There was always a ceremony to mark just about anything in “The Other War,” so something as significant as the Quang Tri to Phuoc Thuy resettlement project had to have high-ranking participants. The two individuals handing out blankets to a few appropriately overwhelmed recipients were certainly that, but you can bet they were told to be there by their superiors.
The General is Fred Weyand, at that point Abrams’ deputy, but soon to take over as COMUSMACV, when he had little left to command. He would formally disband MACV in March, 1973. The civilian is George Jacobsen, Colby’s deputy in charge of CORDS operations. He would remain in VN until the absolute last minute, catching one of the last planes out.
I was an observer at this ceremony, but not the photographer, who is unknown for this entire sequence. I had serious misgivings about this project, but as probably the lowest-ranking American involved, nobody asked my opinion. I was just a Spear Carrier. Spear Carriers have a place on the stage, but no lines.