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…