Saturday, 28 January 2012

The Road to Hill 10

One of the first vets to return to Vietnam, this is long and revealing piece about his return to the places and people he fought, by William Broyles Jr. - journalist/screen writer and ex-marine.

Excerpt (it's a long one!):
A veteran's return to Vietnam

We crossed the bridge over the Tuy Loan River and stopped the car on the other side. Sweet potatoes and manioc were drying in the sun. The smell of sugarcane filled the air. The old bridge had been blown up in 1974, and at first I wasn't sure where I was. On the north bank, where our bunkers had been, there was now a brick kiln. On the south bank, where I'd had my command post, two men dressed only in shorts were sitting in a shed, patiently sawing logs. Across the road, near where we had set up our recoilless rifle, was a small roadside stand selling tea, cigarettes, and drinks. It had all changed. But the bend in the river was the same, and so were the mountains beyond. I looked in the distance for the old French fort in the foothills where my platoon had often set its foxholes for the night. I was stunned when it rose out of the foreground, scarcely a mile away.

Vietnam was so much smaller than I had remembered...

The Road to Hill 10 - The Atlantic 1985

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