Service Flashback: Harold Rodenberger

Then Sgt. 1st Class Harold Rodenberger is pictured on May 3, 1967, at the Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) II compound at 606 Tran Hung Dao, Cholon (a large mostly Chinese section of Saigon) where the MACV J1 and subordinate offices were located. He worked in the Operations Division, Office of the Adjutant General.

According to Harold:

Our boss said we would work longer than the troops in the field, so we worked 10 to 12-hour weekdays, eight hours on weekends but sometimes got a Sunday off. I proofread MACV Directives, wrote final copies of award citations for MACV personnel, proofed Blue Bell letters (no errors, corrections or strikeovers allowed in those pre-computer days) after the daytime secretaries had gone home. Helped keep the administrative functions running to support field operations.

I could hear better then than I can now, but with a deaf ear, I was ineligible for any of the combat arms so ended up in the administrative field. I found that I enjoyed writing and other administrative tasks so it turned out to be a good fit. I had returned from overseas in July 1965. The troop buildup was in full swing, so my number quickly came up and I headed off to Vietnam less than a year later.

In this photo I was happy to be nearing the end of my tour and returning to CONUS and my wife and young son. Was a little nervous about being assigned to the South Carolina National Guard Advisory Group because I was in an interracial marriage in the days when anti-miscegenation laws were still in force in SC as well as some other states, particularly in the south.