Troops in Vietnam got to take a few days off from the war during their one-year tour of duty. They were allowed a week of R&R, rest and recuperation, outside of Vietnam. They could choose from a list of approved destinations that included Hawaii, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. They were also eligible for shorter breaks, usually three days, inside Vietnam. Those in-country R&R days were available to unit commanders to distribute as they saw fit. The short vacations generally were granted as rewards for personal achievement, with an emphasis on enlisted men. There were two primary sites for in-country R&R: Vung Tau beach, about 60 miles southeast of Saigon, and China Beach, 8 miles north of Da Nang. Those two sites and a few others along the coast were places where you could go for lots of sand, surf and snapshots.
Whether they produced battlefield images of the dead or daguerreotype portraits of common soldiers, […]
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