The Plaque (3)

Something like a year after the fall of Saigon, my guys got together for a reunion and dinner in Washington, D.C., and invited me to join them. At the end of the meal, they presented me with a plaque thanking me for saving their lives. It turned out that they had known all along about my struggle to get them and their families safely out of the country in defiance of the ambassador’s orders not to evacuate them.

The text reads:

“Last Man Out Award”

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

“F46” was out unclassified designator.

That plaque now hangs on the wall of honor in my dining room, surrounded by plaques from Who’s Who and Top Artist. But it is the honor bestowed on me by my guys that remains the most important.

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