David's contribution then created a new problem: Too much information.
What shall I now write about?
What David's correspondence reminded me of is the fact that there is a lot more to war than simply killing people and breaking things. Some soldiers, like David, were employed in preventing disease. He was a member of a Preventative Medicine Team from the 61st Medical Detachment attached to the 9th Infantry Division at Dong Tam. Their mission was, in David's words ...
I was a Medical Entomologist and CO of the 61st, which was attached to the 9th Infantry Division at Dong Tam. I and my team provided a wide variety of preventive measures throughout IV Corps including survey and control of insect and rodent vectors (e.g. bats!), operation of a helicopter aerial spray system for control of malaria, water quality surveillance, training of Unit Field Sanitation Teams, and conducting sanitary inspections. We traveled throughout the Delta supporting U.S. Army units as well as Vietnamese health officials in plague control, immunization programs and investigation of disease outbreaks. It was challenging, rewarding work, and I will always be grateful to the U.S. Army for giving me the opportunity to do it.
I'll simply let David's describe the photos in his own words.
1 – 2 Aerial view of French Fort as we approach by helicopter, 1967.
3 Close-up of gun emplacement, French Fort, 1967.
4 - 5 Detail of French Fort, 1967.
6 Turret of French Fort where bats are roosting [This mounted two large caliber naval guns that were rusting in the weeds alongside the fort when I was there - JD]
7 SSGT Sanchez and Preventive Medicine Technician prepare insecticide to apply inside the turret
8 SSGT Sanchez prepares to enter the turret
9 Results of smoke grenade as we try to flush bats from the turret.
10 M109 155 self-propelled Howitzer artillery unit at the French Fort, who requested help with the bats.
Don't worry, David.. I won't hold it against you that I contracted malaria during my tour of duty.