This is a copy of a letter from the USO given to Larry Potts: (handwritten dates & name have been removed)


Notice of Return

ISSUED IN SOLEMN WARNING:                                                   THIS ____ DAY OF________________1970



Very soon_________________ will again be in your midst - dehydrated and demoralized - to take his place in society as a freedom-loving citizen engaged in life, liberty and the somewhat belated pursuits of happiness. In making your joyous preparations to welcome him back in your midst, you must make allowances for the very crude environment which has been his home for the past ____ months. in a word, he might just be a wee bit Asiatic - suffering from what we lovingly call the "Nam" He must be handled with extreme care. He has just spent several months of his youth among mosquitoes, cockroaches, mud, dust, monsoons and rockets. During this time he has had to speak broken English mixed with French and Vietnamese which only means that he will have to be taught how to speak again.

Keep in mind from whence he comes, and show no alarm if he carries a pistol around the backyard or if he jumps under tables when cars backfire. Don't think it unusual when he puts sandbags around the front porch and digs a hole outside his bedroom window. pretend not to notice if he presses his hands together under his chin upon meeting someone. And if he prefers  rice to bread and pours lots of hot sauce on his food then mixes it together -don't panic. Try to be tolerant when he pitches a poncho on the floor beside his bed. And just continue normal conversation when he uses words such as "for shor", "tee tee" and " Choy oy" or on occasion "Be nigh".

Never question him if he tells you to get your "Sierra" wired. Look the other way when he answers the phone and keeps shouting "Working working!" If he makes you write out normal questions such as "How are you?" and presents them in a form of a query, don't argue. Then he tells you the answer is "embargoed", don't push the point.

In a relatively short time he can be taught to speak normal English again. But never ask him to ride up North, this is liable to throw him into a violent fit. If you ask him how rough it was in Vietnam or question him about what he did in war, his answer will probably be "I don't want to talk about it". Whatever you do, don't shout "incoming" in his presence or mention "ham and limas". He may want to check out your "P's", ask if you're carrying enough "C's" and will probably insist on carrying a couple can-teens of water to the supermarket for a few weeks. Just be patient in the face of all this.

For the first few months he's home, it's advisable to keep him away from important social gatherings. Especially those which have round-eyed women in attendance. He may try to pat their backside, check their "ao -dais" or force a thousand "P's" on them. Also his language will be crude and to the point..... but remember his ways and intentions were honorable (most of the time). Keep in mind that beneath that tanned and rugged exterior beats a heart of pure gold. It is the only thing of value he still has left.

Treat him with kindness, tolerance and an occasional quart of booze and you will be able to rehabilitate that hollow shell of a man that you once knew. Send no more mail in care of Fleet Post Office,  get the women and children off the streets, fill the ice-box with beer and get the "civies" out of moth-balls.




C O M I N G  H O M E !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!                                                                        

Thanks Larry!

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