April 1975 in Vietnam (25): The Plaque

A year or two after the fall of Saigon, as I struggled to cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Injury, we NSAers who had worked together in Saigon at the end got together for dinner to share reminiscences. At the conclusion of the meal, my guys presented me with a plaque. The text reads:

Last Man Out Award

Thomas Glenn III   29 April 1975

MACV HQS Saigon Republic of South Vietnam

The fall of Saigon will always remain a monumental tragedy in U.S. history. This is to finally recognize your exceptional leadership while safely evacuating all your DODSPECREP employees and the closing down shop amid the chaos and danger of those final days.

The women and men and dependents of F46.

End of text. About the nomenclature: The presence of NSA in Vietnam was classified. Our cover was Department of Defense Special Representative, abbreviated as DODSPECREP, and our unclassified designation was F46.

That plaque and my Civilian Meritorious Medal remain today my most precious possessions.

2 thoughts on “April 1975 in Vietnam (25): The Plaque”

    1. Thanks, Rose. The “things,” in this case, both reflect recognition of what I did at the end in Vietnam. For decades, I never spoke of Vietnam—it was a shameful war, best forgotten. Finally, some years after the fact, the U.S. government finally recognized my efforts by awarding me the medal. That was years after my guys, whom I had struggled to evacuate safely, had already thanked me with the plaque. The objects themselves would be of little value or interest to the uninvolved. I invest them with their significance. I cherish them.

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