Monthly Archives: April 2010

Religion In Vietnam


A Mixture of Many Faiths

Pagoda near Phuoc Vinh

Vietnamese cemetery somewhere along the road from Phuoc Vinh to Long Binh (photo by Chris Bussells, HHC 31st Eng Bn)

The Viet Cong were well aware of the importance of religion in Vietnamese life. They used people’s beliefs in any way they could, although they did not always respect the beliefs.

All the world’s great religions can be found in Vietnam. At least four major beliefs have had a profound impact on the people. These are Animism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Christianity entered Vietnam later and is now a religious force. Other beliefs such as Bahaism also have gained followings.

The first Army chaplain in Vietnam arrived on 26 Feb. 1962, with some 3,000 U.S. troops in country. The numbers of serving chaplains roughly kept pace with the troop levels; peaking at over 300 chaplains in the field in 1967.

While in flight to our next mission we had to deal with many different emotions. It was just a matter of minutes before our feet hit the ground and our fate was uncertain.
That’s when I turned to prayer…

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Incineration of Excrements


The Sanitization of Latrines

A Place for Reflection, for Contemplation

I was sitting there minding my own business when I heard a strange noise beneath me. I glanced down between my legs, and could see daylight and a face staring upward. Needless to say I was a bit startled, and I think that made two of us! It was mama-san pulling out the waste container from the back side of the latrine. These containers were usually sawed off fifty-five gallon drums and its contents were burned nearby with the help of either gasoline or kerosene.

The US Government typically hired local village people for this task.

I recall having that detail just once when I first got in ‘Country’ either at 90th Replacement or First Team Academy and that was enough…

This photo was taken on the west side of the ‘Blues’ hooches.
The containers located behind these two Charlie Troopers were used for waste disposal.

Photo by Chris Bussells

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