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Vietnam vets Roy Tschudy and Bruce McClintock of Suffern hold an original tape from Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow and a letter from a 1968 hour segment of WABC 77 broadcast sent to and dedicated to soldiers in Vietnam on Feb. 26, 2014. / Ricky Flores/The Journal News

It was the Mekong Delta, late February or early March 1968, and one soldier from New York had heard enough of local radio's offerings.

"All we got was Vietnamese or country and western," recalled Roy Tschudy, then an 18-year-old from the Bronx serving with the Army's 271st Aviation Company. "Country and western, for the guys from the South, they were grateful for it. But we're from New York, and we were like, 'You got to be kidding me.'"

So the Army specialist fourth class, two months into his tour of duty, took a break from perimeter duty and wrote to a popular Top 40 radio host back home, asking for help.

He addressed his letter to Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, who hosted a show on WABC-AM. Three weeks later, Tschudy received a manila envelope in Can Tho. It contained a reel-to-reel tape and a letter from Morrow.

"Hi Fellas! Here is the tape of my show that you requested," Morrow wrote. "Please pass it around to as many companies as you can since we have only been able to send out a limited number of these tapes."

The opening song was Mrs. Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel and, after a Coca-Cola commercial, Morrow told his audience that the show was being taped "for the boys."

"All the guys will be listening to the show maybe a couple of weeks from now in Vietnam," Morrow said. "We love you."

He mentioned soldiers in Vietnam a couple of more times during the one-hour broadcast.

Tschudy said he and his fellow soldiers, mainly from the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia area, enjoyed the tape so much they played it almost every day.

"It just made us feel like we were home," Tschudy recalled, who now lives in Suffern, N.Y. "It made us feel that somebody cared enough for us, that we weren't forgotten."

After his 13-month tour, Tschudy left Vietnam, but the tape stayed behind for his fellow soldiers.

In 1990, Tschudy called in to Morrow's show to thank him. "I just can't tell you what it did to us. It picked up all our spirits," Tschudy told Morrow on the air. "The tape was replayed and replayed for the whole year."

Morrow interrupted: "Listen!" he said. "Thank YOU!"

"Can you imagine? I mean what these people did for us, did for the country," Morrow told the radio audience. "We're always indebted to what you did. Hey! Listen guys, gals. We are always being indebted to what you did over there. We didn't understand it first, but now we do."

About a month and a half ago, Tschudy said, an Army buddy, Jimmy Quinn, called from Texas to say he had found the 1968 tape in the bottom of an old dresser.

Tschudy, 64, was reunited with the tape after 45 years. A neighbor volunteered to digitize it so Tschudy could listen to it with his CD player.

The tape, and Morrow's letter, was part of a presentation for Suffern middle-school students on Monday by Rockland County Chapter 333 of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

The memorabilia will be taken to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington to become part of the collection of the National Parks Service Museum and Resource Center.

Want to help veterans?

Rockland County Chapter 333 of the Vietnam Veterans of America has been collecting donations to purchase handcycles for veterans suffered spinal cord injury or amputation during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Send checks to Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 333, PO Box 243, New City, NY 10956.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Vietnam veteran reunited with '68 radio tape

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