Thursday, October 6, 2011

AFVN - Duke Miller 1968

Found this old photo and decided to share with the group. It's of me doing the afternoon show on AFVN-AM shortly after the onset of the Tet Offensive in 1968.

I was AFVN-FM's only announcer. We were live 6:30p.m.-Midnight each night and simulcast otherwise. But, after Tet, all staffers were 24 on, 24 off (in case half of us got wiped out). That's why I was doing the afternoon gig in the photo, subbing for Don Burns. Note the tape on the studio window to the left, put there to prevent shattering from ordnance percussions. Weeks later, after a nearby rocket attack, the window stayed in tact, but most of the ceiling tiles fell, spewing insulation throughout.

Like many, I endured the Army's penchant for snafu's. I enlisted for a broadcasting MOS; they spent six weeks teaching me to type in admin school at Ft. Dix (even though I already could type 65 words per minute); after a brief stint at an intelligence unit at Ft. Meade, MD, I was assigned to the personnel department at a military intelligence unit seven miles north of Saigon. After several months, I went into Saigon, auditioned, and was "hired" shortly thereafter. Strangely, my transfer happened the afternoon of the Tet Offensive. My former unit was blown away the next day. By the grace of God and some trusted informants, the unit was abandoned prior to the attack and all survived.

AFVN, Saigon, was actually about as good as it could get in 'Nam. We lived in a hotel, The Ky Son. Except for AFVN staffers, it's nine stories housed Aussies and New Zealanders, which made staying sober a real challenge! I complete my enlistment at Ft. Meade, MD, producing the U. S. Army Recruiting public service radio shows.

My broadcasting career was short-lived. It got me through high school, college, and the Army. I went on to a successful career in the advertising agency business and spend half my retirement in Florida and half in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Duke Miller