Travel Blog

Third Tour in Vietnam

Third Tour in Vietnam

Planning My Return to Vietnam

In Memory of Jack O’Neil

Download the Third Tour Journal (PDF)

At approximately 1700 hours 31 January 2015, Jack O’Neil died. Jack was my best friend. We first met on the airstrip at Quan Loi in September 1968, as I arrived to temporarily replace him as PSYOP team leader with the 2d Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). A few months later, Jack moved to start up a new team with the 82d Airborne Division, and I returned to Quan Loi to take over his Team. He was a tough act to follow.

Jack and I had long discussed returning to ‘Nam together, but it simply couldn’t happen. Over the past few months, as my trip solidified and his health continued to deteriorate, we talked long and often about the trip, about the places I’d visit. He wanted me to take the tour for both of us, an honor I gladly accepted. He thought he might die before I left, and we agreed I’d take some of his ashes back to Quan Loi if at all possible. Over the past few weeks, he seemed to strengthen, and the “ashes” idea became a new source of humor for us; we won’t go into that here. We had no idea that he’d pass so close to our actual departure time; who could know? I wish I could have honored his wishes and return some of his ashes to the place we met, but it wasn’t going to happen.

The funny thing about our friendship is that we came to generally dislike each other in ’68 and early ’69, but we couldn’t remember why. When we reconnected in 1989 in Washington DC, we couldn’t remember why our feelings had been hostile because we had good memories of our time in ‘Nam; it was so good see him and we rekindled a friendship that had started well but then deteriorated. For the last 26 years, our friendship was the best of my life. We shared a special bond, we saw each other through hard times, we chewed each others butts when it was needed, and we commiserated with each other to cover our pain. We shared the pain of the deaths of fellow ‘Nam veterans, and talked about our own futures, how we wanted things to be. We kept each other up when we were down, and we stood tall and strong when the other needed that strength. I guess that is what friendship is about.

We served in the same unit, but were widely separated by our team assignments. Jack replaced me on Operation Montana Raider, the massive joint infantry-armor operation in the Michelin Rubber plantation during which I was wounded in April ‘69; he replaced me on the operation and was himself wounded. He suffered to his last day with his injuries. Jack has lived a hard life, but he did it with grace, class, and dignity.

You’ll read later in this journal about the Robert McClure Gold Medal that I was awarded; Jack was awarded the McClure Gold Medal at the same time. That is brotherhood at its best, recognizing our service, our work, and our commitment as veterans and as Psywarriors for nearly 50 years. Long life, Brother Jack!

Jack, this return for my “Third Tour” of Vietnam is in honor of you. You haven’t been gone long, but I am missing you already. It does “mean something.” But, we both know that it always did.

You’re home, now, Jack. No more pain, no more worries. You’re safe now. Welcome Home. RIP, Brother.

Download the Third Tour Journal (PDF)

Posted in See For Yourself, War Stories

Photos of Hanoi

Take a virtual walk through the streets of Hanoi. Enjoy the sites and color photos of Hanoi as we step back in time with some of our favorite memories. Traveling to Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia? Contact Us! We’re able to provide customized private tours for your group or family at a very reasonable price. If you’ve never seen Vietnam, we invite you to join us on one of our many adventures.

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Posted in Best In The East, See For Yourself

Basic Vietnamese Phrases

Basic Vietnamese Phrases

Basic Vietnamese phrases, with pronunciation, for activities, food, transportation and the days of the week.

Pleasantries

English Pronunciation Vietnamese
Yes yaa vâng
No khong không
Maybe cawtey có thể
You’re Welcome kohng sao doh không sao đâu
No Thank You yaa khong, kam un không cảm ơn
Hello seen chow xin chào
Goodbye tam byet tạm biệt
How are you? kwea khong khỏe không?
My name is then thoy la tôi tên là
What is your name? (formal, to an older man) ten ban la yee? ông tên là gì?
What is your name? (formal, to an older woman) ba theyn la yi? bà tên là gì?
What is your name? (very informal, to a man) ayng theyn la yi? anh tên là gì?
What is your name? (very informal, to a woman) goh theyn la yi cô tên là gì?
Merry Christmas chook muhng yaghn sin giáng sinh vui vẻ
Happy New Year! chuck moong numb moi! cung Chuc Tan Nien!

Food

English Pronunciation Vietnamese
“Pho” noodle fuh? pho
Bread banh mee bánh mì
Iced Coffee with Milk ka fey sooh da cà phê sữa đá
Roll ghoi kwoon gỏi cuốn
Spring Roll cha yaw chả giò

Sports & Leisure Activities

English Pronunciation Vietnamese
Fishing kow kaa
Badminton dahn kow long cầu lông
Camping kaam tryy cắm trại
Swim booi bơi
Go to the Beach dee beean đi đến bãi biển
Horseback Riding kooi ngooah cưỡi ngựa
Play Basketball choi bong row chơi bóng rổ
Play Soccer choi bong da chơi bóng đá
Hiking leow nooi đi bộ đường dài
Dancing nhaay daam nhảy múa
Traveling dee you lik đi du lịch

Transportation & Taxis

English Pronunciation Vietnamese
Drive me to dua toi den lái xe cho tôi để
How Much? bao new bao nhiêu
Receipt hao don biên lai
Hurry Up nian len nhanh lên
I don’t want toi crom mouan tôi không muốn
Stop zun lai thôi
Go Straight di tan đi thẳng
Tomorrow ngai my mai
Turn Right ze phai rẽ phải
Turn Left ze tchai rẽ trái
Turn Around kue lai quay lại
Crossroads nga tu ngã tư
Wait Here doi o dai đợi ở đây
See You Again hen gap lai gặp lại

Days of the Week

English Pronunciation Vietnamese
Sunday chew ngut chúa nhật
Monday tuuh hi thứ hai
Tuesday tuuh baah thứ ba
Wednesday tuuh thu thứ tư
Thursday tuuh nahm thứ năm
Friday tuuh saow thứ sáu
Saturday tuuh bayh thứ bảy

 

Posted in Fun Facts, See For Yourself, Travel Tips