Thomas Allen

I am a veteran of the the police action the U.S. conducted in Southeast Asia from roughly 1965 to 1975.

This Blog is about my experiences during that decade, told from several perspectives and by several people. Some are looking back on the events from decades later with the understanding gained during that time.

My own account from 1969 is in the voice of a young soldier, away from home for the first time, who doesn’t have the big picture or any picture at all, really, of what he’s a part of. It is just a confusing train of events from that perspective, with the people around him helping to explain the world in which he finds himself.

Another account is from my perspective of two decades later and after a good bit of struggle to make my way in a world that looks nothing like the one I left in 1968. It is told in two voices, one a much wiser me and the other, a Vietnamese woman who befriended me in 1969 and has resettled in America after the war.

This work is written from memory with the aid of several hundred photographs taken in 1969. As it is with memories, especially old ones, the events I remember and as I’ve told them don’t necessarily occur in an identifiable timeline. To help in the sequencing, I’ve consulted histories written by various journalists to help make sense of it all. But, still, at times, I’m not sure what happened when. So perhaps you historians reading this will forgive some lapses and confusion.

Partly because of the uncertainty of memory and partly because I need to protect the privacy of some people who may be still living I have changed names and some other identifying characteristics and publish this as fiction. As you read it you will see why.

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