April 2024
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Bruce Lobbies Pete To Spice Up His Life With Saigon Kids

I received this from Bruce along with Pete’s reply.

Thank you LinkedIn! Another Saigon Kid found and reconnected with our Saigon Kids family. 🙂


Last week I got one of those intermittent emails from LinkedIn, this time bearing the address of Pete Cheston and his wife. I’m not sure how that “service” works … I signed up several years ago when I was trying to track someone down and that was the only connection Google would give me for the person. Mostly I ignore those emails. I don’t know if Pete actually sent the LinkedIn message to me or whether there’s some kind of automation in LinkedIn that decided there had to be a connection between him and me and generated the email. But anyway, when I responded, I got the following message today from Pete. (He’s in the 1961 Gecko, sophomores, under his official name of “Eliot Cheston”.)

I didn’t really know Pete other than that he rode the same school bus as I did, and when he’d board at his house (with his sibling) he’d often take the seat next to me. While the Gecko lists him as in the same grade as me, I think he was a couple of years older … what he writes indicates he was not apparently “into” school. But due to his age, I’ve always figured he would have been part of the Clods … but maybe not. He did, after all, seem more sophisticated than the run-of-the-mill Clod by virtue of smoking a pipe instead of those stinky Bastos! 😉

Anyway, I share this with you in case you want to lobby Pete to spice up his life with a presence on the Saigon Kids blog. 😉


Pete’s In From The Cold Reply


Bruce Thomas contacted me.

I was surprised to get a message through LinkedIn from some “Saigon Kids” after all this time. I have often wondered what became of those who I went to school with in the magic world of Saigon. Bruce Thomas was kind enough to “tweak” my memory with some names of my classmates like, Rick Turner, Mike Parker, Sarah Bush, Paul Christensen, Mike Dunn and of course the “fonze” Frank Stoddard.

Since I was exiled back to the land of the big PX by my father, who obviously thought I was having too much fun, I finally graduated from a public high school in Maryland, then on to a short stint at the University of Maryland (until I got thrown out). I said the hell with it and joined the army. I graduated, or got passed out of, OCS and went into the Special Forces. They obviously knew how to handle someone like me as I was quickly sent to Southeast Asia. First a stint in Thailand then returned to Vietnam. The closest to Saigon I got was a short mission at Bien Long. I finished college at Hampton University while stationed there as the Chief Diving Officer for the army. I retired from the army in 1987 as a Major and went into law enforcement as a bomb dog handler, which I am now retired from as well. I still do some consulting and assisting my wife with her detection dog company. So, since I didn’t become a doctor or lawyer I must have become a bum.

I am married with four kids and three fantastic grand kids. One is a Ranger in you know where (I can’t tell you or I’d have to kill you). We live in Maryland at the time, but are exploring the idea of moving west.

Well, enough about me.

Would love to hear what some of my classmates are up to.

So if you are so inclined drop me a note at bombndrugdogs [@] aol.com .

Pete Cheston

Pete it’s great having you *in from the cold* and back with your Saigon Kids family.

Everyone give Pete a BIG WELCOME! 🙂

Rock Onnn … Saigon Kids

PS: Bruce thanks for locating another Saigon Kid. Great job!

5 comments to Bruce Lobbies Pete To Spice Up His Life With Saigon Kids

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Didn’t know Pete Cheston as he was before my time in Saigon, but I like his style of writing. Someone wrote in one of the newest posts that Saigon was a “magical place,” and I couldn’t agree more. Every time someone is “rediscovered” on or by this site, I rejoice. I think it is wonderful that so many people have reconnected and are interested in on another. How I would love to sit down with some of the Saigon Kids I knew back then and rehash old time. The only one I have really spent voice time with was Brooks (Toland) Kasson when she was kind enough to forget about the 7 hour time difference between Texas and Germany and I got woken up at one or two in the AM, but it was worth it. I know that if I were living in the U.S., I’d be on the road a lot visiting folks. But this site is about the next best thing except for perhaps Skype of which I am should anyone wish to contact me. Have a good weekend all.

  • Sarah J Rogers

    Oh my gosh. I knew you Pete! If I am not mistaken you were sent back to the US because you were part of the painting the water tower gang?!?
    It is great to hear from you
    Sarah BUSH rogers
    PS didn’t you date Dini for awhile? I have visited with her in Indo and she has been to Kauai to visit me.

  • Mary Timmes Shanabruch

    Having only met one Cheston ever, I assume Pete is related to my 8th grade classmate, Randy. From pictures someone gave me, I know there was a little sister (name?). Are there any more Chestons? Pete, tell Randy about this site.

  • Mary, I’m not aware of a Cheston sister. In 1960-61, Pete was a sophomore, Randy was shown with the 7th graders, and among the kids in the first grade was Mike Cheston. You can amuse yourself by viewing a picture of the three of them taken earlier this year, all in their military garb, if you peruse the photos on Pete’s Facebook page.

  • Frank

    Pete, Great hearing from you. I see even after our Saigon days we had things in common. Got kicked out of College (me, twice! I always was a slower learner!), went into the military, went to Southeast Asia, went to OCS (several years after your time…50th Company Ft. Benning), and also retired as a Major (1991), three kids and two grandkids. I guess our biggest difference is that I did not “go to the Dogs”!! HeHe!!!
    Yes, our Saigon Days were something else! Correct me if I’m wrong but was it the Army Attaché, your Dad’s Office, which took (confiscated) the photographs we took of the Coup in November 1960. Is there anyway to get those back? Also, was it you I was with when we got arrested in Saigon. We were standing out in the street talking, in front of the Thai Ambassadors house (or someone that was special) and the police pulled up and put us in the back of a truck and took us to a station in Cholon. We had to wait there until someone from the American Embassy showed up to sign for us. I guess we looked suspicious, … or at least you did! Lol
    Again, Terrific hearing from you! Frank

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