Saigon was the first stop in country. It was quite a culture shock. Captain Willard the mythical Special Forces Assassin in Apocalypse Now may have said "Saigon, shit, I'm still in Saigon". But all of us who were there felt it. In less than two minutes, to avoid rocket attack, you drop from ten thousand feet to the ground in the big bird, then get whisked away from Ton Son Nhut to your barracks in Saigon. A letter home. "Hello Mom and Dad Oct 3, 1968
This is the first chance that I've had to write. I've been pretty busy getting checked in and standing watches. It's really hard to believe I'm in Vietnam. It's as bad as anything you might have heard. Just imagine living in the middle of a 4 mile square dump, imagine the smell. Imagine the sight. Then imagine what a city looks like after a flood, imagine the smell of damp clothing all around you. It's the rainy season here, it will be for another month after that it gets hot. It's hot now, I'm dreading what it will be like when it gets to it's peak. As for now our facilities are rotten. There aren't any showers, no toilets and no liberty. I'm staying in a transit hotel, the name of it is and get this, The Annapolis. I don't believe that it's like the original Annapolis. We are allowed to leave the hotel between 0500-0730, 1100-1300, and 1730-2000. that is so we can walk down the street to the mess hall. They have an Enlisted Men's Club every night between 1700-2000 a band plays. They're pretty good too. The beer they have there is brought over from the states. It was canned in 1962. The water is mostly undrinkable. The only water drinkable is what is purified which is in the hotel. It is purified with bleach or iodine and it tastes like it. In a couple of days I will be moving to my permanent base. Hope things are better there...."
A short movie on Saigon.
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