Joy and Larry in a convoy enroute to Whue, Vietnam.
Joy, Larry & a soldier at a base camp while entertaining in
them perform because they were working somewhere else doing
the same thing for other groups of GIs. They lived a life of sign-
signing them on to entertain and entertaining themselves. The
bands were housed in two villas, one in Quy Nhon, managed by
aged by another ex-GI, Tom Chapman and at a hotel in Da Nang,
Joy loved the military people “It was a world of America
brating her birthday and Colonel Castle brought her a cake that
they sliced using tongue depressors.
had brought in and they themselves came home in November
At home they had to watch heartbroken as they saw the
troops they had spent so much time with entertaining be rejected
Joy and Larry entertaining at the Rex Hotel in Saigon.
Barbed wire and sandbags in front of the American Embassy
A Marine base outside of Da Nang.
as they returned. Where other soldiers had come home to ticker
tape parade, the Vietnam veterans came home to abusive lan-
memory. “That was so sad. I could still cry. It wasn’t right what
we let happen. It wasn’t fair. They went to serve their country
In the mid 2000s, Joy went back to see Vietnam with her sister
Mary Lou. It, of course, was not the same. There were casinos
and big hotels. Where there were bicycles and cyclos threewheeled
pedi cabs, it was all cars, businesses and busses.
Joy has a display in her home with photographs and other
memorabilia of her and Larry’s time in Vietnam including books
signed by journalists that they had gotten to know who wrote
about the Vietnam War – evidence of that time in their lives as
they watched history unfold around them and made their own
FLORIDA WOMEN MAGAZINE 813.682.9364 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 • 37