Vietnam-A Doctor's Journal
It is September, the middle of the rainy season, and the land of An Xuyen is half submerged and completely green. The rice shoots rise a foot above the flooded paddies, and in any abandoned spot there is jungle growth, thick shrubs, and long coarse grass. Day and night, rain falls from green to ground and trickles into channels which crisscross the land like capillaries. A sluggish current carries the water west to the Gulf of Siam or east to the China Sea.
An Xuyen is the size of the state of Rhode Island, and holds about 250,000 people. At present no accurate census is possible since the Vietcong control over 90 per cent of the area and approximately 40 per cent of the population. The South Vietnamese believe Vietcong strength in the province is 1,200 men. The thick foliage of the area makes it easy for the V. C. to hide their movements and location, and one is always hearing about a sudden buildup or reduction of guerrillas.
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