Journey to Vietnam Begins

First Stop was Oakland Army Base in Oakland, CA


That two-week​ leave just flew by and time for my departure had arrived.
Mom, dad and little brother (Randy) took me to Eppley Airfield in Omaha to begin my journey. We stopped in Charter Oak on the way so I could say goodbye to my girlfriend (now wife) Rebecca.

We landed at Oakland Army Base (US Army Overseas Replacement Station) that afternoon. That is where troops heading to and from Vietnam got processed. After a short briefing, we were shown our sleeping quarters for the next couple of nights. There must have been a shortage of boarding space because we slept on folding Army cots on the floor of a huge warehouse. That could have been a sign the war in Vietnam was escalating at a rapid pace and any space available was used to accommodate the huge influx of troops.

The next couple of days consisted mainly of filling out necessary paperwork and of course, getting fitted for jungle fatigues and boots.

One thing that stood out in my mind is the look the returning vets had on their faces. I couldn’t understand why they weren’t smiling and happy. After all, they were going home, or at least to a new duty station back in the world. Instead, they looked worn and burned out. Thirteen months later I understood…


Filed under Vietnam War

4 responses to “Journey to Vietnam Begins

  1. Fred Murillo

    I still remember going through the Oakland Army Base on my way to Vietnam. There were so many young men going to Vietnam. Some of them were scared. I arrived there via train from oklahoma. We slept in a big warehouse. I don’t remember how many days I was there, but not to many. We were then bused to Travis Air Force Base, real early in the morning. Then off to Vietnam. This was in May, 1967.

    • Bob Miller, Dallas

      Man, does this bring back memories. I went thru Oakland Army Base in May of 72 on my way to Seoul, Korea and returned there in June, 1973. Upon returning I remember taking off my uniform and throwing it and all my military clothes into a large trash can. My boots were the only things I kept.

  2. usastruck

    That had to be a long train ride from Oklahoma to Oakland.
    Who did you serve with in Nam?

  3. Eugene carpentieri

    left oab in jan.1967 emergency landing on wake island there for one week one gi was killed do u remember this flight??

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