How did the soldiers manage to make the etchings? What process did they use? I love the directness of the messages. Edited by the size of the lighters, I guess.
I don’t know how they did it. I assume it was done by the vendors mentioned in the articles.
The message about the unwilling led by the unqualified doing the unnecessary for the ungrateful really strikes home to bring back the Vietnam years. Sad indeed, and how much have we learned?
As to how such engravings were done, my memory is that the vendors did indeed do them on request. But I don’t remember the run of obscenities, perhaps because I was fortunate enough to do my years before the mast mostly in the time between Korea and Vietnam in a generally peaceful period, save for some dust-ups in the Taiwan Straits.
I had a belt buckle made by a vendor in the Philippines, with the logo of the Swiss Alpine Club on it — probably the only one in the entire USN.
LOL. Yes, there were vendors that were set up outside exchanges and in just about any town of any size. Often they engraved lighters, and embossed items, such as pancho liners, hats, field jackets, etc.
Obscenities? I’d say that the typical grunt was unable to complete a single sentence without at least one ‘M-F.’ The language accurately reflected the obscenity of the war itself, and the unimaginably miserable conditions front-line grunts endured. A typical and common expression about life itself — ” M-Fing Sh**”