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John Horne


John wrote:
    Isn't it funny how small Dong Tam was, yet it was large enough that you never saw the boxing ring and I only ever saw 1 Donut Dolly (At Div. HQ when I went over to fix their intercom system). I also have a picture of a "babysan" standing in front of the Dong Tam miniature golf course (I could send you that one if you would like). I didn't send it to you because I thought that people would think we had it too easy at Dong Tam knowing we actually had a swimming pool, miniature golf course, and a boxing ring. I never used any of them myself, but they were there. It seemed like all I did was eat, sleep, work, drink beer, play poker, guard the perimeter and write letters home. I used to like to take a six-pack up on top of our company bunker at night, lay on a cot, and watch the Cobras bring smoke in the distance, with their rockets and mini-guns. I would see a couple of tracers from VC going up from the jungle toward a Cobra, then all of a sudden, all hell would break loose from the Cobra down at the jungle. To me that was a lot of fun to watch. I think, were it not for choppers, you and I would have never made it home. Choppers Ruled in the Delta. Like Col. Hackworth said, "400 acres of sitting ducks".

When I received John's pictures, I emailed him, "You look very dangerous in the photos with weapons."  He replied:
   As for my looking dangerous in the pictures, I was a newlywed (married 5 weeks before going to 'Nam), and I tried to look tough, safe, and confident in all pictures sent home to kind of make my wife and others not worry so much. I had just turned 20 years old, I was 6' 3" tall, 195 pounds, with a 28" waist, and felt pretty indestructible most of the time. If you look close at the picture of me outside my hooch, you will see my wife's name (LINDA) on my M-16 sling. On the back of the sling, it said "VC ELIMINATOR" and hidden under the adjustment buckle it said "FTA". Do Donut Dollies know what "FTA" meant?

Yes, John, Donut Dollies learned many new phrases in Nam.  
I did not know that we had a miniature golf course.  I went to the swimming pool one time.  For some reason I felt like everyone there was staring at me.  As I remember, the pool was a large hole in the ground fitted with a rubber bladder to hold the water.  Soon after my visit, Charlie put a round in the pool and the bladder no longer held water.  Xin loi
Emily

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