Fred Borchardt & Steve Donovan
War is a serious and deadly business... and no one knows
that better than the young men and women who are called
upon to serve their country in times of armed conflict.
Fred in 1966
Fred in 2006
Steve in 1966
Steve in 2006
Fred (L) and Steve (R) clown
for the camera after having
been in Nam long enough for
Steve to grow a mustache
not permitted in CONUS
But in South Vietnam, roughly 5 out of every 6 military personnel sent to the War Zone went not as combat troops but as support personnel. Cooks, clerks, pilots, policemen, mechanics, electricians, doctors, engineers, pharmacists, translators, nurses and medics, to name a few.
This is a story of war as seen through the eyes of two of those individuals. It's a tale that was sometimes hilarious, sometimes heart-rending, sometimes horrific— but always an adventure for those of us who never knew what might be lurking around the next bend in the circuitous road of life. After all, nary a one of us had experienced anything like this before— nor would we ever again. Next time it would be someone else's turn, just as it once was for us.
Nearly everything in this book reflects our best recollections of events that occurred some 50 years ago. Naturally there were names of many individuals and details of many events that we had to try to reconstruct— or else, in some cases, just fill in the blanks where necessary to make the story whole.
And then to keep the book editors happy, we sometimes had to tweak the narrative a bit to prevent readers from falling asleep. We hope you will appreciate our efforts in that regard.
--- Fred Borchardt & Steve Donovan
24th Evac Hospital, South Vietnam, 1966-68
THEIR BOOK IS A HIGHLY ENTERTAINING
AND INFORMATIVE LOOK AT THE VIETNAM
WAR... FROM A DRAFTEE'S PERSPECTIVE
friend SP4 Karl Dennis with a civilian patient.
The 24th Evac treated civilian
as well as enemy casualties.
BEFORE WE COULD OPERATE A HOSPITAL, WE HAD TO
BUILD OUR OWN BUNKERS, HOOCHES & QUONSET HUTS
"Hooches" were 12-man tents with wood frames & concrete floors. Bunkers were made of sandbags to protect us from
rocket or mortar attack. If the hit was close enough, you could get buried under 5 tons of sandbags. Pick your poison.
What's a quonset hut, AKA
an ADAMS Hut, you ask? These aluminum prefab buildings, invented by the Australians,
held approximately two dozen
patient beds. We poured the concrete floors & painted
the inside walls.
NOTE: This book is not about combat. It's a lighthearted but information-packed look at what life was like for some of the 2.5 million American non-combatants who spent a year in Vietnam but rarely (if ever) found it necessary to pull a trigger.