While searching on Internet I ran across an American soldier's letter that has been posted on vietquoc home page, I reposted on this page so everyone has a chance to read.
Dear ARVN Veterans,
I am a 46 year old American man who served in the US Navy from 1974 to 1980. Although I never saw combat or Vietnam during my term of duty, I did meet many fresh veterans who had. One highly decorated Marine Corps veteran in particular was an instructor in my aviation mechanics school. I do not remember his name but I will never forget his words. He had not only seen Vietnam...he had fought for it twice. Sometime during a combat tour he had fought a battle near Saigon with an ARVN unit. After nearly twenty five years the details of his account mostly escape me. What doesn't escape me was his fully asserted admiration for the South Vietnamese soldier in combat. He had surprised us all with it as we sat there in class one day. The Vietnam war was as fresh a subject at the time (1974)- as yesterday's weather. It was brought up often in class. One quiet afternoon, a new sailor remarked contemptuously that we (the USA) won the war but it was the "f_ _ _ing" ARVN who couldn't handle it alone. This marine instructor came up out of his chair. He looked at every man in the room one by one. Then he fixed the hapless sailor who had given his free opinion about the ARVN soldier. His eyes were a mixture of fierce anger and sadness. These were his words, which I will hear clearly till the end of my life:
"You fellows weren't there...and it's lucky for you. I was there and I did fight and see good men killed. Make no mistake, besides the Marine Corps, semper fi,....the hardest fighting sunzabitches was the ARVN soldiers with good officers. So shut your fuckin mouths. 'Next man that says the ARVN sold out or can't fight.... deals with me. The ARVN did their job... they're fighting motherf_ _ _ _ers and I'll kick any bastard's ignorant ass whoever says otherwise."
We never said otherwise again.
Eric Mowrey USN, USNR, RVAW 110, NAS Miramar 1974-1980