Is it true that some of our troops never came back from Vietnam because they decided to stay, got married, etc?
A very small handful.
Sure, I mean at least a few guys fall in love with and in a country. It would be really remarkable if a few didn’t opt to stay.
Their counterparts who decided that capitalism was very nice were far mroe numerous, however (at least in Korea; not sure about Vietnam).
I met an Australian in Vietnam who opted to stay after the war; he did go home at first but moved back after an attempt at readjusting to life back home. He was in Hanoi 2 yrs ago. Very chatty, told me how much better life was for him there than at home, “these people treat you like a king,” his general disaffection with western society, etc.
Same trip I came across an American living in Saigon who I suspect opted to relocate there permanently (he was a veteran), but when he got there I don’t know. Could’ve been 2 yrs ago, or he never came back… never asked him. I’m surprised the government wouldn’t have used this for propaganda purposes though, so I suspect he spent time back home first… which would mean at least several years considering the time between the fall of Saigon and thawing of relations to the point where people could come back as tourists etc.
The U.S. government courtmartialed Robert Garwood for allegedly going local and staying on after the war. Garwood maintains he was kept against his will. When he was repatriated he had been there so long that his English was heavily accented. I don’t have a specific cite but google will turn up tons of info.
From our friend google
In Garwood’s case, he went missing in 1965 and then resurfaced in 1979. Although that’s 14 years, I’ve met Japanese who have lived for longer in the States without regular contact with other Japanese speakers, but who retain their native accent when speaking Japanese.
People don’t normally become heavily accented in their own language by living in an environment where they have to exclusively speak a foreign language, even when cut off from other native speakers. Often you forget words, sometimes even simple ones, but you don’t lose your native accent.
It seems that it’s easier to pick up an accent when you live in a different region or country which has your native language, but a different accent. My sister moved to the South from Salt Lake and has picked up a few things. I give her shit about it, so she goes back to her Utah accent when I visit.
interestingly, some of these sites claim Garwood was actually a POW held against his will until 1979