Playing Chess during the Vietnam War

Dr Abalone

2906cFinally, there it was: “Pawn to Queen’s Knight Four.” I raced into my bedroom to my chess set and made the move. Staring at the pieces I smiled and immediately thought of my next move. But then I had time to think: it would be months until his next move. They call it the Game of Kings but to me it was a connection to my father during the Vietnam war. When I was growing up in the 1960s and 70s my father was mostly overseas defending our country in Vietnam. His combat and command tours read like a chronology of the war:

  • Lemoore, California: USS Bon Homme Richard, 1963-65
  • San Diego, California: USS Constellation, 1966-68
  • McLean, Virginia: Pentagon, 1968-69
  • San Diego, California: USS Thomason, 1970-71
  • Alameda, California: USS Enterprise, 1971-1974

So for most of my childhood years staying in touch wasn’t easy and it was mostly through the…

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