Note: The Ivy Leaf Changed to "Steadfast and Loyal" with this issue

Back to Vietnam Index

Allies Welcome Enemy Soldier

By SP4 John Rowe

"At first I thought he was a decoy for a larger element and that he was trying to lure us into an ambush."

OASIS — Tired and thirsty, the North Vietnamese Army soldier clutched the Chieu Hoi leaflet in his hands as he sought to find an Allied unit.

Almost simultaneously, Bravo Company of the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry was moving into a night location in an area 57 miles south of Pleiku.

As the Famous Fighting Fourth Division company was chopping down some trees to better fortify its position, the enemy soldier, clad in green fatigues and carrying an AK47 rifle and rucksack, approached Bravo Company’s perimeter.

For Bravo Company commander 1st Lieutenant William Burdick of East Lyme, Conn., the situation was tense. He would have to decide whether the enemy soldier, now waving a branch, was sincere or not.

Lieutenant Burdick then took the precautionary measure of placing his men in firing positions.

However, Lieutenant Burdick’s suspicions were relieved as the enemy soldier dropped his rifle and continued walking toward the position. The Cacti Blue commander then motioned for the NVA to continue inside the perimeter.


DISENCHANTED AND OPPRESSED by the war effort, the NVA soldier’s face reflected the hardships of futile combat.

"I think he was just tired of the war and the fighting," said Staff Sergeant Ayala Eleizer of New Brunswick, N.J.

Once inside the perimeter, the NVA soldier was given a canteen of water and a cigarette by the 3rd Brigade unit.


His Expression Began To Change As He Sipped The Water and Reread The Chieu Hoi Leaflet

The NVA Soldier’s face reflected the hardships of futile combat


His expression began to change as he sipped the water and reread the Chieu Hoi leaflet. His uneasiness wore off and, he was confident that he had made the right decision.

After days of wandering through the rugged terrain of the Central Highlands, the NVA soldier had satisfied his desire to Chieu Hoi to the Government of South Vietnam.

Back to Vietnam Index

Cacti Home Page Main Index E-Mail Us