Guard Duty: Fear of the Unseen Enemy

Worry, doubt, confusion, isolation. Fear of an invisible foe. The sad reality of these Covid-19 times? No. A night of guard duty during the Vietnam War. A moonless midnight on a rock-strewn Chu Lai beach. Except for the rhythmic lapping of ocean waves, there was silence.Read More

The First–And Last–Time I Saw Paris

 Returning from Vietnam in 1971, the best thing that ever happened to me was the fulfillment of my relationship with Natalie—which has endured to this day. Second best? Surely the onset of my friendship with Chuck, which unfortunately ended a few weeks ago with his passing.Read More

My Road to Vietnam: A Very Inartful Draft Dodger

1969 was quite the remarkable year. If you are into 50-year-old hallmarks, your memory may conjure some historic worldwide events like the first manned moon landing, the three-day Woodstock “Peace and Music” festival, and when the Beatles came together for the final time on Abbey Road. Read More

Dear Natalie: Letters Home from ‘Nam

Sgt. Pete was trim, good looking, well tanned and never shut up once.  That’s how I remember my seatmate on the “Freedom Bird” flight home from Vietnam on June 4, 1971.  He seemed happier than a lark to be leaving the war.  So who wouldn’t be?Read More

So What’s A Chu Lai Anyway?

Chu Lai was my home away from home during the Vietnam War. Though you likely never heard of it, Chu Lai was much much more. What happened in and around Chu Lai turned out to be emblematic of the misery and tragedy of the entire war.Read More

Hanoi Hoopla: The Shin Splint Summit

Say what you will about President Obama.  But at least he kept it low key and metaphysical.  When he was in Hanoi, he had the good sense to chill among the people, sipping beers with Anthony Bourdain in a hole in the wall Bun Cha joint.Read More

Tet 2019: Vietnam in the Year of the Pig

All of the new friends I made traveling throughout Vietnam last year are in the midst of celebrating Tet 2019, the Lunar New Year. Many gave me a glimpse of their cherished holiday rituals. Some are traditional and some are new. And all are simply wonderful.Read More

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