Echoes of the Vietnam War

EP35: The Mind Benders

Release Date: October 11, 2021

Deceiving and demotivating an enemy, enlisting and engaging an ally, all of these are necessary in war. You have to get people to do things or to stop doing things. And for that, you need to understand them at a narrative level. Histories, cultures, belief systems… what are you up against, and what facts or fiction can you inject to change or influence it? Major Ray Ambrozak sheds some light on psychological warfare during the Vietnam War.

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Echoes of the Vietnam War


HOST: Hello Echoes listeners. Before we get into today’s episode, I have some big news to share: earlier today, as we were getting this episode ready to publish, our little podcast reached a major milestone. Thirty-four episodes into its run, Echoes of the Vietnam War has been listened to a total of more than 100,000 times. I don’t even know what to say about that, except that we’re all just giddy over here. When we started Echoes about 18 months ago, I don’t think any of us would have predicted this. We’re so humbled by your continued support, and we’re already thinking about what’s next for the podcast. Our plan, now that we’ve achieved critical mass, is to look for an appropriate sponsor or underwriter to help fund the production of future episodes. What does that mean? It means that we’ll be able to gather stories more quickly, that they’ll be produced with a higher-level of professionalism, and that they’ll be promoted to a broader audience. And we feel some urgency around this. The Vietnam generation won’t be around forever to share their experiences and perspectives, and we want to make sure the stories of that era have a chance to echo through the generations that follow. Which brings me to a favor that I need to ask from you. It’ll only take a few minutes, and it’ll help us more than you know. If you listen to this podcast using an app like Apple Podcasts or Spotify or iHeartRadio, take a minute to leave us a rating or a review, whatever your app allows.

HOST: And in any case, consider hitting the subscribe button. If you listen on our website, that’s cool too. You can still help out from Scroll down to the very bottom of the page and sign up for email notifications about new episodes. We promise to protect your privacy. We wouldn’t share your email address with anyone, not even our future sponsors. We’re really just so grateful to all of you who appreciate and share these stories, and we’re excited to keep growing with you. And now. On with the show. From the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Founders of The Wall, this is Echoes of the Vietnam War. I’m your host, Michael Croan, bringing you stories of service, sacrifice, and healing from people who still feel the impact of that conflict… Nearly 50 years later. This is Episode 35, “The Mindbenders.” Here’s something that I think about a lot. The entirety of the human experience, from the individual level to the civilization level, is made up of stories. And what is a nation really? It’s a story that we tell ourselves and each other and the rest of the world about shared ideals and common goals. Even physical borders are only real if we all believe they are. As soon as someone stops believing, they stop existing. Just take a look at the news. Every major human undertaking, from a constitution to a moonshot to a genocide, is fueled by a shared sense of narrative, for better or worse. And every person is a walking bag of stories.

HOST: I mean, genetically we are 97% identical to chimpanzees, right? So the only significant difference between any two people is their stories. That’s all that defines you from me. The point is, individuals and groups act and react based on the stories that define them as individuals and as groups. And that, aside from being an idea that fascinates me endlessly, is a powerful insight for conducting warfare, deceiving and de-motivating an enemy, enlisting and engaging an ally. All of these are necessary in war. You have to get people to do things or to stop doing things, and for that you need to understand them at a narrative level. Histories, cultures, belief systems. What are you up against and what facts or fictions can you inject to change or influence it to help ensure your victory? That is what Psychological Operations or “PSYOPS” is about. The pen is mightier than the sword, and if it can convince an enemy to lay down his DP light machine gun, well, that doesn’t hurt. Major Ray Ambrozak served with an Army PsyOps team in Laos in 1961 and in Vietnam in 1964, 1966, and 1970. He was awarded the Silver Star for heroism in a March 1971 firefight, and he retired in 1978. In 2018, Ray was inducted into the US Special Operations Command Commando Hall of Honor. Here’s my interview with major Ray Ambrozak. Well. So how did you get how did you get from Johns Hopkins into into the military?

AMBROZAK: Our government insisted on it. The. They sent me my notice and I answered the call.

HOST: And what year was that? Ray?


HOST: ’58? So you were drafted in ’58?

AMBROZAK: Drafted in ’58. Right.

HOST: And had you finished John Hopkins, Johns Hopkins at that point?

AMBROZAK: No, no no no, no. It was, uh, third year, actually. And, uh. Like I said, you know, I wasn’t, uh, winning any trophies for best student of the year or anything like that. And I don’t know whether that had any anything, with anything to do with being drafted or not as far as numbers and all that’s concerned. I can’t recall. But, uh, me and 50 others, uh, at Fort Holabird in Baltimore, got on a train and went down to, uh, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, to the reception center there and began the in processing. To make us all soldiers. Mm.

HOST: So you you processed in at Fort Jackson as an enlisted man?

AMBROZAK: That’s correct. Yeah. And, uh, at the at the reception center, you’re supposed to get all of your initial issue. That’s all your clothing and equipment and the basics that you need to get on to, uh, wherever you’re going to take basic training and, uh. One of the physical problems that I have been born with are very long arms. And the, uh, Class A uniforms that they had available – at least the blouse – the blouses, and then the, the Ike jacket was which was still in use back in those days. Uh, all the arms were, were too short. So they said that, uh, they were going to have to order me a tailored shirt and, and jacket, and I was going to have to stay there. And I said, what do you mean, stay here? I said, well, these other 50 guys are going down to Fort Benning to, uh, take basic training and, this is one of the things that, uh, when I was putting this, this little, uh, thing that we’re doing here together, uh, kind of kind of struck me. And and it has before, so many times, uh, throughout my my career… Something happens, unusual circumstances happen. That got me going down a course that I had not intended and I had no, no control over, over the matter. I was there, standing on the platform, waving goodbye to all my new found friends, and then went, uh, went back and eventually I was taking, uh. Basic training there at, uh, at Fort Jackson.

AMBROZAK: My name was called out in formation one day to report to the, uh, to the orderly room went down there and there was a, uh, a small van alongside the building and said, get in that van. Uh, they’re going to take you over to… For some further testing. Van went to some, uh, place on Fort Jackson, and they had some old World War II barracks buildings there. Went in, went in there, and there were, uh, two guys, uh, one was in uniform, the other was in civilian clothes. And they gave us…. It was a small group. It was about 12 of us, I guess. And uh, they gave us, uh, some more testing and it was kind of, uh, well, it was English and spelling and, you know, kind of an intelligence test of sorts, I guess. And then, uh, passed those papers in and the next day they said, okay, report to the orderly room. Went through the same routine again. We got out to the old barracks building and they said, okay, we want you to write a paper. So many words about some current event, and I didn’t know what the hell was going on in the world, but I wrote something about the United Nations. Uh, I think I think that’s what it was. And then the next time we went down to the building, the the two guys that were running the show, uh, started asking questions about everything that we had written.

AMBROZAK: And, uh, in other words, you had to defend your position or paper. And so we went through that, and each day there was some weeding out got down to me and another guy, and I said, okay, uh, we’re interested in you, you two individuals having, uh, a possible career in military intelligence. And uh, at the time, uh, I had also, uh, put in for OCS and uh, I had passed the, uh, the, the, the initial board on that. So I was, I was waiting for the word back on that as to whether or not I was going to be accepted, but I’ve been told that I probably didn’t have anything to worry about. And, uh, so I thought military intelligence, I’d be, you know, pretty interesting. And, uh, that’s a possibility. But when I asked them about, you know, how soon would I be able to go to OCS? And there was a lot of humma humma about that. It was, uh, they couldn’t guarantee anything. So I said, well, count me out because, uh, that, that was going to be, uh, the thing that was contingent on whether or not I was going to be able to get married because, uh, I didn’t think we’re going to be able to make it on that 90 bucks a month. Mhm. Uh, that I was going to get as a, uh, as a PFC. And, uh. And the other. The other big thing that came out of that, of course, was that was eventually accepted into OCS, went to… Finally got down to Benning.

AMBROZAK: Uh, to take my, uh, six-month infantry infantry course and have a, uh, an infantry platoon leader. At graduation, there were five of us that were going to Fort Bragg. And all, all the others, as far as I know, we’re going to do what they thought they were going to do. When they got into OCS infantry, they were going to become infantry platoon platoon leaders, which is what I thought I was going to do and I was going to be the very happy doing that. But as it turned out, like so many other things, uh, I was down a different road. And that road being, uh, a special warfare center. And for Fort Bragg, and I was in the first loudspeaker and leaflet company, first radio broadcasting and leaflet battalion. This was a mouthful and. And down the street from where we lived were, uh, the Special Forces folks. And then there were some, uh, civil affairs folks. And that’s what eventually made up, uh, Special Sperations, the Special Operations that we are familiar with today. At Fort Bragg. I had to do an awful lot of study and applying myself to get up on, uh, what PSYOPS was all about. At that point in time i didn’t know, but I got, I got lucky. There were a couple of captains that were doing a review and an update of the PSYOPS field manuals. They needed, uh, some, some help from somebody that could write reasonably.

AMBROZAK: And, uh, so they, uh, they grabbed me out of the classroom where I was, uh, trying to, uh, qualify for my, uh, M.O.S. in PSYOPS and, uh, sitting with them every single day. Uh, and they had been in, in the business and even as civilians had been in the kind of the behavioral sciences business, uh. They taught me a lot, and I began to feel much more comfortable. Uh, when I was telling people what I was in and what I was, what I was doing and getting, uh. Lined up to go to, uh. Southeast Asia… The selection process, uh, was, uh, kind of strange… There was a group that was told to go to a briefing room. We went to the briefing room, and, uh, there was, uh, two colonels in there that were conducting the briefing, and they said that they were going to select a PSYOP team. Uh, and they wanted to, uh, make it on an all-volunteer basis. And so they said, we’ll tell you bit by bit what’s what you’re getting into. And, uh, if at any time you want to leave the room, you can, uh. It’s, uh, I don’t know, no bad intention for intentions following it. So that’s what they did. They started out saying, hey, you’re going to go somewhere for six months TDY and you’ll be, uh, pretty much, uh, cut off in the world for that for that period of time. Highly classified, uh, mission.

HOST: And you were you were already married at this point.

AMBROZAK: Right, right. And, uh. So, uh, some people got up and they laughed and they kept whittling it down. They said, okay, you’ll be supporting Special Forces teams and there’ll be good guys and bad guys and, you know, that kind of situation. So other people left and they started interviewing people, and we got it down to about an even dozen. And during the course of the interviews, uh, these, these two colonels, uh, were trying to select people that, uh, had certain skills, had certain M.O.S.’s, so that the there’d be a diversity on the team. And, uh. One of the things that, uh, there was a lot of emphasis on was trying to pick up as much of the language as we could. And, uh, the other thing, the other thing was we got it down to that, that even dozen, uh, they said, okay, we can tell you now you’re going to Laos. And when they said that, everybody started looking around at each other and nobody out of that dozen had ever heard of the country of Laos. And, uh. It, uh, it was quite a revelation, you know, and they said, okay, now does that change anybody’s mind? And, you know, it didn’t didn’t matter. It could have been in Uzbekistan or where or wherever, because everybody that was still left had kind of bought into it. So then we started a six-week training program, uh, which the language was, was important. But we, uh, as PSY operators we’re interested in the country and the people and the, uh, the the diplomacy, uh, information… The Military that they had… The economics, all those things. Uh. All those aspects of the country. We put a man on each one of those to do the digging, and whenever he felt like he had enough to present, then he was he would present that information to the rest of the team. And so we got an area study that was put together. But it was extremely difficult because we had… No one had ever heard of Laos.

HOST: What was the objective in Laos? This would have been, what, ’59 maybe?

AMBROZAK: Six… This was ’60-’61. Okay. And, uh. They’re the main thing that they were trying to do was to prevent Laos from being, uh, pulled in by the communist forces, which were predominant in North Vietnam. And things have gotten to the point where, uh, a decision had to be made whether we were going to send in ground troops to do that, or Special Forces teams to train up the Lao Army, uh, to enable them to defend defend themselves against that threat.

HOST: So it wasn’t so much a concern that, uh. The Laotians would would join up with the North Vietnamese, it was that they might be they might be in the path of the North Vietnamese?

AMBROZAK: Well, uh, there were a lot of different ways they could, uh, provide assistance to… You know, um, uh, food, clothing, uh, give them, you know, as, as they would move, move through. If you’re moving through, uh, friendly environments a heck of a lot easier than, uh, and people helping you all the way. And that’s essentially what, uh, we were trying to, uh, prevent from happening.

HOST: So you said this was ’60 or ’61. Uh, and you arrive in Laos. This is your first time in Asia? Uh, maybe your first time outside the United States?

AMBROZAK: Yes, it was. And, uh…

HOST: What was that like for you? What do you remember most vividly about arriving in Southeast Asia?

AMBROZAK: Well, uh. Uh, so it didn’t matter where exactly, uh, we were. We were arriving because, uh, our concept of operations changed when we hit Bangkok. That was the biggest thing that that hit us. I mean, culturally, uh, it was amazing. You know, I couldn’t believe, uh, that, you know, people like this existed in the world, and, and they, uh, this, the statuary was magnificent. People living on the on the water, uh, the boat people that were, uh, going up and down the river and all of that was, uh, you know, it was so strange and really awe inspiring.

HOST: After a short break, Ray puts his skills to use in Southeast Asia. Stick around. Have you ever heard of Wall Magic? People who visit the wall talk about it. It’s that unexpected, often spiritual connection or discovery that happens when you visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It’s one of those things that if you know, you know, you’ve either experienced it or you haven’t, or maybe you’d like to, but you can’t easily get yourself to The Wall in Washington, DC. That’s exactly why VVMF created The Wall That Heals, an exact replica of The Wall at three-quarter scale that travels to communities all across America. The Wall That Heals and the Mobile Education Center that travels with it will be in Warrenton, Missouri, September 8 through 11. To see the rest of this year’s tour schedule, and to learn how you can bring the wall that heals to your town, visit For 40 years, VVMF has led the way to help heal our nation, remember those who gave all and honor all who served. Our new Legacy Endowment will ensure that we can continue honoring Vietnam veterans for the next 40 years and beyond. We launched the Legacy Endowment with a $500,000 matching gift campaign, the Legacy Challenge. Each new outright gift or gift established through a will will be matched up to 50 percent, with a maximum of $50,000 matched per gift. All qualifying gifts established or newly identified before November 12th of this year are eligible for the match. Learn more at This year, we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. To commemorate this milestone, every day at 3 p.m. eastern, we read the name of every Wall honoree who died on that date. This is in addition to the live in-person reading of the names that will be held in Washington, DC beginning on November 7th. You can visit for more information about the daily, virtual reading of the names and about the in-person event. And now back to my interview with Major Ray Ambrozak.

AMBROZAK: There was a Operation Genie. Usually in the evenings. We wound up in a hotel, uh, lobby there in town, and, uh… Planned out what was going to happen on the next day, and came up with this idea of, uh, using bottles stuffed with leaflets and, uh, dropped into those, uh, in and around those hamlets that were, uh, occupied or influenced by the Pathet Lao, which was the communist group, the communist-leaning uh group, uh, fighting group in country and, so, the way, uh, he hoped it was going to work was, uh, a lot of empty, usually empty, wine bottles. We have about 40 or 50 of those together. We had, uh, leaflets that, uh, had been run off on the mimeograph machines, and they were very rough and rough and rugged. Uh, and some of them had no text whatsoever, but they had pictures on them, drawings which, uh, kind of told the story because, uh, the, uh, the reading level wasn’t too good out there in those villages. And the idea was we were going to take off, and take off in a small plane somewhere around dusk, come in real low, uh, towards, uh, the village. That was a target. And cut the cut the engine just before you came within hearing distance of the village, and then glide over the village.

AMBROZAK: And as you were gliding over the village, take these bottles that had the leaflets in and throw toss them out. As the bottles were falling, uh, they would whistle, through the air, and it would make the sound of the Phi. The Phi were, uh, spirits. And these Phi spirits inhabited everything: the clouds and the, and the fields and the wind. And, uh, when the bottles hit the ground, of course they would break the the leaflets would spread. And they’d be released just like the… We would hope that the Phi spirit would be released and free, like the people should be released and free and that and the uh, and not occupied by the Pathet Lao or the or the North Vietnamese. Then you kick in the engine again and go on to the next, next village. But everything, everything came off just as perfect as it possibly could until they were coming back… And, uh, when they were coming back and night had fallen and they didn’t we didn’t have a, uh, lights, uh, at Luang Prabang International Airport. So, uh, we got flares and some trucks and jeeps and lined them up all the way down to the runway, and we got the, uh, got the plane back safely, um, Operation Genie.

HOST: So you came back from Laos? Uh, how long were you there?

AMBROZAK: We’re there for the, uh, full, full six months.

HOST: Yeah. So after Okinawa, did you come back stateside or did you go straight to your next assignment from there?

AMBROZAK: Well, after, uh, during Okinawa, we had another team set up and introduced into, uh, Vietnam. And, uh, that’s when we had our, uh, radio station, uh, established with, uh, the, uh, what eventually became the Studies and Observations Group. Uh, SOG I don’t know if you’ve heard of SOG before. I’m not. Uh, the most, uh. Most decorated unit in, uh, in Vietnam. Uh, and, uh. Our, uh, our objective was to establish a radio station which was broadcast to North Vietnam. And it was a joint joint venture between the US and South Vietnamese. And this was a white radio station. Are you familiar with the white? Grey? And, uh, what can I do with you?

HOST: I’m sorry.

AMBROZAK: You gotta, you gotta learn something about PSYOPs. We got, uh. White, grey and black. Which essentially, uh, tells you who initiated the particular action or event, if, it’s if it was a White event, it’s like Voice of America. That’s all white radio. Because you know who it is, okay. Putting it out and gray. Is that in between area? You don’t really know. There’s no attribution. Like a leaflet comes down and doesn’t say this was printed by the US or whatever. And then black, you say, hey, I’m this when you’re not. Mhm. So the, uh. It took, uh, several, several weeks after we got there, uh, to get to the station up and running. And we had all kinds of little, little problems. We were in a the station location was in a villa, uh, about a six-bedroom villa just outside of town. And there was an eight-foot wall all the way around the villa.

AMBROZAK: So it was it was perfect for us, because of security reasons… And there was a there was enough room in there for us to bring in our, uh, uh, all of our machinery, the, the station itself. Then we established a transmitter up near the demarcation line between North and South Vietnam. And and, uh… We flew up the taped newscasts every day. We haven’t, uh, we would have a newscast or a special feature, depending upon what it was that. And those were most of most of the things we did. And of course, there was always music filling, uh, filling the gaps, but, uh, the… the main thrust was, uh, in the in the newscast, which had to be the absolute truth of what was going on because, uh, that our credibility, uh, as a new radio station there was just hanging by a hair all the time, and it wasn’t going to take much to, uh, uh, discredit us as far as the North, uh, which was our target audience believing what they heard over, uh, our station, which was called the Voice of Freedom, and, everything was, uh, tested pretty, pretty well… And good thing it was, was one one night and I forget what night it was, but there was a destroyer out in the Gulf of Tonkin, which some North Vietnamese PT boats took, uh, took a un-liking to. And they, they launched a couple of, uh, a couple of torpedoes and. That’s right, an assault against the I think it was the USS Maddox. And, uh. Then the I don’t know if it was the following day or night or shortly after that.

AMBROZAK: The Maddox had been reinforced with the Turner Joy and an aircraft carrier. And the next, next time was which was just within a couple of days.. The next time some boats came in to, uh, rough up the US naval vessels, they didn’t do too well. And so they were some burning candles out in the Gulf of Tonkin, and then some jets from the uh, aircraft carrier hit, uh, fuel dumps on, uh, uh, on the coastal area of North Vietnam. And, uh, as a result of all, all of that, uh, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution came into being, which gave LBJ, uh, just about, uh, war, uh, wartime power. Um, so, uh, we were in the position of having to come up with, uh, the news and, and news and views of all of that and explaining to the North Vietnamese why the oil, oil dumps and gas dumps on the on the mainland had been had been hit. And so, uh, at best, the, the policies that we dealt with were very sensitive. When nothing was happening as far as North Vietnam is concerned, and there hadn’t been anything going on in North Vietnam except for some, uh, what are what were SOG activities is some bridges were blown up and few things, like few things like that because they had some deception operations going on in there. In order to give the deception operation some credibility, they had to pull off some stunts like that. But, uh. So, uh. We were very, very careful about about what we were saying. But, uh, the State Department was very, very slow in coming up with the guidance that we expected to have almost immediately.

AMBROZAK: And, uh, so the, uh, we tried to lighten it up as much as we possibly could, you know what I’m saying? No, the response was just, uh, what it should have been… It wasn’t too much. It wasn’t, uh, we, uh, were the, uh. We were the recipients of an unprovoked attack by these by these vessels. And, uh, we didn’t think it was, you know, too much of a response, but still, they they didn’t know whether or not, uh, since bombs had actually been dropped on North Vietnam for, uh, just about, well, that was probably the first time it had been done so overtly. Uh, they thought that perhaps the US was going to come in there with, uh, large military units and maybe even cross the line and come up there to, uh, move things around in North Vietnam.

HOST: Hmm…

AMBROZAK: And, uh, LBJ was not averse to having that as, uh, as the party line. And that’s pretty much what it, what it came to be after that. After, uh. Kennedy was assassinated, LBJ wanted to, uh, come up with some strong, strong moves and keep the, uh, North Vietnamese, uh, on edge as far as what our intentions were going to be. The next time. Uh, I, uh, came up on orders to go to, uh, to Vietnam. I was, uh. I was again back at back at Bragg. Uh, as, uh, as an instructor and, uh, much of the instruction was about what was going on in Vietnam. Of course. Sure. Now.

HOST: Ray. Sorry, Ray. Now, let me interrupt. So what rank are you at this point?

AMBROZAK: Captain.

HOST: What year is this now, Ray?

AMBROZAK: Um. It’s, ’66, ’66-’67. Okay. And, uh. When, uh. This this trip. When I got got to Vietnam, I was, uh, assigned to the, uh, 6th PSYOP Battalion as the S-3. And, uh, when I got there, the S-3 and the XO, uh, uh, both had come up on, uh, orders at the same time. And, uh, so they were they were short timers and the, uh, the battalion commander, Colonel Moulis, was, uh, on the, uh, on the road back to the States to do some briefings about, uh, the expansion of the 6th PSYOP Battalion into what became the 4th PSYOP Group, because people began recognizing, uh, the effect that, uh, psychological operations was having and, uh, that was pretty much across the board, up and down the country. We had, uh, captured a VC colonel, and the colonel was amenable to writing a letter back to, uh, the VC units that knew him and, uh, he had been in control of… And he was going to, uh, tell them, you know, the the, uh, the kind of reception that he received, a good, uh, you know, the good things that he was able to enjoy now, and he was appealing to them to lay down their weapons and and come in. Just bringing, if you have a safe-conduct pass, all the better. And I gave them instructions on how to use that. Anyway, we had these leaflets made up with this VC colonel and it was in the 6th Battalion headquarters, and the headquarters was in a theater. Uh, in the middle of the town was, uh, it was the biggest theater, I guess, in the country. The kinda they took….

AMBROZAK: And we took out all the seats to make room for, uh, paper storage and also, uh, the offices, you know, the S1 and S2 and all that and. One of the things, uh. The other part of the story. When you first arrived there in, uh, in Saigon, things were, uh, things were a little tight. There weren’t that many, uh, facilities available. So, uh, you stayed in a temporary B.O.Q. and a temporary barrack was, you know, an old hotel. Each of the rooms had, uh, four, 4 or 6 double bunks and, um, and, uh, on on one of the walls was the instructions. For you to follow in the event of a bomb. And in the event of an explosion and it said, roll out of your bed. And once you hit the floor, roll under the bunk and stay there for at least five minutes, because that that was their modus operandi: They have a bomb go off, wait for a crowd to gather, and then set off a second bomb within 5 or 10 minutes of the first one. And, uh, I’m thinking I’m on, I’m on the upper bunk. Those are tile floors. I am not rolling out of that, the top bunk onto that floor. I may ease my way out, you know. It was December the 4th. When the bomb went off. And they blew our headquarters to smithereens. It was only a couple of blocks away from where the temporary B.O.Q. was. And that explosion woke me up. I was on the floor before the guy on the first lower bunk even thought about getting after…

HOST: You beat him to the floor?

AMBROZAK: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Easy. And, uh, so the, uh, the explosion had completely blown off the the roof of the building. They, uh, they blew the headquarters up because they didn’t want that leaflet going out. And uh, there were, uh, I think there were 11 Purple Hearts, uh, that came out of that. Um. Yeah… So in addition to trying to keep the daily things going on. Uh, we were we were in the throes of trying to move, move the headquarters somewhere. Had to find a place to begin with. And, uh. The immediate aftermath was the engineers came down, took a look at the building and said, this is unsafe, you can’t go in the building. So so we ended up on the street. We built a… Some, some, uh, 35 gallon drums up, some little barbed wire and, uh, created an area that ran the telephone lines. So we’re literally, literally sitting out on the street, uh, conducting, uh, a normal business, the. The center of PSYOPS in Vietnam and all these quizzical eyes or, uh, circling around the barricades that we put up and people are answering the phone. They’re saying, uh, “6th PSYOP Battalion line is not secure.” And which is what you had to say every time you answered the phone, you had to say, “line is not secure.” And here are all these, these Vietnamese are circling around and they’re about ten deep. Uh, and uh, I’m saying yeah, that’s secure. Right. You get it?

HOST: You really ought to consider putting all this into a book at some point.

AMBROZAK: My wife has been after me for the past two years to to do something about it.

HOST: So why don’t you?

AMBROZAK: People would think it’s bullshit.

HOST: Ray Ambroziak joined me from his home in Harker Heights, Texas, with technical assistance from Anne, his wife of more than 60 years. If you’re like me and fascinated by this stuff, check out Operation Mincemeat on Netflix. It’s an incredible story about a real British psyop during World War Two. Fun movie. Also, just a reminder that all of the interviews we publish here on the podcast are heavily edited for time. If you ever want to hear one of these conversations in its entirety, you can find most of them on our YouTube channel. Search YouTube for Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Then click on playlists and select echoes of the Vietnam War podcast. We’ll be back in two weeks with more stories of service, sacrifice and healing. See you then.

Echoes of the Vietnam War

Full Interviews

Full Interview with Ray Ambrozak

Echoes of the Vietnam War

Show Notes

Echoes of The Vietnam War

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