Tonight, I’ll be giving my presentation on the 1975 fall of Saigon—from which I escaped under fire—for fellow veterans, members of an American Legion post. As I have reported here before, I feel a strong bond with other veterans, especially those like me who experienced combat. The big difference between us is that they were serving in the military during their time in combat whereas I had completed my military service and was a civilian under cover as military. As an employee of the National Security Agency (NSA), I had unique skills (I spoke seven different foreign languages) that allowed me to provide signals intelligence support during combat, and I, unlike other civilians, was willing to risk my life on the battlefield.
So when I tell my story, veterans understand better than most others the dangers I faced. I see the look in their eyes, I see them nod in agreement, I sense the lump in their throats as I relate the losses of comrades. They are with me all the way.
So I am more than honored by the opportunity to share my experiences with veterans. These men and I are brothers in a way far stronger than mere shared parentage.