Kim invited me to a Vietnamese wedding for a family member that was held at 7 AM so that was an interesting experience and afterward at a reception I ate some things that I will never know what it was. Of course that's me on the right.
After I had been there for 13 months I took a 30 day leave and went home to visit with my then almost 6 month old daughter Pam who did not want me around her mother at first. The entire pregnancy took place while I was away. While home I had an article put in the local paper about the orphanage and received a lot of support in the way of clothes & food which I shipped ahead of me and when I got back the company commander thought it would be a good thing for a lot of our finance company to go with me to deliver the goods. It was the first time some of these children had worn new clothes in their short lives. They were products of relationships with GI's and Vietnamese women which made them outcasts.
The picture below is of a little boy that came onto the compound every morning with the Vietnamese nationals that worked on the compound in various types of work. He was unique in that he would approach you and salute you no matter what rank you had and always had a huge smile on his face. Working with the Inspector General's office I sometimes had to make trips to smaller finance offices to perform an audit. When I returned from one of those trips I noticed he was around and found out that they found him pacing off the distance from our movie shack to the perimeter fence which would have aided an explosive round to be fired killing many of us. I never saw him again.
There were numerous female workers that took care of our living quarters and our clothes. The two below are a couple of the workers.
In the picture below the lady on the right who I called "mama san" took care of my personal quarters, washed and ironed my clothes and shined my boots. She would iron with a blanket spread out on the cement floor in the squat position for hours and never complain. She worked for a number of GI's and my portion of pay was $9.00 a month and made her very happy.
We actually had a pet that seemed to always be around that we appropriately named "Payroll". He was looked after by a native American from Rapid City, SD who frequently allowed Payroll to have his share of beer. On at least two occasions I remember seeing Payroll passed out. The native was a staff sergeant when I arrived there and was demoted to specialist 4th class due to problems with drinking. One of the sad stories.
Below is one shot taken at a leper colony I was allowed to visit in 1969. We were not allowed to take pictures of the people who had fingers and toes missing and some with a hole in their face where their nose once was. It was a beautiful village right along the coast.
Although the food in the mess hall was very good we sometimes ate at the enlisted men's club where we could get burgers, steaks and shrimp anytime and the drinks and beers were only 15 cents each and the best shot of liquor was only 35 cents which is why to many GI's got in trouble with their drinking habit. Here I am with a fellow worker relaxing at the club.
The man below is Sgt Mickle, my immediate supervisor in our quality assurance section of 13th Finance. He had ulcers and had to drink a lot of milk.
When I stopped over in Japan on the way home I picked up these 2 tapestries that hung in my home for many years until they started to deteriorate and had to be thrown away. Hope you enjoyed the tour and memories.