I was in Vietnam from 1967-68 during the Tet Offensive. I served in the U.S. Army in an ambulance company outside of Pleiku, South Vietnam. We had no indoor plumbing, running water, or hot water, but from time to time had explosive devices hurled in our general direction. It was a decent duty. I was inside the wire, had a roof over my head, a cot with netting to keep the rats out at night, a sand bag bunker, a mess hall, and I wasn’t out humping the boonies (on patrol).
Our job was to transport the wounded into 18th Surgical Hospital and 71st Evac Hospital. We transported the wounded out of 71st Evac to the air base for evacuation to Japan and the United States. Once a week a Chinook would land at the corner of our compound and the rear ramp would go down and you could watch the litters with body bags being carried into Grave Registration.
For the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces – regardless of political affiliation, race, religion, flamboyant hair-do or lack thereof – to refer to veterans, disabled veterans, P.O.W.s, M.I.A.s, or our dead soldiers and sailors as “losers” and “suckers” is an abomination and cannot be tolerated. From my point of view, any citizen of the United States should be appalled and insulted.
—John Spera, Winterset
1967-68 1st Medical Company (Ambulance)