Sunday, November 12, 2017
I enjoyed my job in Don Duong, and nobody was shooting at me, so I volunteered to stay an extra six months beyond my required year. I also wanted to be a captain, so the promotion and Vietnam tour extension necessitated my signing up for a third year in the army beyond my required (from ROTC) two years. My extra six months in Vietnam earned me a free transportation 30-day excursion anywhere in the world, so I chose to go to Europe. I received my promotion orders on the way through Cam Ranh Bay, pinned on my captain’s bars, flew to Saigon, where I spent a day sightseeing while waiting for a flight, then flew to Bangkok. After a couple hours there, I flew to New Delhi India, the Istanbul airport, then to London.
I occasionally traveled to Dalat, another of the very nicest Vietnamese cities, which was a little higher in the mountains northwest of Don Duong. The temperature in our area was hot, but it was still a lot cooler than down in the coastal areas. After an excursion to Cam Ranh Bay we always enjoyed returning to the mountains. I spent my last couple months with another engineering battalion at Phu Bai in the north, near the old imperial capital of Hue.
I was next assigned to be the battalion’s civilian personnel officer (CPO). We hired a lot of native Vietnamese to help in our road building. I was in charge of hiring them and paying them monthly. I had to travel to Nha Trang, north of Cam Ranh Bay and one of the nicest Vietnamese cities, each month to pick up the payroll.