Easily the most memorable day of my “Summer of Love” in Viet Nam was the one I spent delivering not food or clothing, but twenty bags of cement, and then trying to get back to Da Nang. Returning was always an open question after my Air America deliveries, but this one would prove more stressful.
I was told that the cement was to be delivered to the cottage of an American couple living—together with their young children—in the Central Highlands, near the Laotian border. They were working for Wycliffe Bible Translators, trying to render the Bible into Bru, the language of the local Montagnard tribe. Their local Protestant pastor was to build a small structure, probably a school. It was remote, but fortunately, there was an airstrip not far away. A Marine base named Khe Sanh.
That day will live forever in my memory. I shot the photo below to show the tank seemingly pointed at two of the hills that surrounded the base. I was waiting for the squad of Marines that was necessary to escort the cement—and me—the short distance to the missionaries’ site.
To read more about my visit to American missionaries living in what was becoming a major combat zone, read my book, “A Spear Carrier in Viet Nam…,” available on Amazon, in both hardcover and Kindle formats. Thank you.