Check Out “Truc’s Platoon” On Facebook!  


Pine Bluff News By Pat Matheny

Truc, former NVA, is proud to say “I love America, I buy Ford”!

Last Sunday, we hit Jimmy’s Diner for the buffet. We ran into John Rice and his wife Mary (I apologize for forgetting her name the last time) and he introduced us to his daughter (I apologize for forgetting her name this time).

I told John that we seem to be following each other around on Sundays. He replied, “I’m always looking for a free meal”. We had a great time reminiscing about our upbringing.

Friday, I took Susie to get her hair done in town and then we hit the Outback beside the mall. Their pepper grinder worked just fine.

Pertaining to the pepper shakers that have been discussed for the past few weeks, a friend mentioned about my throwing the remaining pepper in my hand on the floor after removing lid and pouring in hand. I told him that I really didn’t know what the proper protocol would be in this situation, but I’m sure it wouldn’t include pouring the pepper back in the shaker.

Leigh (N&J Editor) emailed and said, “I’m going to keep an eye out for a “manly-looking suitcase” so you can carry your own condiments”! I replied, “If you find a “manly-looking suitcase”, please make sure it is in denim…so it will match my jeans”.

Here’s something I’d like to share with you. Most of the guys that I traveled to Vietnam with back in Dec ’15 (Tom Baca, Jack Swickard, Dennis Gulich, Duane Speirs, Ed Knighten, Ken Barthomew, Marc Cullison, and I, plus our tour guide Dinh Ngoc Truc), have our own group page on Facebook called Truc’s Platoon. At first, we called the group “VC Platoon”, because we started calling ourselves “Truc’s VC Platoon” on the visit. The group name worked fine for us…however.

Several of the Pilots, plus Truc (Former NVA) and his lovely wife Phuong (Flying in from Hanoi), were planning on attending last year’s Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Assn. Reunion in Vegas. Jack was the one in charge of reserving a table for the group at the main banquet.

He immediately found out that “Houston, we have a problem” with the name! Can you imagine the reaction if he had made reservations for a “VC Platoon” table at the banquet, especially with all of those Vietnam Veterans surrounding them? I bet that would have put a little damper on the festivities for the evening. So, Jack requested that we change the name to Truc’s Platoon…a little less conspicuous. From the pictures taken and what was stated, it looked like Truc and Phuong were the highlight of the night; that’s great.

I enjoy staying in touch with my dear friends from around the country and Vietnam. I especially enjoy the pictures that Truc posts. He has recently retired and travels all over his country and shares the pictures. It is truly a beautiful land along with the people. I urge every Veteran, if you get a chance, to return to Vietnam…it will be a very positive experience.

A few days ago, Truc posted a picture of the new vehicle that he just bought. In the picture, he’s standing beside a white vehicle with a facsimile of the American Flag stretched across his arms with the caption, “I love America I buy Ford”!  He purchased a Ecosport from Hanoi Ford. I told him he was a good man. Dennis replied to the post, “Outstanding! A great GI car for a VC”! I thought that was funny.

I wish they would paint some lines on our road!

Until next time, have a great week and remember our Veterans.


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