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Profile picture Scott Hightower
Vietnam
Just to get some discussion going.
Profile picture Peter Wilcox Re: Vietnam
I was drafted into the army in January 1969. In basic I volunteered for the rural pacification program, as I'd had a couple of years in the Peace Corps in the African jungle, but serendipity stepped in and they made me a Pay Disbursal Specialist - a finance clerk.

I was in Viet Nam at two large bases - Bien Hoa and Long Binh - from July 1969 to August 1970 (I extended for 18 extra days in Viet Nam so they'd discharge me from the army on arrival back in the US instead of reassigning me for my last 6 months.) Life was pretty cushy - 3 squares and a shower every day. We had perimeter guard duty a couple of times a week, but I never got shot at. There were occasional mortar and rocket attacks, but aside from my first night at Cam Ranh Bay, nothing ever came close.
The only onerous detail I had to perform was shit burning. We burned a lot of shit, both the brown and green kind. Here's a good description of burning the brown.

http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/sixties/HTML_docs/Texts/Narrative/Willson_Burning_Shit.html

And here's a pic - I guess this board doesn't support html, so you have to copy and paste.

http://www.active-duty.com/Shit%20Burning.jpg

I had an R&R in Sydney, and another in Hong Kong - 5 days each.

The most important thing I did for myself there was quit smoking tobacco - May 6, 1970. It was at least the 10th time I quit (I was smoking 2+ packs of unfiltered cigarettes a day), but that time it took.

Anyway, I was very lucky to return with both my body and my mind intact (though some question the mind), and be able to finally move on with my life.

Here's a pic from then, and another from a couple years ago. I guess I can only post one pic, so the second will be in the next post. Image
Profile picture Peter Wilcox Re: Vietnam

pwilcox wrote:

"I was drafted into the army in January 1969. In basic I volunteered for the rural pacification program, as I'd had a couple of years in the Peace Corps in the African jungle, but serendipity stepped in and they made me a Pay Disbursal Specialist - a "
Yes, I was homeless - living at my mother-in-law's while looking for a house. I found the sign lying on the ground at a freeway onramp in Reno. Image
Profile picture Rich Martinez Re: Vietnam

pwilcox wrote:

"Yes, I was homeless - living at my mother-in-law's while looking for a house. I found the sign lying on the ground at a freeway onramp in Reno."
This is a picture of one of the groups Creedence Clearwater Revival sang about in their classic song: Fortunate One—‘I ain’t no military son, I ain’t no fortunate one’. I am in the picture only because of the Government’s ‘screw-up’ in the Draft process.
A Military section of the Public Health’s Division of Indian Health was established at the beginning of the Vietnam War, and suddenly no longer existed after the draft was rescinded. Its sole purpose was to provide a legal draft dodge for the sons (with medical degrees) of the wealthy, and those with political connections. Their two year military obligation was safely fulfilled stateside at various Indian hospitals----- Those who make the rules, make sure they never have to follow them--
All the doctors in my section wanted to know who my parents paid off to get me assigned at the Indian Hospital in Oklahoma. I guess it was somewhat obvious that I was not a sperm product of elite DNA.
Condescendingly, I informed them the reason for my assignment was beyond the comprehension of their privileged and pampered minds.
“I didn’t need no stinking badges”, contacts, or payola. My lineage was unrivaled—I was a FARMER!!
Image
Profile picture Peter Wilcox Re: Vietnam

charlesrmartinez wrote:

"This is a picture of one of the groups Creedence Clearwater Revival sang about in their classic song: Fortunate One—‘I ain’t no military son, I ain’t no fortunate one’. I am in the picture only because of the Government’s "
I guess Dubya couldn't use this method to dodge the draft, as he wasn't smart enough to get a medical degree. He was ushered into the national guard, and then was able to go AWOL to work on his daddy's campaign when the draft ended.

The main song we sang in Viet Nam was the Animals "We Got to Get Out of This Place."

The one doctor I remember in Viet Nam was a draftee who was a lieutenant colonel - he must have been a neurosurgeon to have such a high rank. He apparently was outprocessing through the finance office, and when he got his final pay, he turned away from the window, yelled "f*ck the army" at the top of his lungs, and walked out the door. It did my heart good.
Profile picture Sarah Chandler Re: Vietnam

pwilcox wrote:

"I was drafted into the army in January 1969. In basic I volunteered for the rural pacification program, as I'd had a couple of years in the Peace Corps in the African jungle, but serendipity stepped in and they made me a Pay Disbursal Specialist - a "
Where did you serve in the PC? I lived travelled in Africa from 1974-1980.
Profile picture Peter Wilcox Re: Vietnam

Lillooetsarah wrote:

"Where did you serve in the PC? I lived travelled in Africa from 1974-1980."
In Gabon. See my post in the travel section.

Where were you in Africa, and doing what?
Profile picture Sarah Chandler Re: Vietnam

pwilcox wrote:

"In Gabon. See my post in the travel section. Where were you in Africa, and doing what?"
Algieria, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zaire, Kenya 3 years, Tanzania, Rwanda, Mozambique, Malawi,Ethiopia, Sudan 2+ years, Nothing official. Many adventures, a few jobs, mostly living life and exploring new places, peoples and cultures. Nothing organized like the PC, although I would have liked to do that.
Profile picture George Wallace Re: Vietnam

pwilcox wrote:

"I guess Dubya couldn't use this method to dodge the draft, as he wasn't smart enough to get a medical degree. He was ushered into the national guard, and then was able to go AWOL to work on his daddy's campaign when the draft ended. The main song "
Well Pete, I think you and I were still locker mates at WHS when I enlisted in the Marines. And like you, I ended up doing both Military and later Peace Corps (Panama) Nancy and I went together to mellow out and finish seving the country on a more productive note. Years after the war, I went to Viet Nam (Northwest of Hanoi) for several months to help them develop some courses at the Vietnam Forestry College in Xuan Mai which was really satisfying. Lots of stories to swap at the reunion for sure. Semper Fi Pic is from Panama Image