There was one English TV station in Vietnam; Armed Forces Viet Nam…AFVN. I had bought a little 8″ TV at the PX. Most of the time there was no use for it except a pain in the butt as we were getting shoved around all over the delta. But, if there was a generator around it (the TV) provided a tiny link to the world. Old TV shows, military news propaganda and a few sports games were live to mention some. It mostly just proved there was something else “out there” and the world did not end when we went boot-down in country.

Two things on the TV stand out clear over all the years. One was in ’69 when they broke into regular programs to broadcast the audio (no video) live from NASA as the first man stepped onto the moon. Everyone who could get to electricity with a TV had been waiting on that one. The second was the death of Martin Luther King. That event took over the TV schedule for an entire week or more until no one bothered with TV or radio.

At the time of King’s death there were probably around 150-250 American KIA a week and God knows how many wounded. No one was insensitive to King’s death but after a bit it just seemed all-out-of proportion to the reality with which we lived daily.


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