Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Diary Entry 63: Saigon, Wednesday Night, 22 September 1965

                                                                                           Wednesday Night, 22 September 1965

Just finished eating supper in my room.  Had crackers, peanut butter, olives, Vienna sausage, sweet pickles, and canned pineapple juice to drink.  Had not planned to eat at home tonight, but one of my officers, a Major [Charles] Holbrook, wanted to talk to me after work.  By the time he left it was too late to go to the Rex or to one of the French restaurants near here.  So I just decided to simplify matters and make do in the room.  Major Holbrook, who is a new addition to my branch, was worried because I’ve not been very friendly and he thought that perhaps I felt he was not doing a good job.  He has really shown me that he is a fine officer, so I spent about 2 hours assuring him that he cuts it just fine for me.  I am just too aloof, cryptic, and short with people.  Reckon I ought to take more interest in how others feel and react to my orders, as expect I’m a little too short most of the time.  Get carried away with one thing:  getting the job done as quickly as possible and never stop to think that perhaps it would get done more efficiently if I asked rather than told.

Last night I did not get a chance to write as we were in a decision conference until 9 p.m. with General Westmoreland, General DePuy, General Crowley, General Seitz, and other staff officers on a move coming up.  I might add that I lost my little battle at the decision conference, but I won a lot of friends in the process.  They at least know me as an honest staff officer who, when the decision goes against him, can and is willing to provide 1st Class Service to those who won the battle.

[Major] Bud Metheny is quite sick on his stomach tonight.  He had to leave work early today and yesterday.  Looks pretty bad, so he must have gotten some bad food.  So far, I consider that I’ve been real lucky not to have been sick at all.  As most everyone says, I will probably get sick sooner or later, but am going to try to keep clean, eat carefully, and sleep well to see if I can put in a full year here without getting ill.

Today was busy much of the time chasing around town trying to find a building that the Traffic Management Agency can lease as a headquarters, getting an official sedan lined up for Colonel [Jack] Tooley (new TMA commander), and arranging for telephones, a place to live, etc.  Not very interesting at all.  However, it did wear me out and I’m just ready to drop in bed, real worn out.

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