We were having dinner with some family friends. They're a couple that are older than us and always have riveting stories of their life experiences to tell.
We were talking and his Vietnam War experience came up. It turns out he did some rather interesting things there as a member of DASPO, the Department of the Army Special Photographic Office.
I had never heard of DASPO before, and they unit did some interesting things in Vietnam and elsewhere.
As part of DASPO, he had received special forces training and while much of the job was to accompany troops in the field and record engagements, they were also used to covertly enter enemy territory and photograph enemy positions and equipment. In short he went to war and shot with a camera rather than a rifle, which during his deployment DASPO personnel were explicitly ordered to not engage in combat but only to accompany troops and conduct photographic reconnaissance operations.
So, how do I know he's not exaggerating or making up his service? The Pritzker Military Museum has an online exhibit dedicated to DASPO. Not only is his picture there, but some of the audio at the exhibit is indeed his voice, so yes, he had been there and done that. Certainly DASPO was quite a collection of some very brave men doing some very dangerous things.
It was quite an evening with a very interesting fellow indeed.