Vietnam War engraved Zippo: Come on baby, light my fire

My dad and his platoon happened upon a VC weapons cache; by ‘happened’ I mean they ambushed a VC convoy. He took a rifle and with the proper paperwork was allowed to take it Stateside when his tour was over. For years I was told that when he died I could do whatever I like with any of his possessions but never ever give away or sell that rifle-a Chinese Type-53 Mosin Nagant, Caliber 7.62, Model 1954. He saved all the paperwork-applications, customs forms, weapons registration, etc., which had nothing to do with nostalgia and more to do with making sure he had everything documented; all his ducks in a row as he liked to say. I promised him I would keep it and I did.

Yet out of everything he held onto from the Vietnam War-letters, papers, photos, gear, etc.-none of it means as much to me as his engraved Zippo.

It’s a 1967 Continue reading

Vietnam Soldier: Average age was 19

He received his Statement of Acceptability from Selective Service and he was found “fully acceptable for induction into the Armed Forces.”  It was dated 20 April 1966, he was 19.

My dad was inducted into the Army on 5 January 1967 for training at Fort Bliss, Texas.  I have his ‘yearbook’ from his time at Fort Bliss. I also have, or rather, used to have, his engraved zippo lighter awarded to him for Continue reading