Mike Dankert, my oldest son David, and I are going to Vietnam June 14 and will return home June 21. We believe five days on the ground is enough time to visit all the locations. The group will fly into Da Nang and stay at a hotel in Hoi An.
David and Mike fly into Austin the day before we leave for Vietnam. I will begin daily posting June 13, 2018. I will post pictures and a short write up each evening (I hope) on my Blog and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/haynie19/).
We will visit Hill 4-11 and the areas around the Hill, My Lai Memorial, Debbie/Thunder, the rice bowl, FSB Bronco, FSB Charlie Brown and the bridge, and the Division firebase in Chu Lai. We hope to find more locations as we travel up and down Highway 1 (Redball).
Rice Bowl Area Photo by Alan Brinton (2002)
I have been going through old unit newspapers and newsletters from the time I was in Vietnam and came across the one below. We received this edition while in the mountains. I found the photo on the internet and thought it fitting to display with this article. Notice the banner (Victory for the Vietcong) and the NVA flags our American citizens are carrying.
This article was written in the 11th Brigade Trident Newsletter, September 29, 1969.
Spare Your Relatives Needless Grief
Numerous hoax calls to relatives of personnel serving in Vietnam have been reported in recent weeks. These hoax calls have caused considerable anguish and discomfort to the next of kin who are unaware of Department of the Army, notification procedures. The hoax call is malicious and relates primarily to false reports of death, missing and AWOL, desertion, or other related matters concerning personnel status.
Spare Your Relatives This Grief. Advise them now that they may be the recipient, of such a contemptible call, and that any such telephone call concerning your status should be immediately recognized as a hoax.
If your status requires notification to your loved ones, your Army does not use the telephone. Notification is made by a personally delivered message by Army representatives, where identity can immediately be verified; or, by Western Union telegram which can be verified with the Western Union office from which received or, by correspondence directly from the Department of the Army.
This photograph was not published with the article. I thought it a good image to show the attitude at the time.
This image is the page from the newsletter that the article was published.
Soldiering After the Vietnam War: Changed Soldiers in a Changed Country
The post commander walked along the line of senior NCOs who were retiring and stopped in front of each. We snapped to attention and saluted, and he returned the salute and pinned the award we’d earned on our left breast pocket. As he shook my hand, he made small talk, but I don’t recall what he said.
This ceremony reminded me of the day I’d entered the Army. I was a number going through the enlistment process, and a stranger had given me the Oath of Enlistment. Now I was a professional soldier shaking hands with a stranger, leaving after 20 years of service.
When I Turned Nineteen: A Vietnam War Memoir and Soldiering After the Vietnam War.