This is a continuation of my series on prostitution…….the first 3 parts here….
Now we look at the Vietnam War and prostitution…….Everyone in Vietnam was permitted ONE R&R during their one-year (13 months for the Marines) tour of duty. You had to complete 30 days in-country to be eligible. Since I was there for 2 and half years I got 3 chances for R&R…actually I got 4 but one was because no one was left to take the allotted trip.
There were certain cities that were on the approved list of cities for R&R….
- Sydney, Australia
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Hong Kong
- Kuala Lampur (later changed to Penang), Malaysia
- Manila, Philippines
- Taipei, Taiwan
- Tokyo, Japan
The first two were seven days (extra travel time), the others were five days. When I was there in country Hawaii was for married troops only so they could be reunited with their spouse for a week of happiness.
Now when one got to the city of choice they were sent to an approved hotel to begin their days of relaxation.
My destinations of choice were Singapore, Manila, Bangkok, Kuala Lampur……At each of these hotels there were women lounging around ready to service those horny GIs….now were they on the payroll of the US…I cannot say for sure but they were there and available thanks to the management of the hotel.
Back in country there were the usual “chippies” that hung around the bases looking for a good time……they were not encouraged but they also were not discouraged from servicing American GIs……price was negotiable…..and mats available.
Then there were the “Donut Dollies”…Red Cross volunteers (female) that would visit units and meet and greet the men that were not immediately in combat. They would offer games and things as a distraction.
At my base camp in My Tho the “Dollies” had their own compound (for their protection) with 24 hour guards and an open door policy for captain and above……sometimes even the high ranking NCOs could enter the “gardens of paradise” as we grunts started calling their compound.
Now was the compound sanctioned by the government….again it was not official but word got out that our lovely “Dollies” were tricking behind closed compound doors.
Again the military basically turned a blind eye to prostitution…but retain plausible deniability. These girsl were not coerced into their chosen profession.
Now part 5 will look at the costs of conflict and what lengths some must go to just to survive…..