Memories of my youth: New Years in VietNam

Fifty years ago tonight I was celebrating the new year in our quarters in downtown DaNang. It was an old French villa, with mossy stone and flaking plaster and Asian style roof tiles. And our own bar. Most of us had no duties the next day, but nobody was falling down drunk. It was, after all, a war zone.

It was easy to tell it was a war zone because of all the gunfire going on around us. Not due to combat, but because of sheer high spirits among heavily armed teenagers far away from home. Every so often somebody down the street or across the river would let off another M-16 magazine on full auto, pumping another display of tracers into the warm night sky. Of course, what goes up must come down, and we later heard reports that four people were wounded due to falling bullets.

Don’t try this at home, kids.

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