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VIETNAM: MY EXPERIENCE

Bill Riedel - Air Force

I was on a MACV compound and we had ARVN troops guarding it. They lived with their families there, too.

One little boy, about 3 or so, was nicknamed "Charlie Brown." One day he was run over in the street in front of the compound. Very sad day for us. I also served on a ROK compound (fire base outside of Pleiku) and I am so glad they were on our side.

We got used to the 155 howizers going off over our heads any time of the day and night, but any other little strange noise woke us up instantly.

I was also in Vietnam when the truce was declared, and I remember riding out to the landing zone to fly back to Saigon and seeing a bunch of VC/NVA prisoners squatting, waiting to be released.

I remember about 2 or 3 months after returning to the U.S., on a Saturday morning, I sat straight up in bed to the sound of all kinds of bombs going off somewhat close. I couldn't figure out why the alarm had not gone off to alert us that the base was under attack. I finally realized I was home and stationed at an Air Force base in Sacramento, and the explosions were from a munitions train that had caught on fire and set off the explosives.

To this day I feel very uncomfortable sitting in any public place with my back to the door or the outside windows.



 


 



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