March 2024
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Saigon Kids™ Today: December 20th Is Almost Here

by Frank Stoddard (ACS)

The 20th is close.

My Mom died on the 20th of December 1991.

Last year on the 20th my VA claim was accepted through what was called “Fast Track”. I found out about three weeks ago that “fast track” was shut down in August because they had caught up. I finally found out my claim was at Nashville where normally it takes 8 months to process one.

OH WELL! Maybe I’m special because it takes longer. Regardless this is how I look at life.

In September of 1962 I arrived At Montana State College (now MSU). Shortly after that my trunk from Saigon arrived. In my package was a liter of Vodka and liter of Jim Beam. My buddies, including my room mate, Joe McCall (from New Jersey, who I just received a Family photo from him today … which makes me look back … way back in my life … he and I became like brothers) went to the Park on 7th Street in Bozeman (Boozeman). We decided to see who could jump over the most trash cans. I actually won when I jumped over six cans,but there was a problem. I did not see the tree that was at the other end!

In 2009, my son Silas and I walked through the battlefield jungle where I was at in 1967. Most of the jungle growth was gone in 1967. The Sergeant yelled out as the C-123 sprayed overhead, you have nothing to worry about unless you are a weed. In 2009 the vegetation was certainly coming back. As my son and I reached the ridge line, we had to whack the cows that were grassing, in their hind quarters (just like in Montana) to get them out of the way.

On this hill west of Da Nang, cows were eating. If I got CLL from there, what would the cows get today and what were they giving to the locals. The Vietnam Government was not helping their people … but as long as I wait for my own claim, I have faith my Government will help me and my family.

I do not like it when I read or hear Americans putting down their Country and Government.

What do you think makes us different?

If you go to Nogalos, Arizona, and you look at both sides of the border, you will see a difference. The difference is not because the brown folks on one side are better than the brown folks on the other, it is because of the Government that helps create that difference.

Again, I love my Country and its Government. I may not like the politics at a certain time, but that will change because of our Constitution.

1 comment to Saigon Kids™ Today: December 20th Is Almost Here

  • Susan Pomeroy

    Remembering our mothers… the first time I heard the Halleluja Chorus was in Saigon…December 1963 I think…at the old Alhambra Theater. My mother, Jane Pomeroy, along with many other mothers and American wives, gathered together to learn and then perform this traditional piece. Maybe there were other songs but this is the one that made a lasting impression on me. I also learned that part of the tradition is for the audience to stand up when the chorus is sung. So now, whenever I hear it, I silently “stand up” for my mother, our mothers…who created warm holiday memories for their families. My mother passed away in May, 2012.

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