Archive for April, 2003

East Meets West: In Thailand With Vietnam Vets

Posted by Robin Sparks on April 1st, 2003 | Email this to friend

“I’ll be in the third jungle, second rice paddy to the left.” Bob told his ex-wife when he left Michigan for Thailand last year.

“And that’s pretty close to where I ended up,” the Vietnam Vet tells me as we drive through northeastern Thailand in his king cab Toyota pickup truck listening to Dolly Parton wailing “The Rockin’ Years”. Bob says he’d rather meet Dolly in person than any American president. Who was his favorite president? I ask. “Nixon,” Bob says. “He brought us home with what little honor we had left.”

Bob is one of over 200 “gentlemen of a certain age” who have settled in the shadow of a former U.S. Air Force Base in Udonthani, Thailand.