An Interview with a Green Beret

This Video and related article were published originally on January 20, 2019

Click Link Below to read Article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Vietnam Veterans Day

I was there in 1967 and we lost 5 men in my A-team and 2 others that were in support of us.  

A Green Beret (me) Talking about Vietnam in 1967

The following is a 2 hour podcast recorded between 1000 and 1200 on November 10, 2019 in the studios of WHK 1420 broadcasting from Cleveland Ohio.

Gerry Quinn’s Irish Radio 11-10-19

The first hour is about the Irish civil war and the American civil war, which is very informative and worth listening to. I speak in the 2nd hour about some of my experiences in Vietnam between September 1967 and December 1967 when I was wounded in a fire fight near the Cambodian border in III Corps. After recovering I wrote down what happened to me because my mom and my wife made me do it.  Always listen to your mom and your wife.  I think it may have helped me avoid PTSD for we were not treated well after coming back to the world all the way to the 1990’s. 

In the section on this blog titled My Books and Papers is a copy of the  the book I wrote from the work I did while in the hospital in 1968.  The title is Diary of a Special Forces Trooper in Vietnam 1967.

The Ballad of the Green Berets performed by Letters from Home Singers


Published on May 29, 2016

Letters from Home Singers perform Live on AM Raleigh, ‘The Ballad of the Green Berets,’ written by Barry Sadler, and send chills up my spine with this superb performance! We honor our fallen on Memorial Day and Always and we say with all our hearts, ‘Thank You!’


Two Great Songs about “Combat” the first from Sailor Jerri Hallelujah (two versions) and the second from Mitch Rossells A Soldier’s Memoir, if you haven’t been in Combat, and survived, you will not understand the power of this music.

Hallelujah Veterans Version, Original

Published on Apr 4, 2017

It’s rough. But I wanted it up My rewrite of Hallelujah “Veterans Version” Yes we are working on getting it recorded for everyone who has asked. Thank you for your support and for supporting the men and women in uniform. **yes the lyrics are protected under copy-write

Hallelujah Veterans Version, Final

Published on May 10, 2017

Two Great Songs about “Combat” the first from Sailor Jerri Hallelujah (two versions) and the second from Mitch Rossells A Soldier’s Memoir, if you haven’t been in Combat, and survived, you will not understand the power of this music.

The First from Sailor Jerri:

Hallelujah Veterans Version, Original

Published on Apr 4, 2017

It’s rough. But I wanted it up My rewrite of Hallelujah “Veterans Version” Yes we are working on getting it recorded for everyone who has asked. Thank you for your support and for supporting the men and women in uniform. **yes the lyrics are protected under copy-write

Hallelujah Veterans Version, Final

Published on May 10, 2017

Mitch Rossell – A Soldier’s Memoir (Official Music Video)

Mitch Rossell

Published on Jun 19, 2014

Book on my Service in Vietnam, Written in 1996

From the Introduction in the book …

The following account is written from notes I made while in the hospital in San Antonio recovering from wounds I received while in Vietnam and from communications I had with 5th Special Forces Group when I was stationed at Fort Campbell in 1968 and 1969. More recently I read several books on Vietnam (in 1992), listed in the Bibliography, which aided me in the geography of the area and which put the fighting I was involved with in Phuc Long Province in context of what was happening in the country as a whole.

In 1993 I joined the Special Forces Association, Cleveland Chapter XLV, and I am currently the Secretary of the Cleveland chapter. Some of the former SF troopers in that organization read drafts of this account and helped me to clarify this work (especially the parts relating to operations in Vietnam) prior to the final copy. Their help was greatly appreciated.

In 1994 the Cleveland Chapter of the Special Forces Association (Jim Cole, President) was the host Chapter for the national convention, which was held at the Rockside Holiday Inn. During that convention I met Steve Sherman, also an ex Special Forces trooper, who is compiling a history of Special Forces people and activities. I acquired from him a set of the “Green Beret” a magazine published by the 5th Special Forces in Vietnam from 1966 to 1970. In addition, I re-viewed other material he had that allowed me to expand on the work I had been doing to write this book.

Lastly I have used the National Archives section of the Smithsonian Institute in College Park, Maryland. The military records of that period are now declassified and available for re-search. I have found many reports and references to the military action I was involved with by using this valuable resource. This has probably been the since most important resource to me and I do want to thank the researchers there who were able to dig out the records I needed with the limited information I was able to give them.

Every attempt has been made to accurately state what happened to the team, the camp and me. My original notes were done while recovering from severe wounds in the hospital and at the time there were things I could not remember (there were several weeks were I was in a delirious state and it took many months to get back to close to normal), especially some names of people. Materials I read in 1992 and 1994 brought back some of this loss. Sherman’s work with Special Forces personnel missing in action (MIA) or killed in action (KIA) when compared to the dates and times of some of the battles I knew of gave me a way to place some other names back in. I will state that although everything that I tell about in this book is accurate to the best of my knowledge it is possible that some of the patrol activity is not in the proper time sequence, I don’t think so but it is possible.

This is me in the Jungle in Vietnam in October, 1967

The link below will allow you to download the book, if you want, and at no cost.

Bu Dop 1967

Experimenting with the T-10 military chute when it came out in 1967

This video is taken with a supper 8 camera and the conversion to digital isn’t as good as I would like but it’s interesting if you like jumping from perfectly good airplanes, C-123’s in this case. This was shot in in 1967 I think it was either April or early May at Fr Bragg, NC I don’t remember what drop zone it was. I had the camera strapped to my helmet so the first part after going out the door is a bit jerky until the canopy opens. At the end of the film that is me packing my chute after a jump.

The Political Trial of Maj. Matthew Golsteyn

I served as a Green Beret officer (1st Lt) in Vietnam in 1967 as an A team XO and the rules of engagement (ROE’s) were probably as bad then as they are now. That required “us” to sometimes operate outside those rules and as consequence there was a Direct Correlation between the ever increasing and restrictive rules of engagement (ROE’s) and the frustration of company grade officers trying to follow orders and complete missions without getting your troops killed for no good reason. Those two are often mutually exclusive both back in the day and today as can clearly be seen in the case being made again Maj. Golsteyn.

I will tell you for a fact that I would have done the same thing as then Captain Golsteyn did with that Taliban bomb maker.

I belong to the Special Forces Association but that associations can not get involved in politics or it would lose its charter. So they are helpless to protest what is now being done to Maj Golsteyn, see summary below.  Therefore what I would suggest is that if the military does put Maj. Golstyn on trial in a court martial then as individual members we former Greet Berets, not part of any group and who are no longer hindered by ROE’s,  go to where the trial is held and have a protest at the front gates for the duration of the trial.

David J Pristash, Captain
Service Number 05 331 790
MOS 31542


A former Green Beret who told Fox News in 2016 that he killed a suspected Taliban bomb maker nearly a decade ago during combat operations in Afghanistan is now being charged in the man’s death — a move his lawyer says is an act of betrayal by the Army.

The murder charge facing Maj. Matthew Golsteyn comes after years of on-and-off investigations by the Army following an incident said to have taken place during his 2010 deployment. A military tribunal that probed the killing years ago initially cleared Golsteyn — but the investigation into him was re-opened after he spoke to Fox News’ Bret Baier.

“I think he’s been betrayed,” his attorney, Phillip Stackhouse, told Fox News on Friday when asked how the Army has treated Golsteyn.

The once-decorated soldier, who had been on voluntary excess leave amid the latest investigation, has been living in a newly bought home with his wife and a 2-month-old baby in Virginia, working for the International Association of Firefighters, Stackhouse said.

Golsteyn was informed of the murder charge earlier this week after being ordered back into active duty.

“They have insinuated to me that they have new evidence,” Stackhouse told Fox News. “I don’t believe there is any new evidence at all.”



The Army Chief of Staff was recently asked by the President to form an elite counter-terrorist unit. The General went to his Sergeant Major, who was both Ranger and Special Forces qualified, and asked him which organization he would recommend to form this new counter-terrorist unit. The Sergeant Major thought about this for a few minutes and then responded to the Generals question with this parable:


Sir, if there were a hijacked Delta 747 being held by international terrorists along with its passengers and crew, and a counter-terrorists unit formed either by the Rangers or Special Forces were given the rescue/recovery mission, this is what you could expect to happen:



Forces/Equipment Committed: If the Rangers went in, they would send a single Ranger Company of 120 men with standard U.S. Army issue equipment.

Mission Preparation: The Ranger company first sergeant would conduct a haircut, uniform and boots inspection.

Infiltration Technique: They would insist on double-timing, in company formation, wearing their full combat equipment, and singing Jody cadence all the way to the site of the hijacked aircraft.

Actions in the Objective Area: Once they arrive, the Ranger Company would establish their objective rally point, put out security elements, conduct a leader’s recon, reapply their face camouflage, and then conduct final preparations for actions on the objective.

Results of Operation: The rescue/recovery operation would be completed within the hour, all of the terrorists and most of the passengers would have been killed in the ensuing intense firefight, the Rangers would have sustained light casualties and the Delta 747 would be worthless to anyone except a scrap dealer.


Forces/Equipment Committed: If Special Forces went in, they would only send a 12 man team, (all SF units are divisible by 12 for some arcane historical reason), and however, due to the exotic nature of their equipment the SF team would cost the same amount to deploy as the Ranger Company.

Mission Preparation: The SF team sergeant would request relaxed grooming standards (long hair, and beards) for the team and uniforms would not be required.

Infiltration Technique: The team would insist on separate travel orders with max per diem, and each would get to the site of the hijacking by his own means. At least one-third of the team would insist on jumping in.

Actions in the Objective Area: Once they arrive, the SF team would cache their military uniforms, establish a team room, and use their illegal team fund to stock the unauthorized team room bar, check out the situation by talking to the locals, and have a team meeting to discuss the merits of the terrorist’s cause.

Results of Operation: The rescue/recovery operation would take two weeks to complete and by that time all of the terrorists would have been killed (and all would have signed confessions), most of the passengers would be ruined psychologically for the remainder of their lives, and all of the women passengers would be pregnant. The Delta 747 would be essentially be unharmed, the team would have taken no casualties, but, would have used up, lost, or stolen all the highly expensive exotic equipment issued to them.