was a Country I managed to avoid, by way of a student deferment, followed by a high lottery number - 1 of the few lotteries I felt I won. I have 2 friends from Vietnam, 1 from Saigon and 1 from Hanoi. I still don't miss going there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw9MQeT3JBY&feature=relmf...
I am intrigued by what I have seen and read about Vietnam, and if I were to travel abroad again (something I am quite sure I am done with) it would be on my short list. However, my dad, who was shot down twice there, probably feels otherwise.
One of my neighbors and friends was lucky enough to get drafted into the 101st Airborne Division of the Army. He came back from Vietnam with a Bronze and a Silver Star, a Purple Heart and 3 Clusters. It was a place few wanted to go, at the time, though a few people I knew signed for a 2nd tour.
A bunch of friends we grew up with had a great time on a 2-day canoe trip a week before Dale left for the Army. Dale decided that he wanted to try his hand at being a gondolier in the canoe that carried all of our food and camping equipment. It was one of the wettest nights that I've ever spent, but no one complained - BIG fun!!Bob
However, my dad, who was shot down twice there, probably feels otherwise.Was he captured or did he get back safely? Agent Orange was another thing to cope with. It wasn't a nice war. I can't think of any that are.I watched a show on television 2 or 3 decades ago in which a G.I. who had served there went back and visited one of his Vietcong counterparts. The gentleman he visited had been very badly burned by Napalm. He was very hospitable and they seemed to enjoy their visit together.
Dad has had issues with napalm also. Mostly nerves. The last time he was shot down he was in the back of a Huey and took a rocket under his seat. Pieces of it are in his back. He sets off airport scanners.He is now almost 30 years into his next career as a school bus driver. By a most odd coincidence, he was taking a bus of ROTC students to an army base in GA. There was an old retired helicopter pilot there showing the kids around. Turns out it was the medivac pilot that rescued my dad that last time. Amazing. I'm lucky if I run into the same waitress twice at my favorite restaurant.
I should say that my dad and the pilot are pretty sure that he was the one that rescued my dad. It's not like my dad was conscious at the time, and you have to figure that pilot did a lot of life saving flying a medical helicopter. He was able to describe the wreckage, though, and that's why they both thought it was him.
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