A boy goes to war, Part 4
If you have not been following this blog start at part 1
I bonded with the captain’s driver, a guy named Chuck. He was of polish decent and from a small town in Pennsylvania. Chuck had a long last name that ended in ski, so I ended up calling him Ski. My duties in the office were easily handled leaving me a lot of free time so I would ride with Ski. He drove all over the area between Long Binh, Bien Hoa and Saigon. He always had someplace to go and something to pick up for the captain or the company. We talked about places we would like to go after we got out of the army and things we wanted to do. I saw a lot of places and things riding with Ski, some good and some bad.
This is a picture of my friend Chuck (Ski) and his truck. I road with him everywhere and saw a lot of Vietnam.
I had many great conversations with Ski and I enjoyed being with him. Time seemed to pass quickly for a while. I never kept in touch with Ski after I left Vietnam, nor did he try to keep in touch with me. This seems to happens so often in life.
One day in 1973 five years later, I was working in the meat shop at a small country store and I looked up and saw him standing there to be waited on. He had moved nearby and opened a restaurant and pizzeria. We were both married by then and had some great visits.
Helicopters took off constantly from Long Binh on missions around the area.
A picture of a boat in the Mekong Delta near Saigon.
A blurry picture of a street on the outskirts of Saigon.
About eight months into my tour I was scheduled for R&R (Rest and Recuperation) leave. This comprised of 5 days of vacation outside Vietnam. The choices were: Hawaii, Honk Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok, Taipei and Sydney. Hawaii was usually reserved for married men so they could meet their wife there. You would turn in your gear and exchange your piasters (funny money used by soldiers in Vietnam) for American Dollars, then depart from; Tan Son Nhut, Cam Rahn Bay or Danang airports aboard a chartered commercial airliner.
This is a picture of a young Vietnamese boy that helped out at our base.