Barbara Parsons Rozell - Secretary
~U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID -U.S. State Department)
Saigon, 1968-69


Responsibilities were to support a program director and several program officers - all civilians and foreign service officers. We prepared CAP (capital area plan) for all the USAID programs in country (i.e. refugees, education, public health, public safety, chieu hoi, etc.). We basically acted as liaison to Congressional Budget Committee to get the USAID Vietnam budget passed every year.There were only about 90 Embassy and USAID secretaries in country at any given time if I remember correctly. I supervised two Vietnamese clerks and one Third Country National (Filipino) clerk. We Americans dealt with all the confidential work (Secret clearances).

Regarding security. Naturally, as I arrived in the middle of Tet, the first week incountry our curfew was 2:00 in the afternoon. And we couldn't be on the street before 9 in the morning. Later I believe curfew got as late as 10 or 12, something we usually disregarded. Our offices had Marine Guards on duty 24 hours a day, (They walked around the offices every night, checking file cabinets, etc. to be sure everything was secure and wrote us up if they weren't) Outside, in the compound, Vietnamese guards used mirrors to check underneath all cars coming and going into the compound.

We rode buses to and from work - all with the wire windows to protect against hand grenades, plastique, etc. Our apt. compounds all had Vietnamese guards who stood guard duty. In addition the villa for Westmoreland's 2nd in command was right below our apt. so we had MP's patroling the front of our building 24 hours a day. When I was living in a hotel downtown I was thrown from bed when a rocket hit the back of the building. And once at the office a rocket landed in our parking lot creating a hell of a crater but I don't remember it injuring anyone.

We were not supposed to go into the marketplace for fear of terrorist activity and were to refrain from riding cyclos --which we never paid attention to.

I was also riding through the countryside once (a no no) in a military jeep, when we failed to stop at the command of the Vietnamese military we were shot at, I could hear the bullet whizzing by my ear.

Also, one night, riding in a jeep with crazy gunship pilot, out after curfew, naturally, came around a traffic circle in town only to have two MPs pull up right next to us. The first jeep was so surprised to see a round eye he slammed on his brakes, only to be hit by the jeep behind him. Obviously we went scurrying by. Perhaps we created our own terror.


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My Vietnam Related Websites:
button Women in Vietnam ~ Read about ALL the women who served . . .
The Irish on the Wall ~ An effort to locate the Irish who died in Vietnam
button Tim O'Brien's Home Page ~ National Book Award Winner and Americal Vet

button Emily's Poetry ~ By a Red Cross Donut Dolly
button Shrapnel in the Heart ~ The most moving book you will read on Vietnam
button All About Vietnam    ~ An annotated bibliography of books about Vietnam for sale thru Amazon Worldwide!
button Battle Dressing ~
button Project Hearts and Minds ~ Help put Viet Nam back together
button Photos from a Holts' Military History Tour ~ My trip to Vietnam, February 1998

My Other Websites:
Maybe Later . . . ~ My Creative Nonfiction
Irish in Korea ~ Irish men and women who gave their lives in the Korean War
Literature of the Korean War ~ Don't let the literature be forgotten
Samuel Pepys ~ One of my favorite authors
Chicago Theatre Z - A ~ This is the best theater town in the country!
Soccer Literature ~ I'm a fan and I read
O'Leary Lantern ~ Fire! Fire! Fire!
Gil Thorp ~ THE Coach (apologies to The General!)
Poetry of the First World War ~ Owen, Hardy and others
Chi-COW-go ~ Cowz plus Commentary (this used to be a cow town)
Graham Fulton, Scottish Poet ~ Charles Manson Auditions for the Monkees

Other Important Websites:
The Truth About Caroline ~ a  really good Young Adult book by my niece, Stacey
M. Lane Grosh
Remember Oklahoma City
The Civil Service and Military will NEVER forget!

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Page last updated July 17, 2007