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16 Jul 67

Advisory Team Puts Village On Its Feet

DUC PHO—The sign over the door reads, "We have done so much with so little, we can now do anything with nothing."

In the short seven months that Captain Peter B. Bankson has served as subsector advisor in Duc Pho District, the community has undergone a considerable change.

Once firmly in the grip of the Viet Cong, Duc Pho has gained its freedom and is rapidly learning the ways of democracy.

Working hand-in-hand with the district chief, Captain Bankson’s five man advisory team of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam has helped the village get on its feet. Schools, refugee camps and private homes are rapidly going up. As many as 30 to 40 homes are built a week.

Improving the small police force was a real feat. It was the first Vietnamese law in many parts of the district in years.

"Security was definitely our biggest problem," said Captain Bankson. "Before the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division moved into the area it was next to impossible to reach the local villages and hamlets. Each time we ventured out of the compound we faced the possibility of attack by VC in the area."

Now with the security provided by the infantrymen, the team has been able to expand its operation in helping the Vietnamese.

Staying in the background, the team assists the district chief in his plans to improve the people’s lives through the teaching of modern farming techniques and self-government.

The sign over the door of the MACV compound will soon be changed to "We’ve done it."

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