I'd hoped to sail Fleetwood up the Saigon River to Saigon-the route we followed when I arrived there in 1961 on a small aircraft carrier, the USS Core with our helicopter company-but costs are prohibitive (pilot fee $1,000; again, fees are based on commercial vessels). I took a night bus from Nha Trang to Saigon. This was the part of my journey I'd been looking forward to most. I'd been drafted, still a Dutch citizen, in January 1961; our helicopter unit had been the first company-strength unit deployed in Vietnam. When our ship moored at the foot of Saigon's main street, a contingent of press people recorded the event. From high on the flight deck, I'd recognized an old Amsterdam friend who was operating a camera, and yelled: "Ed van Kan!" The rest of my company had no idea what was going on. We hadn't been told where we were going when we left Fort Lewis, Washington; most of the men hadn't a clue where Vietnam was, or what was going on there. I'd been first off the ship because-against orders-I'd packed civilian clothes; the South Vietnam government didn't want uniformed soldiers roaming Saigon. Ed took me to the Continental Hotel for my first Tiger beer, and introduced me to his press-corps friends, including Peter Arnett, who worked for Reuters at the time. I had such a good time in Saigon that I urged my wife to join me. She stayed a year, teaching English. I extended my tour in Vietnam to my discharge date, stayed on, traveled through the neighboring countries, and returned to Santa Barbara, California in March 1963.