OK, Dan. Here goes.
My tour was from Dec. 1966 to Dec. 1967.
I was Chief Computer, Fire Direction Control in the Mortar Platoon for Co. D, 2/7th Cav, 1st Air Cav. I did the computations and calculations for the mortar squads and directed the fire missions. Less than 2 years before that, I was attending college with a student deferment, but it was canceled when they had the big call ups in late 1965. I was inducted shortly after, was sent to Ft. Hood, Texas for Basic Training, Advanced Infantry Training and assigned to Hq Co., 1st Bn. 41st Infantry (Mechanical), 2nd Armored Division.
After almost a year at Ft. Hood, I received orders for Vietnam and went to the 2/7th which was stationed near Phan Thiet. I think my group was pretty much the replacements for the last of the survivors of the Ia Drang. After the Ia Drang, the 2/7th was at Pleiku, Bong Song and a couple of other places before Operation Byrd. I believe Operation Byrd commenced in Phan Thiet around Aug. 1966. I spent my whole year in the Phan Thiet area during Operation Byrd.
From shortly after arriving in VN, I wondered why we were there. My impression was that the people didn't want us there, although the public we dealt with was always cordial and showed no animosity. (Of course, many of them were VC as well.) It was just a feeling that we got from them. However, we only did our jobs and what we were told to do and usually didn't philosophize too much about the war. When the U.S. came up with the Vietnamization program, we all thought that it was never going to work. Generally, our goal was to complete our tour and go home. That was what we lived for. When I got home, I could understand the protests against the war, but did not understand how guys were draft dodgers or how the tactics the radical elements were employing were going to help. The attitude that people had towards soldiers and vets was always a mystery to me. I was glad when we finally pulled out of Vietnam. We had lost too many good men and I didn't think anything better was going to get accomplished than what we already had. I moved on and went ahead with my life and didn't talk too much about my Vietnam service except with my brother, who had also served there, and family and friends whom I knew were sympathetic.
At my age and now back home, I never thought too much about the Cold War.
Hope that helps.