Friday, April 15, 2011

Diary Entry 65: Saigon, Friday Night, 24 September 1965

                                                                                                    Friday Night, 24 September 1965

Today has just been a real long day.  One of those where you feel just kinda washed out and a little worn.  Kinda pushed myself to get things done, and I reckon the physical and mental strain is kinda catching up with me so will try to ease off tomorrow if I can and will try to take Sunday afternoon off.  Guess it is a good thing that I can recognize when work overruns me so that arrangements can be made to try to relax a little.

Couldn’t sleep tonight so it really is not Friday night.  To be accurate, I’d have to say it is just barely Saturday morning as the radio says it just turned midnight.  When I have some things going on in movements and am not sure all contingencies are locked down, it seems that I tend to worry and don’t sleep very well.  That’s the way I feel tonight---uneasy.  Wish I had the ability to say the dickens with it all; if other people don’t worry, why should I?  But I rationalize that if I don’t care and try hard, very few others care at all and I’m afraid things would just collapse.  Somebody has to care, and reckon I do even if few others do.

In 3 or 4 weeks all of my operating functions of being an airline president and steamship company executive will be transferred to the new MACV Traffic Management Agency, and I sure hope I can quit worrying as it will then be someone else’s problem.  Will try to be just a plain old staff officer who has no responsibilities to anyone.  Probably won’t like the inactivity, but I’ll get used to it.

Tonight my branch finished work at 9:00 p.m. and all went to have dinner together at the Hong Kong BOQ.  Kinda late for dinner, but I really felt good that my “troops” like me well enough to invite me to go with them after work is done.  That is usually a pretty good indicator that they like to have the boss around.

Got home to the Vinh Loi about 10:30 and then sat out on my porch watching Saigon go by for an hour to try to relax.  While sitting on the porch, I thought that one of the things I look forward to is lots of fresh air.  Saigon is just a bunch of smog like Los Angeles.  Fresh air would just be a pleasant tonic.  Think that’s why I like to get out of here every now and then. The fresh air is so good at Vung Tau, Qui Nhon, and Nha Trang.

Most of my efforts today were bent toward writing messages which will make no friends, probably more enemies.  Most of the subordinate units (CG, US Army Vietnam [2-star], and CG, Air Component Command [3-star]) have nicknamed me as the Poison Pen Pal because the messages I prepare usually are blasts.  As Lieutenant Commander Schaefer says, “Boss, you draft the nastiest messages, call the Army guys up and tell them what you are going to do so they can put on bulletproof vests, and then you shoot them with an atomic bomb.”

After this tour as a Joint Staff officer, I don’t really know whether I can ever go back to the Army again---have nailed those guys down quite frequently.

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