First Field Force Vietnam ~ IFFV




I went to Vietnam in 1968, stayed there until 1970. I was with IFFV ARTY HHB FSCE (that’s artillery to you). I was stationed in Nha Trang and lived in the “Pie Slice.” I was with a great bunch of guys. I have lost track of nearly all of them, but I remember them with incredible clarity and wish that we were still in touch. If some of you guys wander in here through a websearch, please write me at mmhorvat at


Floyd Parks found me…and he has promised to send me a disk full of his photographs. I will put some on this page when I get them. Thanks, Floyd! (It’s been five years now and Floyd hasn’t sent the photographs, so I guess I’m out!)



Dave Hawk, Owen Messenger, Chuck Lamana, Robert F. Dilworth, Dale Hoffman, Bob Price, Richard Corey, Thornburg, Phillip Kincade, Walter Fox Howell, Bell, Mop, SSGT Andre, CPT Gokey, SFC Muir,


Welcome Home


My father told me stories of his homecoming after WWII, how girls would kiss him in the street just because he was in uniform and how he never had to buy a drink at a bar. I naively thought that things would be about the same with me. To my surprise and disappointment it was not at all like that.


I returned to the States with six months left to serve. By then I was a sergeant and knew my way around a little. A fifth of Jim Beam got me reassigned from Ft. Carson (somewhere cold) in Artillery to the Presidio of San Francisco (forty miles from where I grew up) in Computers (my secondary MOS). I hung around the University of California a lot and tried to get acquainted with some of the Science Fiction fans in the Bay Area, but somehow when it got out that I was in the military, people got cold. If I showed up somewhere in uniform, it was like people could not even see me, I was invisible.


When my enlistment was up, I returned to Oregon – and the same indifference. There was no welcome home. Of course, my wife had divorced me by this time and our friends had become her friends, so I got a “fresh start.” But I missed someone saying Welcome Home. I didn’t have a job, and being around the house (which was a century old ex-church) I got acquainted with the kids in the neighborhood. It got so there were always at least six to ten of them hanging around. Then one day, one of them came up to me and said she was sorry but her mother wouldn’t let her play around here anymore because I was a “bad man.”


Ten years later, I got pretty drunk one night after an evening of Mr. Bill’s Trivia Contest at a local tavern and an old barfly and I got to talking. She gushed a Welcome Home, planted a great big kiss on my cheek, and gave me a hug. I will forever be in her debt.


I was just diagnosed as having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The first thing you see when you go into the Vet Center in Salem is a big sign that says Welcome Home. It helps a lot.



SGT Mike Horvat in 1969 in Nha Trang



The Dong Bo Valley leading into Nha Trang.



Nha Trang with the airfield and the “Pie Slice”



Nha Trang from Runway 12 approach courtesy of one of the flyboys.



Here’s the beach in Nha Trang, where I spent a bit of time.



This is the famous Nha Trang Buddha.



This is a Catholic church in Nha Trang. It’s a recent photo, but I took much comfort attending an occasional service there during my tour of duty in Viet Nam. The service was in Latin, so I felt right at home – a wonderful feeling for the Universality of the Church.