Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more ➡
Standard view
Full view
of .
Add note
Save to My Library
Sync to mobile
Look up keyword
Like this
110Activity
×
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
DEROS Vietnam: Dispatches from the Air-Conditioned Jungle by Doug Bradley {Excerpt}

DEROS Vietnam: Dispatches from the Air-Conditioned Jungle by Doug Bradley {Excerpt}

Ratings:

5.0

(1)
|Views: 33,953|Likes:
Published by OpenRoadMedia
DEROS Vietnam: Dispatches from the Air-Conditioned Jungle presents a unique, fictional montage of the wartime and postwar experiences of Vietnam support troops. Structurally based on Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time, this riveting collection of sixteen short stories and sixteen interlinears portrays the GIs who battled boredom, racial tensions, the military brass, drugs, alcohol—and occasionally the enemy. (The acronym DEROS stands for Date Eligible for Return from Over Seas.)

From cooks and correspondents to clerks and comptrollers, DEROS Vietnam distills the essence of life for soldiers in the rear during the war and, later, back home in a divided America. Vietnam veteran Doug Bradley, a former army journalist who served in the air-conditioned jungle at US Army Headquarters near Saigon from 1970 to 1971, tells these compelling stories with wit, intensity, and empathy. In doing so, he provides a gateway to a Vietnam experience that has been largely ignored and whose reverberations still echo across America.
DEROS Vietnam: Dispatches from the Air-Conditioned Jungle presents a unique, fictional montage of the wartime and postwar experiences of Vietnam support troops. Structurally based on Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time, this riveting collection of sixteen short stories and sixteen interlinears portrays the GIs who battled boredom, racial tensions, the military brass, drugs, alcohol—and occasionally the enemy. (The acronym DEROS stands for Date Eligible for Return from Over Seas.)

From cooks and correspondents to clerks and comptrollers, DEROS Vietnam distills the essence of life for soldiers in the rear during the war and, later, back home in a divided America. Vietnam veteran Doug Bradley, a former army journalist who served in the air-conditioned jungle at US Army Headquarters near Saigon from 1970 to 1971, tells these compelling stories with wit, intensity, and empathy. In doing so, he provides a gateway to a Vietnam experience that has been largely ignored and whose reverberations still echo across America.

More info:

Publish date: Sep 2012
Added to Scribd: Apr 15, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Buy the full version from:Barnes & NobleAmazon
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See More
See less

09/28/2013

pdf

text

original

 
 
 
 
Introduction: The Air-Conditioned War
I spent 365 days in Vietnam from November of 1970 to November of 1971.I worked in acorporate-esque, shine and polish, public information office in the U.S. Army’sheadquarters at Long Binh, a former rubber plantation about 15 miles from Saigon. Howin the hell I ended up there after my graduation from college in May 1969 and not at lawschool at Boston University where I’d been accepted is a question I still ask myself.And while I think the answer has something to do with Nixon, the draft, Vietnamization,my birthday, and bad luck, I’ve more or less given up trying to figure it out. The reality isI didn’t go to law school and I did get drafted. Vietnam became my real graduateschool—my true education if you will—and it’s something that continues to teach me alesson every day of my life.My Long Binh officemates and I were categorized as REMFs: Rear Echelon Mother Fuckers. That was meant, I believe, to distinguish us from the grunts, the guys who werefighting the war, but I also think it was meant to keep us in our place, and to be a slap inthe face. As far as I can tell, it worked. We were less than the grunts, and we still feelguilty about having a safer, cushier job than our brothers who did the fighting and dying.That doesn’t mean there wasn’t any pain and sacrifice and danger for us REMFs. But it’smuted, much like our collective Vietnam voice, because, well, most of what we didwasn’t glorious or heroic or even very interesting. Trying to unmute that REMF voice is part of the reason why I’ve been writing about Vietnam for more than 40 years. I mean,hell, there were more of us in the rear than there were grunts in the field, and we did haveto put up with all the military and political and Vietnam bullshit too, so why doesn’tanybody know about our experiences? Truth is, that’s way too noble a motivation for meand this collection of stories. I wrote them mainly for myself because the process of writing has helped me to better understand Vietnam—and to heal myself a little in the process. I need to write, I have to write, to be who I am. There’s as much of the non-Vietnam me in here as there is the Vietnam me. But I doubt you’ll be able to tell thedifference.There is some truth to the Nixon-draft-Vietnamization-birthday-bad-luck mantra Imentioned earlier. For starters, I blame all U.S. presidents from FDR on for getting usinto Vietnam. But up until Spring 1968, my junior year in college, I figured if I stayed inschool long enough and got my college diploma, the war would be over. I mistakenly believed Lyndon Baines Johnson. I wouldn’t make the same mistake with the next president.I sure as hell didn’t buy Tricky Dick’s B.S. about a “secret plan to win the war” and allthat. I was so pissed at LBJ that I projected my anger on to his V.P., Hubert H.Humphrey. In the end, I marked my virgin trip to the ballot box on November 5, 1968 bywriting in Dick Gregory for president. That’s the only vote I ever cast—and I’ve voted inevery election since—that I wish I had back.
 
  Not long after Nixon ascended to the throne in 1969, I began to pay more attention towhat was going on with the war and the draft. LBJ had cancelled graduate schooldeferments in March 1968, so even with my law school acceptance at B.U. later, militaryconscription appeared more likely than law school matriculation.On a beautiful spring day in 1969, I graduated from tiny Bethany College in Bethany,West Virginia. It was May 24 to be exact, and while Led Zeppelin brought down thehouse that night with “Dazed and Confused” at the Kinetic Playground in Chicago andthe Grateful Dead jammed to “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad” at Seminole IndianVillage in Florida, my parents drove me back to Philadelphia in their tiny red VW.Thus began the worst summer of my life. I was now classified 1-A (available for unrestricted military service) as opposed to 2-S (deferred because of collegiate study).Every day brought the same throbbing headache, the crippling knot in the stomach, andthe perpetual conundrum:
What in the hell am I going to do?
I’ll admit I let the trauma and the anxiety and the fear get the best of me. I ballooned towell over 190 pounds (I’ve weighed around 160 ever since Vietnam), pissed and moanedall summer long, and turned down a couple decent jobs. I ended up working in a tinyfactory where they made locks for aircraft carriers. I increased my intake of alcohol andmarijuana. I was lonely and miserable.I wasn’t eager to give more than two years of my life away to the Army—or the Navy,Marines, or Air Force—and I didn’t have any pull to help me get into the National Guardor Reserves. That seemed like a major copout anyway.So, I sat and ate and smoked and cursed and waited.September 1969 eventually rolled around. Vietnamization—a term coined by MelvinLaird, a Wisconsinite and Secretary of Defense—was sailing along, but there were stillnearly a half million of my peers in Viet-nam. It was just a matter of time until the draftcaught up with me, so I dropped out of law school and dropped into my pre-induction physical for the draft. It was like a never-ending episode of “The Twilight Zone,” and Ikept hearing Rod Serling’s smoky voice warning me:
This highway leads to the shadowytip of reality: you’re on a through route to the land of the different, the bizarre, theunexplainable
… By the time I came to, I’d passed with flying colors. I was on my way tothe land of the different.Which is exactly where luck, good and bad, and birthdays intervened. To show theAmerican public that Vietnamization was working, Nixon boldly cancelled November and December draft calls, so guys like me could worry about their uncertain futures alittle longer. He then introduced a “more just and equitable means” for conscription—thelottery.In this case, having the winning number was not what you wanted. No, you wanted tolose the lottery so you could keep your ass out of Vietnam.

Activity (110)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
Justin Lara added this note|
http://www.euk12monthpaydayloans.co.uk/3-month-payday-loans.html A 12 month loans can provide financial assistance to help you through a series of situations, and can also be the answer to the question of funding a weekend getaway.
Justin Lara added this note|
http://www.euk12monthpaydayloans.co.uk/loans-over-6-months.html The interest rates cash advance loans payday are relatively higher compared to bank loans, but these loans are short term loans so you do not have to pay a lot of money in terms of interest. Fast cash loans are the most convenient and fastest methods of obtaining quick cash.
Justin Lara added this note|
http://www.euk12monthpaydayloans.co.uk/ Once your application for approval comes through, you will be contacted by lenders via phone or email to verify details of your loan.
Justin Lara added this note|
http://www.cashforuk.co.uk/ You can fill out and submit an online application in only 3 minutes. In this buying process, no paperwork and faxing involved in the process.
Justin Lara added this note|
http://paydaycash-today.co.uk/ Fast cash loans services are very fast in delivery and can be obtained even in the same day of application. Many lenders are available online that offer cash advance loans payday they use to make the whole process for faster acquisition.
Justin Lara added this note|
http://www.epaydayloansforpeopleonben....uk/ With the approval of those present, a service online 12 month loans fast cash allows you to get the money you need quickly, using your personal computer and Internet access. If you are facing a desperate feeling the extra money you need, dona € ™ t worry, you have a few options available in the lot.
1 thousand reads

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download