SHORTIMER  "ORDERS" -- 1st Battalion 6th Infantry, US Army Vietnam

[Note:  the following "orders" sometimes were presented to "shortimers" who were
about to return back to the good old USA during 1970-71 when their DEROS (date
of estimated return from overseas service) at long last signaled the end of their duties
in the war.]

                            1ST BATTALION 6TH INFANTRY
                                           APO SF 96374

1. Issued in solemn warning this______day of ____19__ to the friends, neighbors,
relatives end acquaintances of _____________________________________.

2. ____________________, having completed a tour of duty in the Far East, has
been permitted to return to the United States for rehabilitation.  You must keep in
mind that your son, husband, brother, cousin, uncle, nephew, father, lover (cross out
inapplicable words) in probability has been subject to severe psychological traumas.
You should consider it your solemn duty to assist in his rehabilitation in every
possible way. Aside from the most obvious measures of bestowing affection in
inordinate quantities, there are certain other measures that can be taken to facilitate
readjustment and prevent relapse of ASIATICUS  FANATICUS.

3. Very soon the above mentioned person will be in your midst, DE-
AMERICANIZED, demoralized, demobilized, dehydrated, irregular, irrational and
irresponsible, ready to take his place once again as a human being; engaging in life,
liberty, and the somewhat belated pursuit of happiness.  In making your joyous
preparations to welcome him back into society, you must make a few allowances for
the very crude and overbearing environment which has been his home for the past

4. To assist you in your efforts, Inclosure 1 is attached.

                                                                   C. U. FOREVER
                                                                   PFCIC      CIV

 2 - Chief of Police
 1 - Local Newspaper
 1 - President of Local Chapter Alcoholics Anonymous
 1 - Family, Friends, and Relatives
 1 - All Local Taverns

US Form 5 -This form supersedes all previous editions and is for the exclusive use

[Inclosure 1 set forth below was attached to the so-called "US Form 5"]

1. Unusual behavior may be as follows.

   a. He may be somewhat Asiatic, suffering from advanced stages of Vietcongitis,
   flack jacket slump and sandbags under the eyes, and must be handled with
   extreme care.

   b. Scorning civilized dress and walking about semi-nude or nude.

   c. Thousand yard stare in a ten foot room.

   d. Insist on building a machine gun bunker in the front yard.

   e. He may attempt to recruit the young men of the neighborhood for he following
   organized athletic events: foxhole digging, sandbag filling, night reconnaissance
   patrol, stealing strategic materials from the local organizations, setting up a
   perimeter guard., practice planting bombs in the family car, and installing an
   alarm system.

   f. He will at times walk around fully armed and expect others to do the same.

   g. He Will prefer to squat rather than sit in a chair, pad around the house in
   thong sandels and a towel, slyly offer to sell cigarettes to the postman (for a
   profit of course) , shun cold drinks or tip a bottle up to see if the cap will burn off
   from acid, pick suspiciously at his food as if you were going to poison him, and
   gripe because the butter is hard instead of soft and runny.

   h. He will try to buy everything at half price, accuse the grocer of being a thief,
   and refuse to enter a strangers house without a grenade and a fire team to
   cover him.

   i. He will complain about sleeping on a sort mattress with a pillow, but be
   tolerant.  Just throw an old raincoat into the yard where the mosquitoes are the
   heaviest, and he will be happy.

   j . He will seem extremely uncivilized at the dinner table.  To limit his profanity at
   the dinner table, place everything in front of him (salt, bread, sugar, pepper,
   etc.) With a little luck, his profanity will decrease enough to permit him to
   associate with mixed. groups, and not long afterwards he should be speaking as
   well as ever .

2. For the first few months (until he is house broken) be especially watchful when he
is in the presence of women: particularly young and beautiful specimens. His first
reaction upon meeting one will be to: stare, pant, slobber or faint, depending upon
his capacity for shock.  A steel leash is recommended.  Below are listed some DO’S
and DON'TS.

  a. Don't mention anything about going to the beach or on an over-night camping
  trip .

  b.  Don't serve canned foods, recombined milk, instant coffee, other dehydrated
  foods.  This may result in a wild rage.

  c.  Make no flattering  remarks about the exotic South East, and avoid
  mentioning the benefits of overseas duty, such as seasonal weather (typhoons,
  sandstorms, monsoons) lavish beaches, and beautiful  resort areas such as Phu
  Bai, Da Nang, Chu Lai, Quin Nhon, and Cam Rahn Bay.

  d.  Never mention the word re-up , as he might go insane upon hearing it.
  Never make remarks about how nice he must have looked in his neatly  pressed

  e.  It could be considered dangerous to ask why the boy next door was never
  called to active duty, or why the neighbor's son was stationed so close to home.

  f.  Do by all means gave him an abundance of LOVE.

  g.  If you are planning to buy him some new civilian clothing, it would be wise to
  avoid big, clumsy looking slacks; black ties, wool socks. or anything green in

  h.  Do, by all means, inform all relatives, friends, and his neighbors to stay
  away from the premises for at least 48 hours, this is the danger period. We have
  absolutely no idea as to what he will do. Remember, this is a battle scarred
  soldier, anything can happen.

  i.  Hire the best lawyer in town, you may need him.

  j.  If you intend to meet your solider, we highly  recommend that you bring
  enough money to pay for damaged property at the airport and to pay for a few
  offenses such as slander, public drunkenness  and some other stunts he may try
  to pull off that were legal in the Far East.

  k.  Do not laugh when he tells of his medals: Citation for Bravery  above and
  beyond the call of duty at the Service Club; Distinguished KP Cross; Order of the
  Purple Shaft; and the Third Winter Offensive at the Main PI.

  l. Do not ask at any time if he over did, or even tried to save any money while in
  the service. This will cause him to have spasms, tear out his hair and mumble
  something about the Red Cross Fund, Slush Fund, Liver Fund, Community
  Chest, KP Fund, Refuges Fund, Company Fund, Just Plain Funds, Statement of
  Charges, Forfeiture of Two Thirds Pay, Borrowing Five for Ten, Black Market,
  Poker, Craps, and inflated beer prices. These all apply to him.  Now what was
  the question again?

  m.  Show no alarm if he cries with terror at the sight of Roast Beef, and stares
  with shock at ice cubes floating in a glass. Don't worry if he pours gravy on his
  desert or mixes peaches with macaroni.

  n.  Keep in mind that beneath this tanned, "beaten, dusty and rugged exterior,
  there's a heart of gold. Treasure this for it is the only thing of value he has left,
  even though he has tried to pawn it on several occasions, and the only thing of
  value the Army didn't want turned in. Treat him with kindness, give him an
  occasional quart of cold milk, and you will be able to rehabilitate this hollow shell
  of a man you once knew. In the event he doesn't respond. to these rehabilitation
  measures, use the shock treatment, (making sure he can do no immediate
  damage) by threatening to send him back to the lst Battalion, 6th Infantry , 198th
  Infantry Brigade, APO San Francisco 96374.

3.  Send no more letters to APO 96374 after ______________, for he is leaving the
tropics in days and heading for the LAND OF THE BIG PX.  Lock your  daughters in
the house; get the kids off the streets; fill the cooler with beer and get the civvies out
of the mothballs. Hold your hat and roll out the welcome mat because your HERO
will be coming HOME.

                                               "WATCH FOR HIM”


Use browser back arrow or link to Stories or to the 1st Bn 6th Inf  Home Page