Mr. Jack Heslin,
I was stationed in Kontum since 1969-1971 with Mobile Strike Force under 5th Special Forces Group. My Battalion supported the border camps along the Ho Chi Minh trail like Ben Het, Dak Seang, Dak Sut, Dak Pek etc... I am very familiar with the area. Dak To was the rest area for us to wait for choppers to transport us to the field.
Every time I think about the personal conflict between Col. Dat and John Paul Vann that caused the loss of many lives including Col. Dat and Mr. Vann, I could not sleep and feel hurt very bad. I did my job, I couldn't help, and nothing I can do about it. I told myself to forget about that but it hurts so bad. I am glad you understand. Thanks for the site.
Regards, a Vietnamese soldier
REFLECTIONS: "...I did my job, I couldn't help, and nothing I can do about it." Guilt is a terrible thing. Many American Vietnam Vets regret that we were not welcomed home after we served in the Vietnam War. Even today I hear that lament from some. There are those who will focus on that and use it as an excuse for life not being the way they hoped it would be. Can you imagine what it must be like for those Vietnamese Veterans who not only feel the pain of a lost war but hold themselves accountable for the defeat. I remember when we had the Vietnamese refugees living with us in the late 70's. Some of them had served in the military and they struggled and grieved over what had happened to their country and their families. They would not cry in front of me but when I went into the next room they would sit at the kitchen table and weep in front of my wife. They were good men who had suffered greatly - they had reason to grieve. In time, they rose above it and have become successful in their new country. They are an object lesson for our American Vets.