IF YOU'RE GOING...
Redleg Tom Surratt tells
the story of his
brother who found a way to stay
connected to a buddy in Nam
My brother (James) told me that he met Henry during AIT and they became friends. Home for them was just 40 miles apart. Since brother James didn't have a car and Henry did, they rode home from AIT together in Henry's car.
After AIT, they both had orders to Vietnam; they had to report the same day and place. Turns out...they went to Vietnam together on the same plane. When they got to the Repot Depot (Replacement Center), Henry told James, "We've been together this far, so we need to stay together here in Nam." When they called out my brother's name to get on the bus to go to his unit, Henry got on too. When they arrived at the unit, they asked Henry, "What are you doing here? You're assigned to a different unit."
Without missing a beat, Henry replied, "Heck, I don't know, they just told me to get on this bus." The unit kept Henry there as TDY, probably to avoid the paperwork. Thus, two friends were able to stay together for their tour in Vietnam.
Moral: The downside of teaching military obedience is that some soldiers actually listen!
Epilogue: James & Henry live about a thousand miles from each other, but remain good friends to this day.
as told by Tom Surratt
Note: For a similar story, see
"But General, I'm AWOL" by Don Keith
Back to War Stories