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Viêtnam Veteran DEROS Warning


Viêtnam Veteran DEROS Warning

Dear friends, relatives, peace-timers, civilians, draft-dodgers, and other interested parties,

In the very near future, the undersigned short-timer will return to The World. He will once more be in your midst, dehydrated and demoralized, to take his rightful place again as a human being with the well known forms of freedom and justice for all; to engage in life, liberty, and the somewhat delayed pursuit of happiness.

In making your joyous preparations to welcome him back into a structured society, more polite and less violent than where he's been residing, you might take certain steps to make allowances for his exotic sojourn over the past twelve months. In other words, he might be a little Asiastic from Vietnamitis and overseasitis, and should be handled with care. Don't be alarmed if he is infected with all forms of rare tropical diseases. A little time in the Land of the Big PX will cure this malady.

Therefore, show no alarm if he insists on carrying a weapon to the dinner table, looks around for his steel pot when offered a chair, or wakes you up in the middle of the night for guard duty. Keep cool when he pours gravy on his dessert at dinner or mixes peaches with his Seagram's VO. Pretend not to notice if he acts dazed by your kindness, eats with his fingers instead of silverware, and prefers C-rations to steak. Take it with a smile when he insists on digging up the garden to fill sandbags for the bunker he is building. Be tolerant when he takes his blanket and sheet off the bed and puts them on the floor to sleep on.

Abstain from saying anything about powdered eggs, dehydrated potatoes, fried rice, fresh milk or ice cream. Do not be alarmed if he should jump up from the dinner table and rush to the garbage can to wash his dish with a toilet brush – after all, this has been his standard. Also, if it should start raining, pay no attention to him when he pulls off his clothes, grabs a bar of soap and a towel, and then runs outdoors for a quick shower.

Just be patient when in his daily conversation he utters such expressions as: Xin loi and Choi oi. And, if by some chance he utters di di with an irritated look on his face, simply leave quickly and calmly because it means no less than "Get the h___ out of here!" Do not let it shake you up if he picks up the phone and yells "Skyking forward, sir!" or says "Roger out." for good-bye or simply shouts "Working!".

Never ask why the Jones' son held a higher rank than he did, and by no means mention the word extend in any context. Pretend not to notice if he calls the waitress at a restaurant numbah one girl, uses the floor as an ashtray, and his hat as a catchall. He will probably keep listening for "House of the Rising Sun" or "Homeward Bound" to sound off over AFRS – if he does, comfort him, for he is still reminiscing. Be especially watchful when he is in the presence of women – especially a beautiful woman.

Above all, keep in mind that beneath that tanned and rugged exterior there is a heart of gold – the only thing of value he has left. Treat him with kindness, tolerance, and an occasional fifth of good liquor and you will be able to rehabilitate that hollow shell which was once the happy-go-lucky guy you once knew and loved.

And last, but not least, send no more mail to the APO, fill the icebox with beer, get his civvies out of mothballs, fill the car with gas, and get the innocent women and small children off the streets – BECAUSE THE KID IS COMING HOME!