Phil Granado, and I must have had similar DEROS (date leaving Vietnam) dates because I remember him being around until late in my tour. This picture would have been taken early on, as my Polaroid camera still worked and the climate hadn’t killed my watch.
We are sitting on the back of the personnel bunker having a smoke. All the canisters that we are sitting on contain our personal things, clean uniforms and such.
The SP carton (unexpected goody box) under the tarp was something units that were stuck in the field were regularly supplied with. It was full of sundries: candy, tobacco products, shaving cream, tooth paste, soap, etc. You took what you wanted. Some things were we used for trading with the Vietnamese: soap for one, Pall Mall cigarettes, and Salems. Years later, I found out that the Vietnamese liked Salem because it was the brand that Ho Chi Minh smoked.
One other item in the SP pack were Tropical Bars, these were chocolate bars that wouldn’t melt in the heat. They also wouldn’t melt in your mouth. They were terrible. The joke was that if you were convoying through a Vietnamese village and you threw one of these Tropical Bars to the kids there, that they would throw them back twice as hard.