Short-Timer


Soldier Nearing the End of His Tour in Vietnam

When I first set foot in Vietnam (March 19, 1970) I was planning on a typical one year tour of duty in Country. That all changed when I was offered a five month early out of the Army toward the end of my tour. All I had to do was extend an extra 35-days in Nam, and it was a done deal. That sounded like the thing to do because I was no longer in the bush with the ‘Blues’ and the only real danger was the frequent mortar attacks at our firebase. I decided to take my chances and my tour ended up being 400-days, which seemed like an eternity. 

I  had orders for Fort Meade, Maryland for the remaining five months in the Army if I chose to complete my two years as a draftee, but fter the ‘Nam’ thing, I was burned out and ready to get on with my life in civilian clothes.

Most soldiers had a calendar on which they crossed out the days spent in Vietnam. Mine was a small notepad with a calendar which I carried in my pocket and updated almost daily. When you were considered ‘short’ the calendar was taken more seriously and many GI’s had very creative ones…

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5 Comments

Filed under Vietnam War

5 responses to “Short-Timer

  1. jesuspdlr

    Surely it was a difficult decision for you, 400 days out!

    Thanks for sharing your memories. ;)

  2. I know a couple of guys, one was in the 7th Cav who did what you did. Smart move!
    I got back and trained for 6 months in preparation for Vietnam with the 82nd Airborne. I was a US and got out. Many of the guys who were RA got to go back with the 82nd. No thanks and God Bless em all.

  3. usastruck

    Looking back I’m glad I did the extension…

    BTW, I’m half-way thru your book. Good Read!
    http://www.dukesbrokendreams.com/

  4. I was an RA and had spent some time over in europe. I came down on a list to go to the nam and I ended up with the 101 during TET. After of about six months in the field I put in for a transfeer to the aviation branch. After 10 months or so the LT came to me and said your 1049 has been approved, all you have to do is sign. The LT also stated that I would have to extend my tour of duty. I looked at the LT and asked to have the papers. I took the papers and promply tore thim to shreads. The LT was hot but I told him I put my paper work in at least 4 months ago, and you are just getting to me now. No thanks, when my time for DEROS comes up Iam gone. I was on the bad side of the LT untill I left the nam a month over my 12 month hitch. I

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