As I write this I fully understand that I was also blessed to have a good job in Vietnam during the 19 months I served there instead of being in the jungle in constant danger. Don't get me wrong, because I had my moments when I was close to harm, it just didn't happen to affect me at the time. Following are some images that I saw and wanted to share on this Memorial Day.
A daily scene on my compound as local workers came to do chores like washing and ironing our clothes and cleaning our living quarters.
Our chapel as seen through the wire separating us from the inhabitants of Qui Nhon.
A young boy that as he greeted you on the compound he would salute you whether you were a private or a general and give you a huge smile. He was caught one day pacing off the distance from our perimeter fence to our movie shack in preparation of giving the information so many of my friends could be killed. He was never seen again.
A friend and I (left) sharing a peaceful moment in the enlisted men's club after hours.
A leper colony in Qui Nhon where I saw individuals with missing fingers, toes and a hole where their nose used to be. It was not allowed to take their picture but the area was beautiful.
Following are scenes from the Ghen Rang Orphanage in Qui Nhon where I spent a lot of my off time being with children that were outcasts and products of relationships with GI's and Vietnamese girls.
This was Kim, a local that worked in our office of the 13th Finance and acted as interpreter when at the orphanage as the Catholic nuns did not speak English. Kim was a real blessing.
I (right) was also blessed to attend a Catholic wedding of Kim's cousin very early one morning. Ate some things that I never will know what it was but felt so great to have the experience.
I never regretted serving my tour in Vietnam even though there were times that were frightening like a friend finding a hand grenade set by a fuel tank outside our mess hall or the time an explosive landed close enough to my compound that it threw rocks inside. However I will always know how truly blessed I am to be an American after what I saw and experienced. God Bless the USA.