The War: A Captain's Legacy

In October, Captain Ronald F. Rod of New Orleans was ordered to South Viet Nam and one of the loneliest, most hazardous forms of duty a soldier can draw. As head of a six-man U.S. advisory team, he was sent to the northern coastal town of Due Pho, which is surrounded by Viet Cong territory and accessible only by air. There, Captain Rod, 31, shared responsibility for the welfare of some 10,000 civilians, mostly refugees from Communist held villages.

In a letter describing life in his "barbed-wire island," the officer wrote the Clarion Herald, a New Orleans Catholic newspaper: "There...

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