What did US soldiers in Vietnam do in their spare time during the Vietnam War?
Civilians and peace time military personnel can set up a daily routine. In the “traditional wars” from Vietnam back; in which there were NO cell phones, computers, GPS systems, mini-TV’s, equal opportunity employment, environmental bullets, advanced safety military protection gear (face shields, knee pads, night vision goggles attached to the protective headgear), etc. etc. GI’s in the Vietnam War, had to do pretty much what his forefathers did in the Korean War, WWII, WWI, Spanish-American War of 1898, the US Frontier Wars, the US Civil War, etc.
And that was (for the men in the field): Sleep when ever possible, because there was NO daily routine. Shooting or explosions could come at any time, from any direction. Or “movement”. If anyone saw or heard any “movement”, action could commence at any split second. Sleep (or rest) was always wanted. Food and drink, was a constant, especially food. The army only supplied “C” rations in the field (canned food) could be heated (we found other sources to cook our food), army issued “heat tablets” took too long, wouldn’t light using a cigarette, and put out eye burning fumes when used in a bunker or inside an armored vehicle. “C” rations had to be eaten COLD at night-time because of “night discipline”…lights get shot at during the night, and worse they could draw mortar fire. Then your buddies will be very upset with the GI who showed the light.
Other than sleeping, eating, a cold beer (or soda) was excellent entertainment. Cigarettes were part of life. Inside of each “C” ration meal was factory Marlboro, Salem, Pall Malls, Camel cigarettes. SP (Sundries Paks) came Viceroy, Pall Malls, Marlboro, Salem, by the carton! Reading paperback books, and playing cards was common (Gambling). Fishing in rivers was popular, some GI’s hunted deer and other small game (no fishing/hunting license REQUIRED!).