The End in Saigon: Oddities (3)

One of the crazy happenings toward the end, as the fall of Saigon got closer in March and April 1975, was the arrival of new people assigned to our office together with their families. After the 1973 cease-fire, Saigon was no longer deemed a hazardous tour, and accompanied tours—permission for new assignees to bring their families with them—were standard. So families kept arriving. All our reporting made clear that the North Vietnamese held more than half the country and were bearing down on Saigon. But the official optimism of the civilian side of the U.S. government held sway.

I remember the arrival of at least two families toward the end while I was in the midst of trying to get my people out of the country. I welcomed the new arrivals and immediately arranged for them to depart as soon as possible. They were shocked, angry, and dumbfounded. Better disarray than death.

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