R & R
R&R stands for Rest and Recreation. Servicemen in Vietnam were given a week for R&R usually about midway in their one year assignment. “Where did you go on R&R when you were in-country?” That usually comes up when veterans talk about the good times, if any, in Vietnam. Some of the guys went to exotic places like Thailand. Others went to Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Hawaii, transportation provided. Some went on in-country R&R to Vung Tau, a military recreation facility on the beach.
I was fortunate to get to both Hawaii and Taiwan. I had to wait nine months for my name to come up for Hawaii. I spent 5 glorious days in Honolulu with my beautiful wife over New Years weekend. We did some sightseeing on the island of Oahu, but we mostly spent our time getting to know each other again.
About mid-day on New Years Eve as we were walking down the street suddenly there were popping noises all over the place. I nearly panicked. I looked for cover and was ready to dive under a parked car when I realized it was just firecrackers. It was New Years Eve, after all.
The local law permitted fireworks beginning at noon on New Years Eve. And the locals took full advantage of it. Celebrants dropped strings of firecrackers from buildings down on unsuspecting folks. It sounded for all the world like machine gun fire. It sound Realistic to be sure.