I entered Ohio State as a freshman in the fall of 1963. ROTC guys were telling me I had to go ROTC because I would be sent to Vietnam after I graduated and I didn’t want to be a low-ranking draftee. There was no way we would still be fighting this war by the time I would get my master’s degree in 1969. No American war had ever taken that long. America had won all nine wars it had fought and they never took six years to win.
I received my Master of Accounting in March 1969. I was drafted in August. I arrived in Vietnam in May 1970. The army in Vietnam needed men who could audit the NCO clubs because NCOs running the clubs had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars, each. I was a natural. I fought Communist aggression in Southeast Asia by traveling all over Vietnam auditing clubs from small MACV teams to combat divisions. I was part of the 80% of guys in Vietnam who were NOT in combat.
How did this happen? Why did our involvement in the Vietnam War take so long, especially since we didn’t win? We withdrew in 1972. South Vietnam was overrun in 1975.
Why didn’t we win? We sent over 2.5 million men to Vietnam. We were the most powerful military force in the history of the world and we didn’t win? How was this possible? If our leaders were not planning to win, why did we send so many guys to Vietnam, but not to win?
The army drafted the wrong guy when they drafted me. I was not a moldable 18-year-old. I was too old, too smart, too educated and way too non-compliant to follow all the rules. I was also medically unfit to serve, but that didn’t stop my draft board and army doctors from welcoming me into the army machine. They needed bodies. They took mine.
In this book, I tell you about my life from the day I learned I was going to Vietnam in February 1970 to the day I returned from Vietnam to Oakland Army Base and was discharged on April 8, 1971. By then, I had figured out the answers to the questions posed above. All the answers are in this book.