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Veterans Day Reality Check

Edgar A. Goulet (sp00n)
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2nd Bn 1st Marines
Golf Company 66-67
  Veterans Day Reality Check

Vietnam 1966-1967 a fifty year old documentary of a conversation by two Veterans who served together fifty years a go. These e-mails are ten years old. Except for the first two that were just recent.
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Sent: Tues, Mar 20, 2018

Dear Sp00n

You can use whatever you feel appropriate in your Veterans Day story... When completed send me your final so we can post it on your webpage with your other stories.... Just been busy and still have a funeral to deal with the end of the week. As you know we are getting that Nor'Easter again on Wednesday and our weather channel says we will have 5 to 8 inches in our area.

Simper Fi, Vinnie


Sent: Sat, Mar 17, 2018 11:00 PM

Dear Sp00n

I was getting together with the Marines that kept me from bleeding out when I was shot in both legs at the knees. We do it once a year... I go to Newfield New York and travel down to Kentucky. Than we go to Marion Illinois to visit with John Cox who is a quadriplegic. Not from Nam but a car accident when his head hit the windshield. My wife Claire called that her brother was rushed to the hospital because his daughters found him unconscious on the bathroom floor. He was all banged up and bleeding. I got home Friday morning and we went to the hospital to visit Claire's brother David. He didn't know us as he had terminal brain Cancer. He died today, Saturday morning.

So now Claire lost all 3 of her brothers to Cancer. There are just four sisters left and they are wondering who is next? Claire is the youngest at 65.... It's always something? Go Figure! ( my favorite saying ) Anyway ...I haven't forgot about your story " Operation Medina." Will let you know when its finally posted...

Simper Fi, Vinnie


Sunday 06 Jan  2008
Subject: I remember you well

Yes........SPOON......I remember you well. I even had a picture of you in a "classic spoon pose" it was in our tent in the battalion area- ( I told you to look over at me and you turned with your classic "spoon" grin (half wise ass- half funny) and I got it perfect. Who am I spoon? Were we buddies- or adversaries? No none of us were "adversaries"- and the truth is I always kind of got a kick out of you and your "shenanigans" - you were funny.

I really can't remember wether you started as my "A gunner"- or I was your section leader in guns- or If you were a rifleman and we were in the same tent. I seem to remember that I had to send you out on a few working parties ( because you were the" new guy") and you weren't too happy about it. Hey - all that doesn't matter now- it was a million years ago (although sometimes it feels like yesterday ). We all served - as Marines - and you and I were some of the lucky few who survived.

So, who am I spoon (I actually remembered your real name- Edgar Goulet-and your nick name "spoon")? Well - it's Gary Williams. I was an M-60 machine gunner, Danny Hullinger was my A Gunner most of the time, Mark Hulbert ( from Washington ) was the other M-60 guy in our platoon and I was tight with him, also a rocket man named  Don Ogden ( from Michigan ), Tom Finnarelli was also an M-60 guy, and I was also close with a corpsman named Jack Horner ( yes- we did call him" little Jack" ). There was another Guy from New England
( Mass, NH.-  I can't remember )  Gerry- uh-- Gerry- can't remember his last name- anyway he 's in this organization also. Gus Kelly is also active in 2/1.

I have to go, bub, but get back to me and tell me what you remember. I'll e-mail, -  or send- you that picture of you and maybe a few others you'd recognize.


Date: 1/10/ 2008

Hey Ed

Did you get those couple of pictures I sent you? I'm going to send you the whole folder and if you can open that then you'll have all my pictures. If you can't open the folder, then I'll send a bunch of them a few at a time. It was funny to hear you use the term " splib"- I thought I was the only guy who remembered that, Do you remember the blacks called us" chuck dudes" ?

I don't remember Barnes tripping that mine that killed Brownfield- I think it was another black guy and I remember he freaked out " he didn't even get hit that bad) but he never came back because supposedly he was so emotionally traumatized that he had to go to a psyche ward. Which of course was bullshit, but he knew that even if he stayed in a hospital( ( even a nut house) he wouldn't have to go back to even Vietnam- much less as a grunt!

But Barnes was killed the day LaDuke, Overturf and McCall got killed by a mine down the tracks across that small bridge that had been blown up ( April 20, 1966-I never forgot ). They were in my squad ( Lt. Joiner had asked me to let Hullinger take the gun"- M 60-and me take the squad so I did ). We all got bunched up at the end of those tracks trying to let everybody get " in line' to shoot at 2 gooks we saw cross the tracks about 200 yards away. From us ( we just got those M-16'). I realized we were too close together and yelled back upend spread out. I started walking backwards, McCall was right behind me and sidestepped me and let me pass even though I told him to" move the fuck back", Delavarra was right behind me also and he backed up like I told him to. When that fucken mine went off we all got knocked down. There were 9 of us-4 died ( McCall lived until the next day)- 3 got wounded ( including Delavarra who was  Behind me. A piece of schrapnel cut the under side of his chin wide open, if it had hit him in the center of his throat it probably would have killed him too) The only guys who weren't even touched were me and Guiterrez ( an America Indian from Arizona or New Mexico ).

He was right next to the explosion but was up on a concrete abutment about 4 feet of the ground). Life's a game of inches, Ed, and I was just a few inches one way or the other I guess. I know what you mean about feeling guilty about surviving- I didn't know there was a name for it until years later when I first heard the term " survivors guilt"- sometimes I still wonder why them and not me. On the other hand, I've learned to accept it and I greatly appreciate the fact that I've had a life. As long as guys like you and me all those guys who did survive never forget- those guys will live also is only in our memories. That drawing of the vet in the suit reaching up to " The Wall" and his buddies who didn't make it reaching from " inside"" the Wall to touch his hand says it all.  I've got that picture hanging in my house and it still gives me the chills - but good chills !

Hey - enough war stories- I hope they don't bother you. It's easier for me to talk about a lot of that stuff with a guy who not was only there but that we actually were together. I can talk about. Vietnam with other people - but it's hard to talk about those kind of stories with many.

I actually was medevaced out of the country out the country inJune - '67. I was supposed to be there until September, but was in a tunnel on a sweep way South of where we usually worked and over near the mountains to the west and there was an explosion . Again- I didn't get hit but my ears were all fucked up - I could barely hear. When we got back to the battalion area they sent me into DaNang for some test and the doctor asked me how long I had been in the field I told him almost 11 months and he said " your going to Philadelphia son", so being the good marine I always said " yes , sir" and off I went to Japan! I spent a few weeks there and then to Philly.

About a month Cter I got home I started feeling pretty down-and acting pretty fucked up - until  I realized I was feeling guilty about leaving all you guys. I talked to my first sergeant at LeJeune about going back, but it all hinged on re-upping for 2 more years. I ultimately said fuck that - found a blonde with big tits and thought that was love - got married- 9  months 10 days laterout pops this baby and I thought were the fuck did THAT cone from?????  I'm getting depressed all over just thinking about that nightmare ( not Vietnam - that marriage ). We got divorced about three years later but the boy turned out outstanding - we're still tight even though he lives down in Illinois. I'm going down this year bow hunting. I raised hell for about 10 years and I finally met a GREAT gal and married her. That was 5 daughters and 27 years ago and life has been dam good to me ever since, Ed . I hope your on your way to the same thing with your lady, grandchildren  and big racked bucks!!!!! I've found life is "good" if you let it be,Ed. The guys who never made it home would want us to have the best we can buddy -  for them!  Hell - I'd say it's our responsibility so they didn't die for nothing! We'll all be together again plenty soon enough!

Hey - let me see if I can get these pictures out. Take care buddy...............V


To Gary

I'm glad you got a family as I have dogs for my family and a good girlfriend. I was married for 22 years and 5 years with her before We got married. I have two kids a daughter 24 and a son 20. I got a divorced cause she wasn't happy and took advice from friends who were divorced , misery likes company. She ruined my family and thought the grass was greener but found out it was not. After 5 years of depression things got better and I'm still a sp00n. If you knew some of the shit I've been through you wouldn't believe it as I don't either.I never worked for anyone after the war except for very short periods of time as I didn't know a lot about life and now I do. I worked construction framing houses and started fishing part time lobster fishing.

I did OK and I promoted myself to Captain but don't hold that against me. It was only because I had a 37 foot boat and fished 700 traps. Then when I got divorced that all went down the drain and I wanted to die as I was loosing it all, my kids too. I ended up into the VA Hospital and was in real bad shape. That's when I met Col. Quinn who was the 3/7 company commander and he asked me some questions about my life and Vietnam and wanted to see my records. I signed some papers and I was awarded a disability pension about 5 months later, and then I started raising dogs. I also got killed one day with an axe chopping wood as I hit a cloths line as I was walking around the yard after the rolling logs. That was very bad as I put some power in the axe and it was like a sling shot and hit me in the top of my right eyebrow.

I was dead when they got to me. And my son was visiting for that weekend and he called 911 for a mesdivac. The doctors couldn't figure out why I survived he said it was my thick head and a miracle. I 'm a rebel and a loner, I like to help people but in general I don't like most people that I meet. American woman are mostly not worth a shit with exceptions of course and the men are selfish ass holes. I'm disgusted and disappointed with those who run this country How's that for a few stories and I have more by for now.....,Sp00n


Date Thu, 10 Jan. 2008

Hey Ed - I really appreciate all those pictures- they were great. You had an outstanding one of Phil Browfeld. He was that short Jewish kid from New York. He got killed that day out by that stream about 4 or 5 miles south of our battalion area. He was hit by a booby trap 155 round( we thought)that was either command detonated -or just plain wired-to one of those foot bridges we were getting ready to cross. I think a black guy (can't remember his name) tripped it-or was was real closet to it when it went off. He got hit some-but Browfeld was farther back from the bank near me and a small piece of shrapnel went through the front of his flack jacket (which wasn't buttoned shut) and hit him right through his breast bone and probably his heart. I was contacted a few years ago by a guy he grew up with in NYC and sent him a picture of him but it's not nearly as good as the one you had.

It was a shock to see him so clearly! You also had some great shots of plenty of guys I recognized-even a couple more of me! That was cool ! Who was that that guy I was standing next to in one of those-you mentioned his name- but dam I can't remember him!!!!!!!!!! That was a cool poem you had about Vietnam and a nice tribute to your parents. I had great parents also and we have a lot of wonderful memories of them. My father was a real outdoorsman-hunter, trapper, fisherman and particularly loved dogs. We did a lot of hunting when I was a kid with them- beagles for rabbits ( white and cottontail ) - then he had walkers, Blue Ticks and Black & tans for coon, fox and bobcats. I have loved hunting my whole life but never had the time or interest in the hounds the way he did. I always felt"comfortable" in the field in Vietnam (day or night) because of a the time I spent out there with him. By the way , buddy, I said" comfortable" ,- meaning I was used to being in the woods and outdoors- but that doesn't mean I wasn't scared when the shit hit the fan just like all of us- I certainly was ! Imagine how it must have been for the guys raised in the city- talk about a different environment !

Hey - that was a couple of real nice bucks. Do you have to hunt with a shotgun where you live? Slugs or buckshot?I've never deer with anything other than a rifle, bow or muzzleloader. They have to use shotguns in New Jersey  ( right next to me ) and they used to have to use buckshot only until about 20 years ago when they started allowing slugs. Most guys have those slug guns with rifled barrels, but some still swear by the buck shot in the thick spots.

I see your a grand pa too- that's cool- a little spoon! I don't have any grand children yet, but I got started so late in my life making all those girls I've got I don't have much desire to be a grand parent (not that I have any choice! ). My son has never had children and my oldest daughter just got married two years ago. She's planing on having children but her and her husband are actually using their heads and trying to  "plan" their family and children are still a couple of years off ( so they say ) ( we'll see- she doesn't know that" shit happens" - whatever).

I feel for you, man, that you had a long term marriage break up. I think it was a lot easier for me because I was so young. But focus on the positive, buddy,- you've got a great girl friend - a grand child - a couple of nice deer heads on the wall - hey man - always remember one of my favorite old sayings- " . No matter how bad things get- it's better than being pin down in the rice paddy" - and me and you been there!!!!!!!!!

Hey- did you get those pictures that I sent you? I'll figure out how to send you a lot of mine too-  maybe even a few bucks or gobblers too! I'll try to call you over the week end, Ed, and we can swap some hunting stories and a lot of other bull......

Semper fi, man- I'm proud of you for your service - and all the other vets who served. We served when we were needed, Ed and we served for each other. Fuck the politicians and everybody else.............



Well I'm glad you got the pictures finally, I had my doubt's that's for sure. Your right about those guy's from the hood being in the bush as big and bad as most of them were, just sleeping outside was enough to spook Em , hey that's funny. But some of them were used to drive by shootings so that wasn't as bad as sleeping in the rain with a folded poncho.  Barnes was the splib that trip the mine but I wasn't their that day thank Got for that.

When did you rotate back to the World? I left on Nov. 7th, 1967 and I was even scared on the plane ride back home. I had to thumb a ride in cold weather from Boston fifty miles to get home in the middle of the night in real cold weather. I was lucky to have survived that as I had no winter cloths.After Nam I really didn't hunt till after got divorced, as a kid I hunted rabbits, squirrels, pheasants and ducks. There were no turkeys back then where I lived as I was self taught my father wasn't the outdoor type.

I only hunt alone and we can use slugs or buckshot and every hunt doesn't need a kill for success as it's harder not to shoot in some cases and just to get up close and personal is good enough for me most of the time.

Talk to you soon



Hey you two- you guys don't know it but I'm a thread between you. You both served with 2/1  3rd  plt with me at different times. Sp00n- this guys name is Julian Ramos and he was my gunner when I got to Vietnam. He was with 2/1 and saw a lot of shit up North before they came down to where we were when you & were there.He 's a puny little wet back who lives in Texas but what He lacked in size he made up for in balls- he was and is 100% Marine. I was with him when he was shot right through the right wrist about 5 miles South of the battalion area-near those RR tracts. If the bullet had hit him 6 inches more to the left it would have went through both lungs and his name would be on a wall in DC.

Julian-this guy's name is Ed Goulet. Somehow Nedz ( remember Nedz -  I think his first name was Bill--a certify fucking nut job and I think a doper but tough as hell ) name him Sp00n-so that's what we all called him. He was a wild kid and somewhat rebellious but had balls as big as watermelons and was always there when the shit hit the fan. He also was funny as hell and I kind of liked his funny rebellious side and tried to keep my eye on him as much as I could. So here we all are- 40 + years later and somehow Vietnam has kept us all together. Since I know you both I can tell you that we are all not exactly alike- but we do have a common bond that bound us 40 years ago and 10,000 miles away---- isn 't life strange ????


Edgar A. Goulet (sp00n)