Spec 4 Donald D. Letherer - Vietnam Veteran

Don was a radio operator with the 84th Engineers. The job of his unit was to buildaccommodations for the different companies as they set up new bases throughout Vietnam. Don had an additional responsibility driving the commanding officer and acting as his radio operator if necessity required. The soldiers’ living conditions would improve from tents to concrete-floored huts after the 84th was done with its job. In the hot climate of Vietnam, buildings were open to the air. Sand bags might be stacked along the bottoms of the “buildings,” but almost everything had a large part of the sides open: huts for living, latrines, showers... and mess halls. The most welcome improvement Don

and the 84th brought to the soldiers in the field was a screened-in mess tent. Oh, the luxury of not having to fight off clouds of insects in order to eat! Don’s unit started out with its camp on the ocean. That was soon taken over by the 85th Medical Evacuation unit and the 84th moved inland. THAT camp was preempted by the 1st Calvary, a major fighting force of the U.S. Army, and the 84th moved further inland again, making camp life a little better for each new group of soldiers.

JoAnne P. Miller