In contrast to most photographs of the Vietnam War that still haunt and reverberates decades later, such as the Victims of Agent Orange. These pictures show soldiers relaxing, showing off their squalid jungle living quarters, playing with the Vietnamese children, reveling in a rare ocean swim and enjoying. There is nothing chilling about the Vietnam War. No shots like Nick Ut’s of a naked Vietnamese girl fleeing from a napalm bombing or Eddie Adams’s shot of a Saigon police chief firing a bullet into the head of a Viet Cong prisoner.
Yet these photographs were taken not by professionals but by young grunts barely out of high school. Grinning wide-eyed at this strange land where they had been sent, often against their will, in circumstances they did not fully understand.