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Rob Anderson
200 articles

A promise kept

August 7, 2016 · in Uncategorized · · 16 · 1.7K

My brother in law Marvin served in Vietnam in 1969 with the 4th Infantry Division as a crew member for an M109 self propelled howitzer. Marvin left us a few years ago after a prolonged illness we are quite certain was brought on by exposure to Agent Orange. "We used to spray the stuff out of garden hoses to clear all the vegetation" I remember him telling me. After he died I promised my wife I would build a model of his gun, and place it in a suitable display. Well, the years and life got in the way, finding the M109 can be hard, but mostly other projects edged this one out. Finally I got an Italeri M109, some AFV club tracks and went to town with the results you see here. Sgt. Briese was a good guy, and proud of his service in the "s****y little war" that took so many lives. This one's for you brother, we miss you!

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4  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. Rob, it looks like the real thing, with all that dust all over it. Fine tribute to your brother-in-law. Thanks for posting and sharing this.

  2. Way cool Rob. Great model and a wonderful tribute.
    California Steve

  3. yes a fitting tribute to your brother-in-law and kudos to you.

  4. Thanks guys. The old Italeri kit really is pretty good, I used the NATO G version of the kit, but all the parts for the earlier version are there. I added a few things and used the AFV club indy links, which juuuuuuusssst about did me it. Oh I also used a 50 cal from Academy's excellent US MG kit. I especially enjoyed choosing the pictures to use in the display, made copies of them on photo paper, then adding his medals.

  5. Nice job all the way around, did good.

  6. Rob, Well done on all accounts.
    I really like the dusty weathering !

  7. A fine tribute to your Brother in Law, and to those who also succumbed to "Alien Agents"

  8. I agree with all of the above comments, Rob. Haven't Tamiya just re-released this kit with some updates?

  9. Good work Rob! A nice way to remember you brother in law and those who served with him

  10. Yes George Tamiya has re-released it with link and length tracks, an ACAV turret and some figures. The problem id the Tamiya kit as I discovered is difficult to find, I tried ordering two, both ended up being cancelled after the seller found he actually didn't have any.

  11. Great work Rob, Nicely done, a fine tribute indeed.

  12. Nice tribute and a fine job Rob. It's a shame he didn't get to see it, I'm sure he would have appreciated your work.

  13. Rob,
    A very well finished M109. A great way to remember your brother in law.
    No politics on this site, but the name McNamara keeps popping up with the word "Surgical OPS" The beginning of the end.

  14. A great build and tribute, Rob! There is some suspicion that Agent Orange may have also contributed to my dad's untimely death. Flew F-4's out of Cam Rahn Bay.

  15. I have seen videos of what my brother in law described, 50 gallon drums with pumps attached, young men with no PPE at all, shirtless spraying the foliage. Fast forward to my generation and they stopped painting tow tractors and such yellow due to fears of the lead and chromate content of the paint. On the other hand at Atsugi we lived near the Shinkanpo incinerator, some days it was so bad you couldn't let the kids go outside. I lived there 4 years and have an entry in my medical record showing how close I was living, less than a mile away. The VA of course says all is well, though there have been lots of anecdotal evidence of cancers, birth defects etc. Then there's the asbestos on the older carriers I served on...Nothing like the Agent Orange exposure stuff though thats crazy,

  16. That's why they changed the 'yellow gear' color ? If you think about about all the s**t you've been exposed to over a lifetime it'll drive you nuts, but yes nothing like orange crush exposure.

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