Sunday, July 15, 2007
Good Morning Vietnam!
Well, I made it to Danang Vietnam! Today we pulled into port several miles off the coast of Vietnam. I rode an LCU in and we pulled up and I stepped on land. This is the first time since the Vietnam War ended that a US Navy ship has pulled up and allowed military personnel ashore. It was actually a really cool experience. The people were extremely friendly and most were very happy to see us there. We drove around and surveyed our medcap sites. Danang seemed like a very busy and industrialized city. Everyone was either riding a bike or motorcycle. We saw very few cars and everyone wore hankerchiefs over their mouths and nose to cover up from the exhaust...or possibly avian flu...I heard they take that illness very seriously here. We didn't get the opportunity to eat or hang out at all. This port is technically a work port with our medcap missions, but they are letting us take some liberty. Uniforms are a major issue. They only want us to go out into town in our summer white uniforms. Absolutely no flightsuits, coveralls, or camouflage uniforms are allowed. Our aircraft were also required not only to not fly at all near vietnam, but they needed to be stored away so that they are less visable on the ship. All of our flags on our ships are at half mast and we are required to fly the Vietnamese flag on our tall mast. Wow, lots of restictions, but I guess I understand since relations in the past haven't been that good with Vietnam for obvious reasons. Overall I feel this will be a really good experience. I am looking forward to participating in the medcaps on the 17th and 19th. I will be taking a tour and hanging out 2 days so at least I will have a little bit of fun. It is so hot here! I was sweating so profusley today in the sun..ahhhh. We also watched Good Morning Vietnam yesterday which was pretty funny to see. Well here we are in Danang! I'll be sure to post some pics of Vietnam and the medcaps shortly. See ya!