Comms With Sally

Updated: 14 April, 1997

Sally's Trip Journal -- more parts coming --

  1. Sally's journal, Part 1
  2. Sally's journal, Part 2
  3. Sally's journal, Part 3
  4. Sally's journal, Part 4
  5. Sally's journal, Part 5
  6. Sally's journal, Part 6
  7. Sally's journal, Part 7
  8. Sally's journal, Part 8

Previous correspondence and notes on Sally's Trip to Vietnam --

10 April, 1997 -- An Ending --

Sally's Back!!! She and Sarah arrived back in San Antonio at about 6:30 p.m. They looked great.

5 April, 1997

.. Spoke with Sally on the phone this morning. She and the girls have just returned from visiting the actual site where her husband Bill was killed. They were able to locate it through the maps and location that Bill Staffa, Gary Roush, and Jim Henthorn provided. She said they met up with a number of Vietnamese who remember the incident and who were able to take them to the crater caused by the explosion. They burned Joss sticks and left flowers and fruit at the site. The villagers were very moved by the ceremony and the fact that Sally would make such a long trip to visit the site where Bill was killed.

Sally has spoken with a number of Vietnamese widows and has some amazing and poignant stories to tell. She is going to try and send us an update before she leaves.

Needless to say, it was a moving and emotional trip. Sally sounded great. She, Sarah, and Mitty are back in the Saigon Hotel now. Mitty will be putting together a few "on camera" interviews over the next few days. They will be returning to the US on Thursday, 10 April. Sally said that if she never sees another bowl of "pho" (Vietnamese soup) she will be happy.

She asked me to pass on that she and the girls have been very moved by the email and support from all of you that have contacted or helped her in this mission. She passes on particular thanks to the helo folks who worked on the maps and location.


1700 CST 16 March, 1997 -- The Beginning --

Comms with Sally!! Sally checked in by telephone. It was 6 a.m. in Hanoi (13 hrs difference). She said she really is impressed with the people she has met and that everyone is looking out for her. She said the surroundings are beautiful, and she is going to send us a fax and a few poems she has written.

She is staying at the Viet Long Hotel, Rm. 301, 116 A Tue Tinh Road, Hanoi. Phone is 011844 8 226 499.

She was going to be heading off to a writer's workshop later in the morning.

Plans are to leave Hanoi on the 22nd by train, heading south to Hue and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city). She'll keep us updated.

I told her that she had some email from Vets and others wishing her well, and I'll be passing it along. She says "Thanks for caring."

Bill McBride

17 March, 1997

I spoke briefly with Sarah and Mitty. They are ready to make this trip, too. Had a nice chat and told them about the behind the scenes efforts by the helo folks to put the maps together and locate the site. Mitty still does not have the visa yet...working on it. She had spoke with Sally earlier that day.


1530 CST 18 March, 1997

Brief phone call from Sally...just got a few words was 0430 in the A.M. in Hanoi. She said her body was still on San Antonio time and that she went to bed at 8:30 p.m. that night. She received the fax with the email which had been sent to her "sally" mailbox. Then the phone quit.


19 March - 20 March, 1997

Sally has called each day. She is having a grand time. Except she can't sleep past 4:00 a.m. it seems. On the 19th, I received Page 14 of what was supposed to be a 14-page fax. The telephone system still needs improvement! This morning (20 March), I received two copies each of the first three (3) pages of Sally's fax. Those are transcibed below as best I can decipher her writing. I'll be seeing Sarah tomorrow and perhaps she can read her mom's handwriting better that I can.


Note: These pages of Sally's Journal are now included in the Journal links.

21 March, 1997

(updated phone number of hotel: 26 March)

Sally called. Change of plans. She will be flying to Danang today (22 March in VN) and will then take a bus/van/car to Hue. The group will be spending a few days in Hue, flying out of Hue on the 25th to Saigon.

I told her that I had received only 3 pages of her fax, and she said she'd try to resend it from Danang. She did not know the name of the hotel when I spoke with her. She is really looking forward to seeing the South and said that she found Hanoi very interesting and friendly.

In Saigon, she will be staying at the Saigon Hotel. Telephone is (I think) 01184 88 291 466, fax 01184 88293677. I'll verify and repost if wrong.

22 March, 1997

Nothing heard today. She should be in Hue if her sked was followed. Added a couple more of the email to Sally below.

1530 CST 24 March, 1997

Sally called from China Beach at Danang. She said that they had taken the train to Hue over the Hai Van pass and that it was "breathtaking." She enjoyed Hue, said that it was hot, and that she had given up wearing makeup because it was "melting."

She did not send anymore faxes because they were costing on the order of $120.00 each (US). She is going to send a fedex package with her trip writings and some rolls of film.

She will be heading to Saigon later on in the day (25th in VN). Sarah and Mitty's plans seem to be on schedule, and she is looking forward to seeing them on the 29th.

She said the single most memorable thing about the trip so far is the understanding and compassion of the people she has met. She has talked with several VN widows so far.