Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dadlands: Tuy Hoa

Well, as expected, Burma turns out to be a difficult place to blog. First of all, they block, and secondly, even if you use a proxy to get around the censors, the connections are so slow and unreliable it's just too frustrating to try and post anything.

So now that I'm back in Jakarta, I'll try to get some Burma posts up. But first, I'll wrap up the story of our trip up the Vietnamese coast to some of the places where my father was posted during the war.

For the serious Dad-ologist, Tuy Hoa is the ultimate destination. It's where he wrote some of his best letters, and also, probably not coincidentally, the base he liked the best out of all the places he was stationed in Vietnam.

This is the first time I've really been proud of a troop carrier operation. We've really got a good bunch of people over here. -- Tuy Hoa, Oct 9, 1967 

Like many of the old airbases left over from the war, the Tuy Hoa facility has become the local airport. We went down there on a hot, brutally sunny morning. There were no flights scheduled in or out that day and access to the airfield was limited.

I strolled around taking some pictures of the terminal and parking lot and then the assistant director came out to see what we were up to. He said a lot of Vietnam vets come by to look at the place. We chatted a little and then walked back to our waiting taxi. Just as we were pulling out of the lot, the assistant director ran up to say we could walk partway out to the airstrip and take some pictures, which was nice of him.

Like most airstrips, it was a whole lot of nothing, but it was still cool to stand out there for a minute and watch the windsock flutter.

Some of the structures certainly seemed old enough to be original. Looking around, it was easy to imagine myself 40 years back in time. The hard part was envisioning this vast emptiness bustling and full of people.

1 comment:

triesti said...

I cant wait to hear about Burma. I enjoyed this Vietnam story.