Myth: Drug Use Was Rampant In Vietnam
The Bush Was No Place For Drugs
While in the ‘bush’ with the Blues we counted on each other to keep a clear head, otherwise it could have spelled disaster for all of us. Imagine trying to rappel from a hovering chopper into the jungle full of unfriendlies while under the influence of drugs. That would have been nearly impossible.
I became Charlie Troop mail clerk during the final months of my tour. My duties included confiscating contraband being sent through the mail. Most of it was marijuana , and I recall the day ‘Top’ (First Sergeant Herder) suggested we burn my stash of weed. We put it in a sawed off fifty-five gallon drum behind the Orderly Room and with the help of a little fuel, we had a roaring fire. Of course we stood upwind as we both knew how nasty that smoke was.
As I recall the event drew quite a crowd downwind…
4 responses to “Drug Use In Vietnam”
I missed your post. This one is fantastic again.
P.s: Strange way of smoking. I´d never seen…
You got mail…
I didn’t do drugs in high School. I had friends who were ‘drugies’ but I was not. I also never got laid in high school. I paid to lose my virginity in San Antonio while at Fort Sam, but that is another story. I was a 91 Bravo in the 25th Inf. Division for about 9 months. I was turned on to my first joint at Firebase Rhode Island which was little more than a burm with artillery pieces and a few bunkers on the edge of a rubber plantation. I had access to valium my entire time in Nam and I medicated myself but didn’t think of it as getting high or drug abuse. During my time as a grunt nobody did drugs while in the field (like I said, Valium was medicine) Similarly no one was racist in the field. When we came in for a ‘stand down’ we split up into the following groups: Blacks, Whites, Heads, and Juicers. I fit in better with the ‘heads’ though I did my share of juice and one of the benefits of being a ‘rabbit’ medic was that I was accepted by the blacks. I learned to really appreciate marijuana. Some of my bodies received letters and care packages from home that contained LSD.
When the 25th Inf. Division was “withdrawn” I became a member of the 5th Cav. Overnight. I spent the next 5 months working in the ER at Phuoc Vinh. Part of my responsibilities was to drive the ambulances. I had a jeep and it became my job to supply much of the base with weed (at no profit to myself, of course). I supplied an orphanage in town with medical supplies once a week and usually returned with several kilos of ready rolled weed and occasional sticks of opium. I knew a few heroin addicts but they and other downer abusers were not fun to be around though I did try Heroin a couple of times. We also had access to amyl nitrate and did poppers sometimes.
When I returned from Nam, I continued to be a pot head and used uppers and acid. I was a daily grass smoker for perhaps 15 years. I no longer use
When I departed for vietnam in Feb. 1969, no one smoked weed that I knew. When I return from vietnam Feb. 1970, I didn’t know anyone who didn’t smoke weed. It happened over night it seemed to me. I do not know anyone who smokes now. Including me! But I have to admit to you, it was great while it lasted.