Friday, June 10, 2011

Diary Entry 106: Saigon, Friday Night, 24 December 1965

                                                                      Friday Night, 24 December 1965

Here it is Christmas Eve and the radio is playing seasonal songs one after the other. They only started playing them yesterday and I’m glad they waited until the last minute to start them, because all they do is remind me that this is not a very merry Christmas.

They are lifting the curfew tonight at midnight so those who want to can go to church services. I hear by the grapevine that the curfew will be permanently lifted on Christmas Day. Don’t intend to go out anywhere tonight. Will eat something here when I finish writing and then I think I’ll go up and see [Lieutenant Colonel] Grady [Cole]. That’ll give me someone to chat with on Christmas Eve.

General Westmoreland issued an order preventing any offensive firing by US troops for a 30-hour period beginning at 6 p.m. tonight. They can do only defensive firing. And it is strangely quiet tonight. This is the first night I’ve been here and not heard artillery. Guess both sides decided to take a few hours off for Xmas. Wish there was some way for this to come to a peaceful conclusion over here, but that looks to be a long way off.

Still haven’t opened my packages yet although am sorely tempted to do so right now. Might pick up my spirits some. But I’ll wait a while anyway.

Just took a break and went up to see Grady. He was writing a letter home. So we had a drink together and talked for a while. Grady says he isn’t enjoying this Christmas as much as he has others in recent years. He’s a short-timer now and will be leaving here in less than 60 days. Well, my willpower just wouldn’t hold out. Opened one of my presents---the best one---the picture of my family.

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