For the soldiers and their women, for the civilian hangers-on and the peace demonstrators, for the orphaned and crippled, the American phase of the seemingly interminable Viet Nam War was due to end this week. After more than a decade of combat and at a cost of 46,000 American dead and 304,000 wounded, the last American forces were scheduled to pull out on March 28, leaving any future warfare to the Vietnamese themselves. As the milestone day approached, G.I.s crowded the streets of Saigon, bidding farewell to their bar girls, jamming the...

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