• Chuck and his wife Ann

  • President and Charlie heading to the East Room

  • Chuck and his son Mike

  • Chuck and his daughter Jeanna

  • Medal of Honor

  • East Room For The Medal of Honor Ceromony

Things like, "Sorry about that," P-38, The World, Short-timer, Viet Cong, VC, Victor Charlie, Chuck, Mr. Charles, Sir Charles, Gunship, Slick, dust-off, Gooney-bird, Puff the Magic Dragon, Puff, Mike Mike, Willie Peter, M-79, M-60, AK-47, RPG, Ruff Puffs, Arc Light, Kit Carson Scout, Chieu Hoi, chickenplate, Donut Dollie, Zapped, fragged, oh-dark-thirty, piss-tube, White Mice, Hot LZ, Cold LZ, Ba Me Ba, Point, Slack, Jesus Nut, etc. etc.

AIRBURST - explosion of a munition in the air

AIR CAV - air cavalry, referring to helicopter-borne infantry

AIT - Advanced Individual Training; the period following Basic Training, specialized training given each soldier based on his MOS (Military Occupational Specialty)

ALPHA-ALPHA - automatic ambush, a combination of claymore mines configured to detonate simultaneously when triggered by a trip-wire/battery mechanism

ARC LIGHT OPERATIONS - code name for the devastating aerial raids of B-52 Stratofortresses against enemy positions in Southeast Asia. The first B-52 Arc Light raid took place on June 18, 1965, on a suspected Vietcong base north of Saigon. In November 1965, B-52s directly supported American ground forces for the first time, and were used regularly for that purpose thereafter.

ARCOMS - Army Commendation Medals

ARTICLE 15 - summary disciplinary judgment of a soldier by his commander, could result in fines or confinement in the stockade

ARTY - artillery

A.R.V.N. - Army of the Republic of Vietnam (Army of South Vietnam)

BAC SI - Vietnamese term for medical corpsman; doctor

BANANA CLIP - banana shaped magazine, standard on the AK-47 assault rifle

BASE CAMP - semi-permanent field headquarters and center for a given unit, usually within that unit's tactical areas responsibility. A unit could operate in or away from its base camp. Base camps usually contained all or part of a given unit's support elements.

BATTALION - organizational institution in the Army and Marine Corps. Commanded by a lieutenant colonel, an infantry battalion usually has around 900 people, and an artillery battalion of about 500 people. During the Vietnam War, American battalions were usually much smaller than that.

BEEHIVE - a direct-fire artillery round which incorporated steel darts (fleshettes), used as a primary base defense munition against ground attack

BIRD - any aircraft, usually helicopters

BLUELEG - infantryman, a.k.a. "grunt"

BOUNCING BETTY - explosive that propels upward about four feet into the air and then detonates

BRIGADE - basic military organizational institution. During the Vietnam War, a division was organized into three brigades, with each brigade commanded by a colonel. A division consists of approximately 20,000 people.

BRING SMOKE - to direct intense artillery fire on an enemy position

CAV - nickname for air cavalry

C & C - command and control

CHARLIE, CHARLES, CHUCK - Vietcong -- short for the phonetic representation of "VC": Victor Charlie"

CHERRY - a new troop replacement

CHICKEN PLATE - chest protector (body armor) worn by helicopter gunners

CHURCH KEY - bottle opener

CLACKER - firing device ("exploder") for triggering claymore mines and other electrically initiated demolitions

CLAYMORE - popular fan-shaped antipersonnel land mine; designed to produce a directionalized, fan-shaped pattern of fragments

COMIC BOOKS (FUNNY BOOKS) - military maps

COMPANY - organizational institution commanded by a captain and consisting of two or more platoons; in Vietnam, varied widely in size according to mission

CRACKER BOX field ambulance

C's - "C-rations", "C-rats", "Charlie rats", or combat rations -- canned meals used in military operations

DAP - stylized, ritualized manner of shaking hands, started by African-American troops

DAPSONE - small pill taken periodically by U.S. troops, ostensibly to prevent malaria but actually meant to prevent leprosy

D.M.Z. - demilitarized zone

DONUT DOLLY - a female American Red Cross volunteer

DOPE - Marine term for the adjustments made to weapon sights; also, a term for marijuana and other illicit drugs

DOUBTFULS - Vietnamese individuals who could not be categorized as either Vietcong or civil offenders; suspect personnel spotted from ground or aircraft

DUSTOFF - nickname for a medical evacuation helicopter or mission

E & E - escape and evasion

ECM - electronic countermeasures, such as jamming, deception, and detection

ELEPHANT GRASS - tall, sharp-edged grass found in the highlands of Vietnam

EM - enlisted man

FIGHTING HOLE - foxhole with sandbag protection and sometimes an elevated roof of sheet metal, reinforced with sand bags. Sized for one or two troops, fighting holes might be dispersed around a company or battery area for defensive use during a ground attack.

FIRECRACKER - artillery round incorporating many small bomblets which are ejected over a target area and explode in "bouncing-betty" fashion -- almost simultaneously; name comes from the fast popping sound (best heard at a distance)

FIREFIGHT - exchange of small arms fire between opposing units

FRAG - common term for any grenade

FRAGGING - assassination of an officer by his own troops, usually by means of a grenade

FREEDOM BIRD - any aircraft carrying soldiers back to the "world" (the U.S.A.)

FRIENDLIES - U.S. troops, allies, or anyone not on the other side

FRIENDLY FIRE - euphemism used during the war in Vietnam to describe air, artillery, or small-arms fire from American forces mistakenly directed at American positions

GREEN-EYE - starlight scope; light amplifying telescope, used to see at night

GRUNT - popular nickname for an infantryman in Vietnam; supposedly derived from the sound a soldier made from lifting up his rucksack

HANOI HILTON - nickname American prisoners of war used to describe the Hoa Loa Prison in Hanoi

HOOTCH - house, living quarters or a native hut

HUMP - to slog around on foot

IN COUNTRY - Vietnam

IRREGULARS - armed individuals and groups not members of the regular armed forces, police, or other internal security forces

K.I.A. - Killed In Action

KLICK, K - short for kilometer (0.62 miles)

LAY CHILLY - lie motionless

LEATHERNECK - term for a Marine (Marines wore leather neckbands from 1798-1880 for protection of the neck during sword combat)

LIFER - career soldier

LIGHT UP - to fire on the enemy

LZ - landing zone

MAD MINUTE - concentrated fire of all weapons for a brief period of time at maximum rate

M.I.A. - Missing In Action

NEWBIE - any person with less time in Vietnam than the speaker




OUT-COUNTRY - the Southeast Asian conflict outside South Vietnam (i.e., Laos and North Vietnam, sometimes Thailand, Cambodia, and China)

PLATOON - approximately 45 men belonging to a company. Commanded by a lieutenant, a platoon is an organizational unit composed of two or more squads.

P.O.W. - Prisoner of War

P.T.S.D. - post-traumatic stress disorder

PUCKER FACTOR - assessment of the "fear factor", the difficulty or risk involved in an upcoming mission

RECON - reconnaissance

RED LZ - landing zone under hostile fire

ROCK 'N' ROLL - to put an M16-A1 rifle on full automatic fire

R & R - rest-and-recreation vacation taken during a one-year duty tour in Vietnam. Out-of-country R & R might be in Bangkok, Hawaii, Tokyo, Australia, Hong Kong, Manila, Penang, Taipei, Kuala Lampur, or Singapore. In-country R & R locations were at Vung Tau or China Beach.

R.V.N. - Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam)

SAPPERS - North Vietnamese Army or Vietcong demolition commandos

SAR - search and rescue

SEARCH AND CLEAR - offensive military operations to sweep through areas to locate and attack the enemy

SEARCH AND DESTROY - offensive operations designed to find and destroy enemy forces rather than establish permanent government control; also, called "Zippo missions"

SHAKE 'N' BAKE - officer straight out of OCS (Officer Candidate School) without any combat experience

SHORT, SHORT-TIME, SHORT-TIMER - individual with little time remaining in Vietnam

SKATE - goof off

SLEEPER - an undercover agent or a mole

SORTIE - one aircraft making one takeoff and landing to conduct the mission for which it was scheduled

STAND-DOWN - period of rest and refitting in which all operational activity, except for security, is stopped

VC, CONG - Vietcong

VIETCONG - Communist forces fighting the South Vietnamese government

VIETMINH - Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh Hoi, the Vietnamese Independence League

WHITE MICE - South Vietnamese police; the nickname came from their uniform white helmets and gloves

W.I.A. Wounded In Action

(THE) WORLD - United States

ZIPPO - flamethrower; also the brand name of a popular cigarette lighter

ZIPPO MISSION - search and destroy mission

ZULU - casualty report, also the phonetic pronunciation of the

Remembering Vietnam

I Was Just There Last Night

This story came to me (author unknown) anonymously via e-mail, the author, a fellow Vietnam Veteran. After reading his story, I felt compelled to share this with you. If you didn't participate in the Vietnam War, this will give you some insight into how our minds work. He writes: A couple of years ago someone asked me if I still thought about Vietnam. I nearly laughed in their face. How do you stop thinking about it? Every day for the past forty years, I wake up with it- I go to bed with it. This was my response:

"Yeah, I think about it. I can't stop thinking about it. I never will. But, I've also learned to live with it. I'm comfortable with the memories. I've learned to stop trying to forget and learned to embrace it. It just doesn't scare me anymore."

A lot of my "brothers" haven't been so lucky. For them the memories are too painful, their sense of loss too great. My sister told me of a friend she has whose husband was in the Nam. She asks this guy when he was there.

Here's what he said, "Just last night." It took my sister a while to figure out what he was talking about. Just Last Night. Yeah, I was in the Nam. When? Just last night, before I went to sleep, on my way to work this morning, and over my lunch hour. Yeah, I was there

My sister says I'm not the same brother who went to Vietnam. My wife says I won't let people get close to me, not even her. They are probably both right. Ask a vet about making friends in Nam. It was risky. Why? Because we were in the business of death, and death was with us all the time. It wasn't the death of, "If I die before I wake." This was the real thing. The kind boys scream for their mothers. The kind that lingers in your mind and becomes more real each time you cheat it. You don't want to make a lot of friends when the possibility of dying is that real, that close. When you do, friends become a liability.

A guy named Bob Flanigan was my friend. Bob Flanigan is dead. I put him in a body bag one sunny day, April 29, 1969. We'd been talking, only a few minutes before he was shot, about what we were going to do when we got back to the world. Now, this was a guy who had come in country the same time as me. A guy who was loveable and generous. He had blue eyes and sandy blond hair.

When he talked, it was with a soft drawl. I loved this guy like the brother I never had. But, I screwed up. I got too close to him. I broke one of the unwritten rules of war. DON"T GET CLOSE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO DIE. You hear vets use the term "buddy" when they refer to a guy they spent the war with. "Me and this buddy of mine."

Friend sounds too intimate, doesn't it? "Friend" calls up images of being close. If he's a friend, then you are going to be hurt if he dies, and war hurts enough without adding to the pain. Get close; get hurt. It's as simple as that. In war you learn to keep people at that distance my wife talks about. You become good at it, that forty years after the war, you still do it without thinking. You won't allow yourself to be vulnerable again.

My wife knows two people who can get into the soft spots inside me--my daughters. I know it bothers her that they can do this. It's not that I don't love my wife. I do. She's put up with a lot from me. She'll tell you that when she signed for better or worse, she had no idea there was going to be so much of the latter. But with my daughters it's different. My girls are mine. They'll always be my kids. Not marriage, not distance, not even death can change that. They are something on this earth that can never be taken away from me. I belong to them. Nothing can change that. I can have an ex-wife; but my girls can never have an ex-father. There's the difference.

I can still see the faces, though they all seem to have the same eyes. When I think of us, I always see a line of "dirty grunts" sitting on a paddy dike. We're caught in the first gray silver between darkness and light. That first moment when we know we've survived another night, and the business of staying alive for one more day is about to begin. There was so much hope in that brief space of time. It's what we used to pray for. "One more day, God. One more day."

And I can hear our conversations as if they'd only just been spoken I still hear the way we sounded. The hard cynical jokes, our morbid senses of humor. We were scared to death of dying, and tried our best not to show it.

riceI recall the smells, too. Like the way cordite hangs on the air after a fire-fight. Or the pungent odor of rice paddy mud. So different from the black dirt of Iowa. The mud of Nam smells ancient, somehow. Like it's always been there. And I'll never forget the way blood smells, sticky and drying on my hands. I spent a long night that way once. The memory isn't going anywhere.

I remember how the night jungle appears almost dreamlike as pilot of a Cessna buzzes overhead, dropping parachute flares until morning. That artificial sun would flicker and make shadows run through the jungle. It was worse than not being able to see what was out there sometimes. I remember once looking at the man next to me as a flare floated overhead. The shadows around his eyes were so deep that it looked like his eyes were gone. I reached over and touched him on the arm; without looking at me he touched my hand. "I know man. I know." That's what he said. It was a human moment. Two guys a long way from home and scared to death.

God, I loved those guys. I hurt every time one of them died. We all did. Despite our

posturing. Despite our desire to stay disconnected, we couldn't help ourselves. I know why Tim O' Brien writes his stories. I know what gives Bruce Weigle the words to create poems so honest I cry at their horrible beauty. It's love. Love for those guys we shared the experience with.

We did our jobs like good soldiers, and we tried our best not to become as hard as our surroundings. You want to know what is frightening. It's a nineteen-year-old-boy who's had a sip of that power over life and death that war gives you. It's a boy who, despite all the things he's been taught, knows that he likes it. It's a nineteen-year-old who's just lost a friend, and is angry and scared and, determined that, "some*@#*s gonna pay". To this day, the thought of that boy can wake me from a sound sleep and leave me staring at the ceiling.

As I write this, I have a picture in front of me. It's of two young men. On their laps are tablets. One is smoking a cigarette. Both stare without expression at the camera. They're writing letters. Staying in touch with places they rather be. Places and people they hope to see again. The picture shares space in a frame with one of my wife.. She doesn't mind. She knows she's been included in special company. She knows I'll always love those guys who shared that part of my life, a part she never can. And she understands how I feel about the ones I know are out there yet. The ones who still answer the question, "When were you in Vietnam?"

"Hey, man. I was there just last night."

So was I. How about the rest of you vets--hits home doesn't it!

Share this article with others so they understand why many of today's veteran's behave the way they do be it Vietnam or other conflicts, this is a common thread shared by all.


Author Unknown


AVVA is a national, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to advancing the full range of issues affecting Vietnam veterans, their families, and their communities. Our more than 7,000 members are families, friends, and supporters of Vietnam veterans, as well as Vietnam veterans, and veterans of other eras. AVVA is affiliated with VVA, the nation's leading Vietnam veterans organization. Together, we work to ensure that Vietnam veterans get the honor, respect, and benefits they deserve.

AVVA brings an additional focus on those who stayed behind when our men and women in uniform answered the call to service. This is the extended family that makes up the Vietnam experience--the parents, spouses, children, friends, and communities of veterans.

AVVA is the place for this extended family to join together for action-healing reconciliation, mutual support, and fellowship. AVVA members can affiliate with any of VVA's 600 chapters, joining in outreach and assistance to veterans' legislative action, community service, and social activities.

Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America began as a group of members within Vietnam Veterans of America. As the scope of activities and number of people involved grew, this membership group formed the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America in 1999, as an independent membership and service organization.

AVVA remains affiliated with Vietnam Veterans of America, lending the expertise and leadership of its members in all of VVA's programs.

Individual Membership $20.00 per year, $50.00 for 3 years.
Lifetime membership is available.

Please check out the AVVA website for more information.

AVVA Membership Eligibility

Membership in AVVA is open to anyone. Our members include spouses, parents, children, and friends of Vietnam Veterans. All Veterans are welcome to join AVVA. Veterans who served during the Vietnam era (February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975) may join as non-voting members.

AVVA members can affiliate with any of the more than 600 chapters of Vietnam Veterans of America. 

Join us today! Please print the AVVA Membership Form and submit it to the address included in the form.pdf AVVA Membership Form

Below you find links to important web pages.


AVVA 310 Certificate of Appreciation

Jane Kinzinger, Sharon and Bob Kwiecinski  2013
Wendy Hibbitts  2014
Meni Draper  2015
Shirley Hitte and Gena Hecker  2016





vietnamservice<< Agent Orange Town Hall Meeting

vietnamservice<< AVVA Homeless Grant Program


Second Generations

This page will detail the current military activities or other non-military activities of sons and daughters of Vietnam Veterans. We also wish to pay tribute to any service man or woman in service around the world so that we may continue to enjoy our freedoms. Therefore, we have established a special page for the service personnel who write to us and supply pictures from their duty stations. 

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of any changes or additions required to thie page.  

vietnamservice<< Marty's Grand Daughter

vietnamservice<< Del and Fran's Son William Mayes 

vietnamservice<< Doug & Theresa's Son Christopher Short 

vietnamservice<< Doug & Theresa's Son Zach Short

vietnamservice<< Dave & Sandy's Son Richard Martinez

vietnamservice<<  Bob & Sharon's Son Matt Kwiecinski 

vietnamservice<<Tim & Kathy Driscoll's Son Tim Jr.


Chapter Members Assisting Our Wounded Warriors

vietnamservice<<Pete Belaire and Tim Lang



Enjoying Special Moments Through Photos

Photos create lasting memories of events, people, celebrations, and accomplishments. We at VVA310 are proud of our legacy of photos and treasure those special moments. In our photo galleries, you will be able to see a huge amount of photos, and our collections are constantly growing. If you have photos to donate to our collections, please click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to contact us.

Click on any of the links below to view our photos.
vietnamservice<<2013 Christmas Party
vietnamservice<<2014 Recognition Dinner
vietnamservice<<2014 National Leadership Conference
vietnamservice<<2014 Halloween Party           
vietnamservice<<2017 VVA 310 Memorial Day Celebration                    
vietnamservice<<2017 Watch Fire
vietnamservice<<June 11, 2017 Packaging: Box #4000
vietnamservice<<2017 Halloween Party
vietnamservice<<2017 Friends' Memorial Tree Dedication
vietnamservice<<2017 Patient Steak Fry @ A2 VA with Charles Kettles
vietnamservice<<2017 Christmas Packaging
vietnamservice<<2018 VA Patient Luncheon
vietnamservice<<2018 Recognition Dinner
vietnamservice<<May, 2018 AVVA Check Presentation to Fisher House Michigan
vietnamservice<<2019 VA Underwear Party
vietnamservice<<2019 WACU Fundraiser