John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
When I was making a delivery at the U.S. Army Building at 2372 S. Logan Avenue one day, I met a young captain who served with the Special Forces over in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He was short and had a squeaky high pitched voice. He reminded me of the squeaky lieutenant in the Beetle Bailey cartoon strip.
He had an unusual story to tell me. While he was serving in the Vietnam War, he had taken some time off on R & R and was visiting a place to eat. While there, he met this man with blond hair who said that he was from Georgia. He had a strong southern accent and seemed very friendly. While they were talking together, the captain noticed that this man referred to the North Vietnamese Army as the NVA rather than "Charlie" as most American soldiers would say. He had a hunch and kept all conversation away from war talk and listened to the man talk. When he reported back from R & R, he went to his intelligence unit and made inquiries about this man from "Georgia". They told him that this man was from Georgia, USSR, and that he was a Russian spy seeking out information from unaware American soldiers. His accent was so good that you would believe that he was from Georgia in the United States.
he only tipoff that the captain had about the man was the term that he used for the North Vietnamese Army. This kind of reminds you of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, when English speaking German soldiers infiltrated the American lines to do damage to our side during the battle. Always listen to the man you are talking to. If he uses some foreign terms not used by regular soldiers in combat, do not trust him and report him to your intelligence unit as soon as possible.
Remember, not everybody is what they seem to be in war. Trust your instincts.
I felt that this story, although it is several years old, is still worth reading about.