army Air Corp, Bari,Italy.

    Give ’em hell Pop

  8. RVN69 Says:

    Joined the VFW when I came home in 1970, looking for a place to relax. After knocking the shit out of a Korean Vet who just couldn’t stop telling me how Vietnam wasn’t a real war I quit and found a real brotherhood. Hate the war, but honor the Warrior.

    God bless us and all those like us since 1775.
    Si vis Pacem, Parabellum.

  9. prettybitch Says:


    that took my breathe away. God Bless all that served and still do.

  10. Squirts Says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading the posts in this forum. Many of you may be surprised that the sentiments expressed here parallel discussions my comrades and I have had at the VFW Post. Back in the day when Vietnam was at “full tilt”, not only were its veterans ostracized by the public at large, but there was HUGE bias expressed by WWII and even Korean War Vets toward Vietnam Vets. The issue was so acute among veterans that many Vietnam Vets formed their own organization (Vietnam Veterans of America- VVA).
    Decades flow by and people, civilians and other veterans, began to realize that “a vet is a vet is a vet” and ALL veterans deserve respect and recognition not for their specific battle, trials or tribulations, but for having the cajones to step up in the first place. The assholes out in the world who see vets as easy marks for money, those who wave flags on Monday but badmouth the US on Tuesday and those who simply do not understand are no more than distractions to the fact that many men and women have given their ultimate sacrifice so that folks like you and me can enjoy the fruits of democracy. Sorry to get all “patriotic” and shit, but this is an issue which hits close to home. My sicerest respects to ALL vets who have come before and after me who have secured and are securing the freedoms so many take for granted. Squirts
    VFW Riders, Illinois; Post 1117

  11. Chief Says:

    All the Way, Sled

  12. Nooster Says:

    Amen to you Brother, Powerful and Emotional words!


  13. sled tramp Says:

    So it gets said before I hit the weekend….
    To anyone that served anywhere,anytime,in any service and did anything that entails from pumping fuel to getting wet.
    Thank you for your service.I appreciate your sacrifices and honor your achievements.You’re not forgotten in my home.
    sled tramp

  14. Chief Says:

    To all the ‘nam vets: I thank you with every fiber of my being. My father served in Vietnam and I have 20 years in the Army with deployments and duty stations on four continents including my current repeat in Afghanistan. I stand tall today because you are there to ensure that what happened to you will not happen again.

    To those that have been there no explanation is necessary, to those who have not no explanation is good enough.

    CW3 Hess,
    Kandahar Airfield

  15. RVN69 Says:

    They carried P-38 can openers and heat tabs, watches and dog tags, insect repellent, cigarette, Zippo lighters, salt tablets, compress bandages, ponchos, Kool Aid, two or three canteens of water, iodine tablets, sterno, LRRP rations and C-rations stuffed in socks.

    They carried standard fatigues, jungle fatigues, jungle boots, bush hats, flak jackets and steel pots.

    The carried the M-16, trip flares and Claymore mines, M60 machine guns, M79 grenade launchers, M14’s, CAR15’s, Stoners, Swedish K’s, 66mm LAWS, shotguns, .45 cal pistols, silencers, and the sound of bullets, rockets and choppers, and sometimes the sound of silence.

    They carried C4 plastic explosives, an assortment of hand grenades, PRC25 radios with 25 foot whip antennas and their heavy batteries, knives and machetes.

    Some carried napalm, CBU’s, and large bombs; some risked their lives to rescue others.

    Some escaped the fear, but dealt with the death and damage. Some made very hard decisions and some just tried to survive.

    They carried malaria, dysentery, ringworms and leeches.

    They carried the land itself as it hardened on their boots.

    They carried stationary, pencils, and pictures of their loved ones, real and imagined.

    They carried love for people in the real world and love for one another.

    And sometimes they disquised that love: “Don’t mean nothin’!”

    The carried memories.

    For the most part they carried themselves with poise and a kind of dignity.

    Now and then, there were times when the panic set in, and people squealed of wanted to, but couldn’t; when they twitched and made moaning sounds and covered their heads and said “Dear God” and hugged the earth and fired their weapons blindly and cringed and begged for the noise to stop and went wild and made promises to themselves and God and their parents hoping not to die.

    They carried the traditions of the United States Military, and the memories and images of those who served before them.

    They carried grief, terror, longing and their reputations.

    They carried the soldiers greatest fear: the embarrasment of dishonor.

    They crawled into tunnels, walked point, and advanced under fire, so as not to die of embarrasment.

    They were afraid of dying, but too afraid to show it.

    They carried the emotional baggage of men and women who might die at any moment.

    The carried the weight of the world and the weight of every free citizen of America.

    And they carried each other.

    Excerpt from: The things they carried by Tim O’Brien.

    God bless us and all those like us since 1775!
    Semper Fi

  16. Missouri Breaks 101 Says:

    Vietnam Vet cop to Vietnam Vet truck driver:

    “See you only been back six weeks but I am already going to do for you what it took me six months to find out somebody was going to do for me.”

    “Yes sir, what’s that.”

    “Absolutely nothing.”

    Very true. It wouldn’t be so funny if it wasn’t the spot on truth.

  17. YYZ Skinhead Says:

    I was born while the war was winding down. Both sides of my family were military families and my dad (who fortunately served during peacetime) was a biker. We were watching Patton and my dad explained what PTSD (aka shellshock and battle fatigue) was, and how a lot of Vietnam Veterans had it. I wasn’t able to enlist in 1990 because I already had it.


    YYZ Skinhead

  18. Rebel Says:

    Dear Missouri Breaks,

    Vietnam Vet cop to Vietnam Vet truck driver:

    “See you only been back six weeks but I am already going to do for you what it took me six months to find out somebody was going to do for me.”

    “Yes sir, what’s that.”

    “Absolutely nothing.”

    From Electra Glide in Blue


  19. troll7552 Says:

    to all the vets on this post i say from one vet to another welcome home brothers.
    with respect to all.
    uss whetstone lsd 27

  20. Missouri Breaks 101 Says:

    I have to agree with Doc on the hollow ring that the ‘Welcome home” brings 40+ years after the fact. It almost feels more like a big “Fuck You” instead. I, too grew up in a home where my dad suffered the horrors of flashbacks and mental health issues that haunted him until his death, an uncle who couldn’t kick heroin or the bottle after he got back until he passed. That being said, I still joined The Marines at 18 and served proudly for my family and country.
    I am concerned that the military does use events like these to bolster recruitment, but I think that most people should understand the high level of committment an enlistment into the Armed Forces brings, with the potential of the ultimate sacrifice. If they do not understand, they are morons who will learn the hard way to research things a little more in the future.

    I truly hope that America doesn’t turn their backs on the returning combat vets like they did on the Vietnam Veterans, but I think the government is already traveling down that path. The longer these two wars go on, the more I think this will happen.

    Just my two cents. Love the site, Rebel.

    Semper Fidelis

  21. I.J Says:

    Call me cynical but aren’t they short of troups in Afganistan?

  22. Miss Krista Says:

    God Bless you all who have done so much for us – there’s just NO WAY way to express how much my family all love and respect you, and appreciate you, and what you have given for us, as everyone should. I was a little girl during Viet Nam but I had more than 1 POW bracelet, one adopted from someone who didnt care enough for it, and prayed for literally hours every week in my bed at home for everyone there, and am truly BLESSED to have some really amazing friends who are combat vets. I cannot say enough or convey my feelings in words, but I can teach my children the respect, and continue to show the love at every opportunity. To me it has never had ANYTHING to do with WHAT battle someone fought/is fighting, but the amazing person who did/does it. And frankly I do feel that the “war” we’re fighting with the law is sometimes as hard and important – some are literally giving their lives for what they believe which to me is Freedom at Whatever the Cost. Love and Respect

  23. Not Surprised Says:

    Viet Nam Era vets definitely got the shit end of the stick. I’m not a vet, but I do hope events like this bring some solace to those who are.

  24. sled tramp Says:

    Thanks, although I did get to wandering in that. To make sure I’m clear, I have absolutely no problem with USO etc..entertainers or any celebrity that lends a hand in support of our troops.Far from it. I’m not crazy about photo ops in the here and now, using the catch all term celebrity for lack of a better word.Those people that while normally distancing themselves from,or having gone on record as speaking out against, our troops yet given the opportunity, speed to any event -in this case, veteran bike rallys-to get in the picture.Perhaps this too is not what I’m trying to get across but given the day I had, it’s gonna have to do.These events tend, as they grow, to overshadow the real heart of the matter.It just kind of bothers me.

  25. RVN69 Says:

    Sled Tramp,
    You never have to apoligize for your heartfelt feelings. To paraphrase Rebel, rather 10,000 of you saying what you really feel than one bullshit politician or actor giving a speech for profit or exposure. I respect the entertainment people who give something to the troops by providing a little R&R even if they do not serve. I remember sitting on the hills outside Danang watching Bob Hope do his Christmas show and for a little while I actually forgot where I was. I will ride in Rolling Thunder this year exactly because I remember what the original intent was, and as I said before I will not let the posers and biker lites stop me from remembering my fallen brothers, Rolling Thunder is our ride, not theirs.

    Respect to all that have earned it.
    Si vis Pacem, Parabellum.

  26. sled tramp Says:

    With an increasing number of vets returning from the war and reports of high suicide rates,mental health problems,PTSD etc, let’s hope that in the long,cold shadows this country cast on veterans of Viet Nam we can emerge in a new light of understanding our need to be there for them and accept the price vets pay for their time in combat zones.We pay big bucks to watch movies made by actors and directors that refused to go but now hop on the wagon hoping nobody will notice.As Doc says, the “Welcome Home” said to a vet with a Nam Veteran hat rings hollow unless you were there.Between WWII and ‘Nam, nobody in any of my family’s homes slept at night due to PSTD,I grew up with guys that couldn’t shake their Viet Nam experience.Drug use,divorces,loss of jobs,the wounds were not limited to shrapnel and AK rounds. And the scars are permanant and deep.I remember a friend crawling across the carpet at 2am with a butter knife stalking Charlie in the Rung Sat,my 20 year old LURP buddy in a heroin withdrawal as my 14 year old self held and rocked him all night,My father fighting Japs every night for years in his sleep…
    Not all vets are dysfunctional of course, most came back from the Asian vacation or any of the wars,got disgusted and moved on.WWII had the advantage of a long trip back with their buddies and a parade waiting for them.Programs set up to help assimilate back into society.
    There are an amazing amount of posers, “I was there,I was a sniper with 300 kills, the feds still check up on me”..” ( I actually had a guy say that to me while his adoring wife looked on. It was everything I could do not to throat punch him),Former draft dodgers wearing unit patches,everyone wants to get on the bandwagon.It’s gone from hatred to waving a flag and watching a circus parade.
    I’m wandering here but I think active veterans groups,clubs comprised of vets,have every right to ride en mass to these events,I appreciate beyond words motorcycle groups that escort our fallen from airport to graveside as is frequent here in Oregon.But when when an event turns into a media circus (the same media that built the deranged vet myth),when it becomes yet another H.O.G. event or weekend ride because it’s trendy, then no.The spirit of the thing, the true intentions get lost.That politician making a speech is making very sure his kid isn’t going to go where there’s a war, that celebrity showing up and making sure they’re in a few shots probably didn’t go or serve.
    When you’re in combat, you fight for you and your buddys. Not Mrs. Johnson’s apple pie back in Texas or national security or to build another Mcdonald’s in Bosnia.You fight because some well meaning son of the other side is trying to kill you and your brothers.The scared kids you eat,sleep, bullshit about the girls back home with, the ones you argue with about cars and you guard at night while they try to sleep in a very dark, very terrifying place.While you shit yourself at anything that moves beyond the perimeter and wonder what the hell you’re doing there.
    THOSE are the people that need to attend and create these things.
    Nobody else.
    Sorry, went on too long….

  27. Charlie O Says:

    I’m afraid I have to agree with Mr. Davis to some degree. I have attended the “Run to the Wall” many, many times over the years. I no longer attend. Mr. Mueller is somewhat responsible for this. The “event” no longer feels like an honorarium to those who served and to those who are missing. It has become a ra-ra party for the military and war. Not it’s original intent, at least in my opinion.

  28. DocB Says:

    Welcome home’s a bit late. Different generation. Thanks anyway I guess.

    Hey Rebel. Thanks for the Dwight Yoakam Videos on the Home page.

    Yer Pal

  29. ruffrider Says:



  30. ruffrider Says:

    Three years ago in my chicken shit little town they had a welcome party home for all the VietNam vets. I didn’t go. They skipped a year then had another one this year. I didn’t go again. Now they are talking about haveing it annually. My friends that attendede ask why and I ask them where the hell were they 45 years ago when I could have used them. They sure as hell wanted nothing to do with me then and I want nothing to do with them now. I hate the motherfuckers. I see my shrink once a month and take my meds and I am a super happy camper. And the bullshit about no motorcycles in front of a shrinks office is pure bullshit.


  31. chainsaw Says:

    Obviously Mr.Buzz Davis is “anti-military, anti-war, and anti-recruitment”. That’s his opinion and he is entitled to it. But why does he have to put the stink on an event that honors Vietnam Vets?

    Every time there is an activity which honors the men and women who fought for our country, there is a certain element that wants to insert their political beliefs into the middle of the event. Buzz doesn’t like the way we honor the vets because it seems “pro-military”. Perhaps ol Buzz wishes he could get everyone to spit on soldiers at airports and call shell-shocked 19 year old kids “baby killers”. Maybe that treatment of our troops would better support his political view?

    Honoring vets is not political and should not be politicized. No matter what political side a person is on, every American should be proud to honor those who have served our country. Particularly those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

    My thanks to all who have served and are serving.

  32. RVN69 Says:

    Amen Nookster

  33. Nookster Says:

    I’m with you bro, and it’s a beautiful Sunday day. Time for a long ride, a puff, and a cold beer for my brothers who have gone before me.
    Its all red and black to me.

  34. RVN69 Says:

    God bless us and all those like us since 1775

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