Coffee, Donuts, and White Mice

Well tomorrow morning we leave about 1AM to surround a village and try and catch some gooks. Sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t. When it gets daylight the National Police come in and search it. We should be done about noon or a little after.

Excerpt from letter home dated 16 October 1967

Beige uniforms are Vietnamese National Police or “White Mice”.

Remember the night movements in the Bong Son where we would surround a village. The White Mice would be flown in after daylight and search/interrogate. We would eat donuts and drink coffee that was flown into us.

Description on back of above picture

I wandered lonely as a cloud

I spent a lot of time in the ICU waiting area in the week leading up to his death.  His sisters kept me company during the day, but I was alone at night.

I tried to read or watch tv in the waiting room but neither stuck.  I put puzzles together and drank coffee and ate plain donuts.  Sometimes I would drive around for a bit and stop and stare up at the stars. Sometimes I would talk to the few friends I had left, who understood that life isn’t always about rainbows and butterflies.

I wandered into his room every so often to sit and watch him breathe in and out.  I had one conversation with him before he slipped into a coma, a full week before he died.  I never got to hear his voice again.