I am feeling almost as bad as I did when I left Germany as I told you nine months ago. Only, now Vietnam is not the great unknown, and I really don't want to go back. It's not even the sense of duty that draws me back, it's the flipping law. I mean, who in his right mind would voluntarily get on a plane to go to a hot, humid, dusty place, where people are shooting at you, and there are no other Americans around when you are out in the damn paddies. And, there are three more months, plus a week before going home!
What tender scenes there are at the airport. Dozens of GIs kissing and fondling their girlfriends for less than a week. Don't they realize that the girls are waiting for the next batch of GIs to come in on our plane's return flight that afternoon?
God Damn It! I am really pissed because I can't meet Liliane on leave or R&R. Guys I know are meeting their wives in Hawaii, Thailand, you name it. And, Liliane could fly to Bangkok from Frankfurt, round trip for DM300! But, what would she do with 7 year old Don, and 2 month old John?
All too soon we are landing at TSN, back to the hustle and bustle of a country at war.
Joel wants to stick around Saigon, and take Delta Flight 440 tomorrow morning down to Soc Trang, but that doesn't appeal to me. So, we separate, and I spot an Air America chap I know, and board a shiny C-46 headed points south. Me, and the pilot, the only Americans; along with ARVN, ARVN dependents, ARVN baggage, ARVN chickens, and loads of supplies. I sit in the cockpit with the pilot, and as the sun begins to set, we set down ourselves at the Soc Trang Army Airfield. I bum a ride into town, and back to the MACV Compound. Shit, nothing has changed.
My mail is picked up at the mail room, and I open a letter from HQ MACFlipping V! HOT DAMN! I have my port call. Three months from today! I am booked on the AF's Embassy Flight, westbound on 9 Jan 69! That's a week's drop!
Shit! Three months! A long ways to go.