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Saigon Kid Tony Doggett: Getting To Saigon

submitted by Tony Doggett (ACS)

I was a fifth-grader in Chevy Chase MD when I learned that we were going overseas again.

My dad was a USAID officer, and previously we had lived in Pakistan, Greece, and Italy.

I remember my older brother Peppy showing me the Life Magazine pictures of Buddhist monks self-immolating on the streets of Saigon and saying, “This is where we’re going.”

I was a bit stunned, but I had faith that my parents would keep a protective shield around me, and they did.

Soon I was a happy preteen walking the streets of Saigon, smoking cigarettes with new friends, swimming at the Cercle Sportif, watching movies at the Capitol Kinh-Do, going steady (what a concept!), and generally taking advantage of all the freedoms available to a young expat kid in that prewar twilight of Saigon of the early sixties.

I had arrived.

2 comments to Saigon Kid Tony Doggett: Getting To Saigon

  • Rick Buchanan

    Tony,

    I knew your brother Peppy, although not well. Your mother was my teacher for 8th grade at ACHS. I remember the long school “holiday” caused by the coup and the new school construction in the fall/winter of 1963/64. We left in February 1964. Hope things are going well for your family.

  • carol cini

    Ricky,
    I am writing a memoir “My Life as a CIA Brat” and while working on the Chapter on
    Vietnam, I wrote about you and I playing golf the day of the coup d’état and how we left after Dad called me and told us to come home. In the course of my research this morning, I came upon this site!!!!!! I have not kept up with anyone since leaving Saigon in 1964. There were only two people I remember. I went out to the movies once with my former beau Carol York back in 1966 and lived next door to Karen Lindquist (her Mom was the principal at ACHS) back in the early 1980’s in Reston, VA.
    Glad to have read your post and hope you are doing well.
    My wife and I are retired and live in St. James Plantation in Southport, NC. Retirement is just OK for me as I had a very active life (worked for the Feds for 32 years, taught at two universities, had my own publishing company, and was an ebay entrepreneur). I spend retirement travelling around the world, volunteering as a fraud investigator at the Sheriff’s office, playing tennis, and writing my memoir.
    Carol Cini
    P.S. It wasn’t until after college that I went by Carol as I found it embarrassing. Used to go by Carl, Charlie, Chuck.

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