The Vietnam ConflictAn Academic Information Portal For Education and Research

                    --TOUR 365 INTRODUCTION --
Prologue, by Paul DeCillis

  I seriously have mixed emotions.....In my opinion I was trained to realize that   
  going to Viet Nam was for a good reason and I would be playing a very 
  important role in helping a country defeat Communism. It was terrible it 
  seemed that the only way was to be by force. As my truth turned out I did not  
  really think of Communism, I thought of making sure I did my job properly and 
  to the best of my ability. It did not take very long to figure that one out.

  I was a Finance Clerk and in charge of preparing payrolls for three infantry   
  companies and one Artillery Battery. My main goal was to keep their records in 
  order, update the payroll  accurately and that the soldiers I was responsible for 
  got their money where they wanted it  to go. Later on and after I was promoted
  I was in charge of the the reenlistments, preparing the payroll for the Kit 
  Carson Scouts and the most unlikable job of closing out the finance records of 
  the KIA and MIA records. I could have been a rifleman but was not, I could 
  have patrolled the jungles as many soldiers did, I did not have to.
  For the General to lump the soldiers as one, we were not. Those who fought
  the battles were held and still are with my highest respect. In my opinion they 
  were keeping the enemy away from the main base camps and that is where I 
  was. Of course the enemy always knew where we were and certainly let us 
  know with mortors and rockets and infiltrators throwing satchel charges 
  whenever they felt like it.

  I knew nothing of Pacification and Vietnamization as a matter of fact I did not 
  know very much about Viet Nam at all while I was there only that I had a job to 
  do and if I was VERY lucky I would make it home in one piece, that happened.

  In General Abrams introduction he tells us to tell our story. Only now can we do 
  that. In the early days of the end of the conflict and especially when this booklet 
  was published no one wanted to know you were a Viet Nam veteran at all let   
  alone wanting to hear stories about the experiences.

  Ah, yes.....The Home Coming...I do not know what I anticipated but all I 
  remember is that I felt like I did not fit or belong anywhere after I returned to 
  the United States or what we called "The World."


  Now that your tour of duty is over with the United States Army, Vietnam has 
  ended, you can look back with perspective on your experiences. You know now 
  the difficult tasks inherent in fighting to help protect the freedom of 
  peace-loving people against Communist invaders. As a veteran, you understand 
  better than many of our countrymen the meaning of North Vietnam's aggression 
  against the Republic of Vietnam.

  You have seen  the horror and destruction created by North Vietnamese 
  soldiers and the local Viet Cong terrorists who kill and maim their own  
  neighbors. You have fought beside soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Republic 
  of Vietnam and other Free World nations in a common struggle of defense.

  During the past year. U.S. and the Republic of Vietnam forces have made 
  considerable progress in the Vietnamization program. Because of the intensive 
  training received through our efforts, the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces 
  are rapidly approaching the eventual takeover of the defense of their country.

  Our assistance in implementing the Pacification program has also helped the 
  Republic of Vietnam to expand its control over areas which were previously 
  influenced or controlled  by the enemy. This has resulted in a better life and  
  increased security for the Vietnamese  people.

  People at home will want to hear your story of the war. Tell it. Regardless of
  the role you played, part of your story is reflected in the pages of this magazine.
  I hope this publication will assist you in relating your experiences.

  I extend my sincere appreciation for your help in accomplishing our task in 
  Vietnam and my thanks for a job well done. May your trip home and reunion 
  with your family and friends be the pleasant, happy occasion you anticipate.

  General, United States Army

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