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An American Advisor in Wartime Vietnam

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The March 14, 2013, episode of American Heroes Radio features a conversation with Robert G. Kay, a civilian advisor to the South Vietnamese Navy.

Robert G. Kay is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and currently resides in Pensacola with his Vietnamese wife. He retired from the US Navy as a lieutenant in 1969 after being wounded & losing his leg in Vietnam. He returned to Vietnam as a civilian advisor to the Vietnamese Navy at the request of the commander of US Naval Forces. He held this post until the military left the country in March 1973. He then worked for the Defense Attaché Office in Saigon until the fall of South Vietnam in April 1975. He retired from Civil Service in 1997.  Robert G. Kay is the author of Pass Me The Rice.

According to the book description of Pass Me the Rice, “Vietnam. It’s perhaps one of least known yet most controversial wars in American history. What’s even more obscure are the tales of Americans serving in the country and interacting with the culture of war-torn Vietnamese civilians. Pass Me the Rice shares these experiences with readers.

In Pass Me the Rice, author Robert G. Kay reveals the everyday life of an American advisor during the Vietnam War in a true, historical and often humorous account of his experiences while serving the first two of his eventual eight years in country. The book provides a unique perspective on the early Vietnam War by offering a glimpse of Americans’ encounters with Vietnamese armed forces and civilians.

As an expert in Vietnamese culture, Kay’s novel also sheds light on the value of casting off ethnocentric worldviews. It offers an inside look at a country in a prolonged war for survival and a period of history frequently cast aside.