Was in 1968, when I had arrived in Saigon a few days earlier, and was in the midst of an officer’s in-country orientation at MACV headquarters. I had arrived alone, knew no-one, and and my assignment had just been shot out from under me, quite truly, as the Vietnamese general officer I was to serve as press liaison to, had shot my predecessor over a disagreement.

In a very down spirit, I arrived in the general mess hall and was greeted by holiday music, Thanksgiving decor and one of the best Thanksgiving dinners of my life (with apologies to my mother and grandmother). It was such a delight, in that godforsaken place, that I’ve never forgotten the experience, chatting warmly with total strangers, for 40 minutes or so of relief, so long ago and far away. I still have the menu card from that wonderfully surprising Thanksgiving dinner.

Read more in my essay on my military experiences, called “All That Glitters.” Go to http://www.chilit.org and search for the title
under Ebeling.