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Sunday, 4 February 2007

The Road to Saigon. part 3 Saigon Memories

I was to travel that road many times over the coming years. There were often blown up vehicles, destroyed bridges. Once I saw a Renault 2CV, so flattened I thought a tank had rolled over it. Security varied considerably over time and could change in the course of a few minutes. Once PB and I, playing the good Samaritan, saw an injured man beside the road. He was covered in blood. We took him into the car, but after a few miles decided he was drunk, had had a fight with a companion. He was difficult to get rid of.
The strangest sight I saw was this US army 3/4ton. There were two soldiers in front looking straight ahead. In the back were eight GI's. Four to a side. Looking inwards to each other! Backs straight as if on parade. Rifles held firmly by the muzzles. This might be the correct military posture for travelling at attention. I imagine they were utterly green, scared to death, lost and didn't know where they were going. The Americans would only travel that road in heavily armed convoys. Anyway it wasn't their zone. The thought occured to me that I should ask them if they needed any help. I felt though that any attempt to approach them might have so shocked them, it could have snapped them out of their trance and led to my instant death. Nervous soldiers are most unstable.

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