Ahm. But, the peoples themselves. Now, I had one experience... like we was over in a, a, I went across the bay. In a, Ben Hai. I think that what it were. And ah me and a friend of mines we, we just, we really didn't have any business over there, but we decide we were going over there one night, and stay in the village, right. So, we had one of them buhist baby-san that worked across the bay. they would come here on the truck or on the boats, right. So, we had one of them on the night and we were going to spend, we were going to spend the day. This is between ah Cam Ranh Bay
and Da Nang. So, we was going to spend Ben Hai. Things were... we were going to spend the night over there.
So, ah, we was in the baby-san hut so we sitting there me and the partner, and we smoking some mari, kind of high and all at once she come, she say, VC, VC come, VC come. So, amen, you know (chuckles). Me and my partners we virtually took off. She said no sweat, no sweat. You know, she said no sweat, no sweat. You know she said no sweat, no sweat. No, O talk VC. I tell them you number one, you know. So, anyway. They comes in and she say something, the talking in Vietnamese. They only thing that I could about understand she say he number one. Everything's cool. You know, if they go for it and you say number ten, you better watch out.
You know, because number ten means you, you, you bad news. You know, number one means you're okay, you know. So, they run down some Vietnamese, so they come back in there. She says, she come back and she told the Vietname, the VC they want to eat. You know, so, phew, they come in, they come in and they' eyeing us. So, at the time she said VC come, we didn't make no attempt to get out weapons. In fact. we got rid of the weapons.
We remove, we removed the weapons, to aw, when the woman called we moved over over to the other side of the room, you know. She said no sweat, you know. So, they comes in and one stands over by the door. The other one comes in. She bring the rice and stuff, like the other, this guy, you know, he's talking, she stares for about a good and a half. Man I'm about to do something in my clothes, you know. I'm saying, you gotta be taken off. But, ahm, after that, you know then the guy, you know, he speak English. You know, you know, he asked us, you know. Ah. What's all brothe do. You know, fight the enemy, Vietnamese, you know, you know, ain't no enemy, you know. And, I think that experience there virtually scared the H out of me, the S out of me.
That experience, I think, stuck in my head more so, to the poin that the second time I went back to Vietnam, I would not carry a weapon, you know, because, you know, like the guy, he say, we sit there with a guy who probably had opium on it, smoking on it, cause, I had, occasionally I would smoke a joint. I had just started smoking, you know. Ah. I was smoking a joint.
And ahm, you know, I don't know. That just had a very... at one point I'm thinking about I, I was gone, you know, and another point, I couldn't believe it. You know, sitting here talking to actual... you know. VC's they look just like any other (chuckle). You know the Vietnamese, they ain't no different, you know, like that, right. And, ah, after that experience, I, it, just a total change came over me, man. You know, just, I just changed. I just couldn't see it, you know, ahm.
I have been growing in political conscience in a sense that, you know, in a sense that the war was unjust. That actually the Vietnamese after being colonized and dominated for over 100 years by the French...and in the Ge—during the Geneva Convention, America intervened into Vietnam. That, the people's had a just struggle, you know, like that...And, once you become conscious of these things, what do you do? I mean you no longer can, you know, seriously pick up your gun and say that's a VC, you know, because of the indoctrination that you have received, and you think nothing of him. He's the enemy.
But, you begin to see peoples in a different light. You no longer, you begin to look at your own country, because of the reality of the impression that is being perpetrated on you as a people, the dogs being turned loose on you, your people, and you see kids being blown away in churches. You see the Vietnamese have a legitimate reason to struggle. You know, after this is their country, you know. So...
I had began to become conscious th—I mean still faithful to the system, you know. I'm, I'm American soldier. I had occupational responsibility, you know. But, I'm saying that once you began to experience these things, you know, you go through this. There's a transformation that begins to come over you, you know.
And, that would reinforce with the, ah, you know, the fact that, you know, being harassed, the fact that, you know...wearing the unity bands, and you couldn't wear afros, and a lot af guys was being harassed and I had also become aware of LBJ who's the third ma, ah, ah, third, Lyndon, LBJ was the jail in Saigon
. It was named after Lyndon Baines Johnson. I mean come off it, you know, you... So, then there was at tremendous amount of ah of Hispanics, Blacks, few whites and also was incarcerated, you know, like that.