Rest and Recreation

Any U.S. serviceman that was serving in Vietnam for a year received a week of rest and recreation somewhere other than Vietnam. Troops could visit Singapore, Hong Kong, Hawaii and more. Even further, servicemen often received passes for beach resorts within Vietnam, one being located at Da Nang! One of the most popular outside destinations was Sydney, Australia. The Australians felt bad for the American soldiers and did their best to make the Americans' visits enjoyable. Some Australians even hid U.S. soldiers so they would not have to go back to Vietnam.

Rest and recreation was definitely needed to keep spirits high among U.S. troops, but might have ultimately hurt the American war effort. With Americans in the country, the Vietnamese economy saw high employment rates. Younger boys worked as shoe-shiners, owners of bars and shops saw a lot of American business, and waiters and taxi-drivers were needed. However, the Vietnamese, though employed, still struggled because inflation increased drastically with the American dollar. The Vietnamese resented the Americans because of their lavish lifestyle (even overseas) and were upset because they believed that the funds the United States was sending to Vietnam so U.S. troops were comfortable could have been used to help war victims. Even when the Vietnamese were making money off of Americans, the Americans could tell the Vietnamese were disgusted with their spending habits. The Vietnamese had high morals when it came to the relationship between a man and a woman and were angered by the number of Vietnamese prostitutes. It is possible that the Americans' lack of respect for Vietnamese women only angered the Viet Cong more.


vung-tau-spring-flowers-bar.jpg
A Bar in the Beach Resort Town of Vung Tau, Vietnam

www.historynet.comClick picture for source


Sources:
Page, Tim, and John Pimlott. NAM: The Vietnam Experience 1965-75. London: Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd., 1988. 152-153. Print.
http://vietnam-war.commemoration.gov.au/all-the-way-with-lbj/rest-and-recreation.php

"Rest and Recreation in Sydney - 'R and R'." Australia and the Vietnam War. Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs, 2010. Web. 29 Nov 2010. <http://vietnam-war.commemoration.gov.au/>.