Monday, August 28, 2017

Darkness During Peak Solar Eclipse

The time is 1:08 p.m. in Lathrop,Missouri (8-21-2017)
At a frontage road hundreds of cars pulled off I-35 to watch.

The heavy traffic, many cars from Minnesota, reminded me of a college football game.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Tiger Den Bar Poured Last Beer 30 Years Ago

This is the CBS Radio story I filed. I bought one of the bar stools and set it next to the telephone in my Bangkok home until I returned to the States. 
The late Tiger, with wife Lucy and daughter Patty, outside the bar in 1982. (From: "The Tiger of Bangkok" by Tiger Rydberg with Alan Dawson)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Review in The Vietnam Veterans of America (online)


Broadcasters: Untold Chaos by Rick Fredericksen


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Rick Fredericksen, the author of Broadcasters: Untold Chaos (Amazon Digital, 207 pp., $4.99, Kindle), is a Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War. Fredericksen, a veteran journalist and author, has written an interesting and readable book about the many years he spent in Southeast as a foreign correspondent, including a stint as CBS News’ Bangkok bureau chief. Broadcasters is sort of all over the place, which is fine with me as it is written in easy-to-read sections and deals with subjects I enjoyed reading about.
The one I found the most interesting was the fairly long section on Agent Orange. Because I have Multiple Myeloma, which is associated with exposure to dioxin among Vietnam War veterans, I was eager to read what he had to say.
In contrast to nearly everything else I’ve read about dioxin, Fredericksen focuses on what Agent Orange and the other dioxins the U.S. military sprayed in Southeast Asia have done to the people who live there. Most books and articles about AO published in this country tend to start with the havoc that the spraying and exposure has wrought on veterans and all but ignore the citizens of Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Fredericksen includes photos of the displays in Vietnam that are available for tourists to view that show how dioxin affects the fetus. Horrible, scary stuff. I actually felt lucky that AO has done so little to me by comparison. And to my offspring.
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Rick Fredericksen during the Vietnam War
I recommend this book to those who want to dip into some readable and interesting essays by a man who has spent much of his life in Southeast Asia writing and thinking about what the American presence there has meant. Not all of it is good and not all of it is popular among the folks who live there.
Even Filipinos have some bad things to say about Americans in this book. I enjoyed reading about Imelda Marcos and her 3,000 pairs of shoes.
So there is some fun in this book. Quite a bit, actually. Buy it and read it.
—David Willson

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Thanks, Army War College

This nice mention is in the Army War College Foundation and Alumni News (Spring 2017). I participated in the National Security Seminar with the Class of 2015.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Five Stars for "Broadcasters: Untold Chaos"

on May 6, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I met Corporal Rick Fredericksen at the American Forces Vietnam Network Saigon station in 1969, he was possibly the youngest, least experienced reporter in the pack. But we were all being asked not to report the news so much as to present it. Rick had recently completed military journalism school, aka DINFOS at 18 while his colleagues came to their jobs from a variety of civilian broadcast and educational experiences. But it was Fredericksen who stayed in Southeast Asia and grew wise. He accumulated contacts, information, and skills that focused his reporting on the events in and around the area for 25 years, leaving as the CBS News bureau chief in Bangkok in 1995.

In the news room in Saigon, Vietnam in 1969, the biggest local story was progress of the American war effort and about the coming redeployment of many of the one half million troops stationed in Southeast Asia while the rest of the world watched America land a man on the moon. Rick Fredericksen was there to see the censorship story develop, the making of the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam", the secret war in Cambodia, POW negotiations, effects of the defoliant Agent Orange, and the fall of music icon Michael Jackson on tour in Thailand.
This is the consummate “story behind the news”, Rick telling his own story and that of others in Southeast Asia. His pack rat collection of notes, clips, and memories provide the authoritative documentation for the events he describes.

It is a story that begins and ends with his own Iowa values and roots. He recently concluded a career capper back home at Iowa Public Radio but continues to write for electronic media and Vietnam Magazine.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Book Reviews Earn Five Stars


Smashwords Review by: Jim Allingham on April 28, 2017 
"As one of the former GI newscasters caught in the middle of the 1969-1970 AFVN Censorship controversy, I found Rick Fredericksen's book to be an enlightening, if not cathartic experience for me. For the last 47 years, I've often wondered if there was more to the story. Rick's brilliant research, combined with his personal recollections of that era, have given me the most complete account to date. Rick was already a "veteran" AFVN newscaster when I arrived in July, 1969 and he was the first to greet me and "show me the ropes" of the AFVN News operation. He was a dedicated, hard-working, talented military journalist who won my personal respect and admiration from our first handshake. Rick's book should be a "must-read" for all aspiring military journalists and broadcasters. The myriad detail that Rick provides does not clutter his incredibly smooth writing style. In fact, it documents the history of AFVN and that era with a fresh, but compelling read. Thanks, Rick. Welcome home!"
SP5 Jim Allingham
AFVN News
Saigon & Hon Tre Island
1969-1970

Kindle Review: on April 24, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fascinating! I could not put this down and finished in 1 day! It brings back memories of and era forgotten but should not be. The writing style keeps you attention and is more story telling than a mere list of historical facts. Job well done from a fellow Marine! Joe F.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Now Available In Digital Formats Only

Buy it at amazon.com or smashwords.com for $4.99
Tantalizing details of news stories are often never told. That changes in "Broadcasters: Untold Chaos," where a veteran journalist sheds new light on a career reaching from Saigon to Sioux City. These insider accounts—little-known or never told—include threats against CBS News, lunch with Ferdinand Marcos, a shocking on-air protest ignited by censorship and a military TV station destroyed with 100% casualties. Amazon link