In the year 1965, the United States sent troops to Vietnam to aid the South Vietnamese against the communist Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese. As the fighting increased, the United States was in need of more troops in order to support its commitment to South Vietnam. Therefore, thousands of Selective Service registers were called and drafted. The United States also asked its closes ally the Philippines to help send troops to South Vietnam and in addition this, the United states requested for an increase of recruitment for the United States Navy in the region. Thus, the U.S. enlisted thousands of Philippine natives, including myself.
My involvement started in July of 1968, when I was flown to the United
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Looking at his left arm, all I saw were utensils: kitchen fork, knife and spoon. I laughed in disbelief that I joined the Navy to cook. However, I accepted the job, as if I had another choice, assuming every recruit started out as a cook. As the man said, in four weeks I learned how to use them, I became a designated Navy Steward. Upon graduation, my orders were to board a ship leaving for Vietnam, the USS LONG BEACH CGN-9, the first nuclear surface ship of the United States Navy. I was assigned to a division of 10 Black Americans, 29 Filipinos and 1 Caucasian the division officer. The officers of that ship lived like kings, we served them breakfast, lunch and dinner. In between meals, we worked in their staterooms, dressing their beds with clean sheets and towels, shining their shoes, cleaning their rooms and doing their laundry. This was the daily routine of a steward job aboard ship.
After our first six months in Vietnam, we were sent back in the States. My plan was to escape such slave-like job. So, I enrolled in Long Beach City College to further my education and hoped that someday the U S Navy will change its policy toward Filipino servicemen regarding their job assignments. It was my third month in school when all Navy ships in the Long Beach area were in the state of emergency and pulled out enroute to the Token Gulf. Our ship, powered by nuclear