A reader asked what happened that led to the collapse of my marriage following my evacuation from Saigon in April 1975. Here’s the train of events:
When I arrived back in Maryland in mid-May 1975 after my evacuation under fire from Saigon as the North Vietnamese took the city, my wife and children weren’t there. They’d been touring the world, all through Asia and Europe since their evacuation from Saigon on 9 April and had just arrived back in the states. They were staying with my wife’s father in Massachusetts.
From the motel where I was staying, I telephoned my wife and asked her to come to Maryland as soon as possible. I needed her desperately. I was sick with amoebic dysentery and pneumonia, my hearing was damaged, and I was going through the worst stages of Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI).
She told me she wouldn’t return to Maryland until our house, in Crofton, Maryland, was ready for her to move in. We had leased the house for three years to another family when we began our tour in Vietnam in 1974. I contacted the people living in our house and negotiated their departure at considerable expense to me. My wife and children finally returned to Maryland in July 1975. Meanwhile, I was left to cope with my illnesses on my own.