Because I only had a few months left in my enlistment when I left Vietnam in the spring of 1969 I was given an 'early-out'.
I somehow managed to misplace a check that I received before leaving Danang and I requested a replacement. Later once I
returned home to North Carolina the original check turned up. I had apparently mailed it to myself and forgotten about it.
Anyhow since this is a US Government Check that had Danang Vietnam on it I thought it was a nice souvenir. I also found
a quarter in MPC script (Military Payment Certificate). MPC script was used in Vietnam because the United States did not want the
South Vietnamese currency to be replaced by US dollars. Every few months all the MPC script would be 'changed'. It was
supposed to be a big secret when this change would take place. I was in Cam Ran Bay for one of these 'C-Days' and it was a
surprise to everyone when we woke up one morning and were asked to turn in all our MPC script for new MPC script. We were also
asked to report any unusual currency transactions that we could remember in the preceding few days. Well a couple of fellows
remembered that one young woman (a Vietnamese woman) who worked in the club had been asking to convert MPC into either US Dollars or
Vietnamese currency the night before. There was a great deal of discussion about whether or not to report this. It was reported and
we never saw that young woman in the club again. She was a very intelligent and friendly young woman and whenever I would come in the
club she would yell out "Hi Motley109, how are you doing!" In the evenings I had to call in a weather report tot he Danang weather
office and since phone connections were chancy at best I could often be heard through the door of the building where I kept all the
weather records yelling the exchange and phone number of the weather office in Danang. If I could not get a phone connection
I could always write up the weather report and send a message. This involved typing up a message and schlepping it over to the
communications compound. Every base had a communications compound. They ranged from a jeep with extra radios to a compound surrounded
by razor wire. When I was in Cau Viet a jeep did the job and in Cam Ran Bay it was a compound.
1968 was also an election year. Before during and after the time I left the United States for Vietname there were great developments Just a few days before leaving I watched Lyndon Johnson refuse to run again for president. Martin Luther King Jr. was assinated as was Robert Kennedy. The riots at the Democratic Convention in Chicago were much in evidence. When I arrived 'in-country' the Tet Offesensive was just winding down. Needless to say things were at a pretty high pitch at that time in the history of the US and in the history of Vietnam. I received by ballot when I was working at Cam Ran Bay. I considered marking and sending it back but then thought that it would make a much better souvenir so I saved it. I often wonder what would have happened if Johnson had stuck it out or if Humphery had won the election.
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