On Wednesday, November 3, during its 6:00 p.m. newscast, WMAR Television (Baltimore) telecast the interview Erin MacPherson did with me on Friday, October 22. You can view it at https://www.wmar2news.com/voiceforveterans/army-veteran-former-nsa-spy-writes-to-cope-with-trauma-from-vietnam-war
Reaction from friends and family has been universally positive. I was disappointed that the video version of the interview was so short, only about three and a half minutes. But I was impressed with the amount of information crammed into those few minutes. The narrative included details about my involvement in both the 1967 battle of Dak To and the 1975 fall of Saigon—from which I escaped under fire after the North Vietnamese were already in the streets of the city. And due credit was given to Al Gray, a Marine officer I first met in the early 1960s when he was a captain commanding combat troops in Vietnam and I was providing intelligence support as a civilian under cover as military. Al was a colonel when he saved my life during the fall of Saigon. He went on to become a general and eventually the commandant of the Marine Corps.
The WMAR presentation got one thing wrong: it talked about me being in the army and later as a civilian in Vietnam. Actually, I had completed my army enlistment before I was sent to Vietnam. All my time there, I was a civilian, often operating under cover as an enlisted man in whatever unit I was supporting.
Far more important was that the segment captured both the lasting wounds to the soul inflicted by my combat experience and my pride in my service to my country. I am in many ways the product of the Vietnam war. Between my first assignment there in 1962 and my flight under attack in April 1975, I spent more time in Vietnam than I did in the U.S., most of that time on the battlefield. As a consequence, I suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) and am among the rapidly dwindling population of U.S. combat survivors.
So I take pride in the WMAR sequence. I invite my readers to take a look and let me know what they think.