The first time former executive editor Terry Muck had a chance to go to Vietnam, he played the draft lottery and won. At number 349, his name never came up when the Selective Service Commission filled its annual quota of young American men for the armed forces.

Like most of us in that select group who know the difference between 4-F and 1-A, Terry can never forget Vietnam. When his second chance came, he jumped at the opportunity to visit the land where 58,000 of his fellow baby boomers died. And although this was to be a peaceful mission—not intended to uncover military secrets—war and deception crept onto the scene in a most unusual way.

It was while he was trying to obtain a vaccination for bubonic plague (highly recommended for people traveling to Vietnam) that Terry learned that supplies of the vaccine were completely depleted. Why? Every soldier involved in last December’s Panama invasion needed to be vaccinated. And since it takes three months for the vaccine to begin working, the military option was being planned even as official statements maintained we had no intention of invading. Hmmm.

Fortunately, the news coming out of Vietnam these days is good, as you will see from Terry’s report beginning on page 24.

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