Background on David Stafford

I've been happily married to the same great gal for 25 years. We got married a month and a half before I shipped out to VN. This was a bit of a drag, but we did enjoy taking R&R in Tokyo. Have two children; Korey, 18 and Kelli, 16. When I separated from the Army in early '70 I went back to work for my dad, who owned a retail TV/Stereo store. I mainly worked in the repair department but eventually learned the sales end of the operation. After my dad passed away in '80, I managed the store until '90, when I sold the business, having had enough of the retail rat race.

Currently, I am working at Cal Poly State University here in California as an Equipment Technician. I've been here 4 years and really love my work repairing a wide variety of electronic equipment, including computers. For the first time in my life, I enjoy regular holidays and good benefits, not to mention the benefits of low/no stress.

I love flying, camping and gardening. My son and I fly RC helicopters and fixed wing models when we can find a good flying site. In 1975 I bought an airplane from my dad when he moved up to a higher performance machine. He purchased this airplane used when I was a Junior in High School. When I got out of the service, my wife and dad flew up to the S.F. Bay area in this particular machine to pick me up; so, it has some sentimental value to me.

I got drafted into the U.S. Army in July of '67. When I got to boot camp, I decided to enlist so I could at least have some choice in MOS. I don't think I got what was advertised, but it could've been worse I suppose. I ended up serving 13 months in Hanau, Germany, and 12 months in VN. When I returned to the States, I only had four months of active duty left of my three-year commitment. You may remember the "early-out" program for returning VN Vets; so, very happily, I got to go home.

I spent my VN tour mostly along the Cambodian border where our ground surveillance radar was most effective. Memorable areas included the "Parrot's beak" and "Angel's wing", portions of Cambodia that projected into VN, thus making them good infiltration areas for Charlie.

Since joining an Internet-based discussion group for Vietnam Veterans, I have had an urge to contact some of my old Army buddies. I purchased a phone directory of the US on CD and have already found some names. Also, this List has been most helpful to me in that I can see it fairly safe to talk about Vietnam and related topics. I have seldom talked about VN over the past 25 years simply because, in most cases, the listener just didn't understand and really didn't want to hear about it.

After VN, I was fortunate to pretty much pick up my life where it was left off and continue on without carrying crippling baggage. However, it isn't as if I didn't have moments of anger and frustration over how the war was handled and how returning Vets were treated. One thing I have learned over the years is this: it is definately ok to remember your fellow servicemen and women, both living and dead.

David can be reached on the Internet at: