From:  Les Arbuckle

     Date:  December 5, 2017

Subject:  AFVN Det. 5 Story (Mistitled)

Ann, My father, Navy CPO Bryant Arbuckle, flew to Saigon in the Summer of 1962, set up DOD radio equipment on the roof of the Rex hotel and began broadcasting as Armed Forces Radio Saigon. The first show broadcast was "The Dawnbuster" show (6-10AM), the same show that Adrian Cronauer later used as his launch-pad into history and onto the Silver Screen. "Doc" as we called my father, ran the station ALONE for three months until the Pentagon sent help. The rest of his family (including me at 13-years-old) went over in Jan. of 1963. A later iteration of the Dawnbuster show would also feature Pat Sajak (Wheel of Fortune). 
Unfortunately, Doc died in 1976 which means he never got to see "Good Morning, Vietnam." I'm sure it would have pleased him no end. 
Around five years ago, I contacted Adrian Cronauer and asked him if he would consider writing a foreword to my book. He declined, saying that he "might want to revisit Vietnam in my writings" and would then have to be concerned about plagiarism issues (You know how lawyers are...). The book is out now, without a foreword, but it's doing well anyway (Saigon Kids, A Military Brat Comes of Age in 1960's Vietnam). 
Just thought you might want to hear a little bit about the genesis of AFRS.

Merry Christmas!

Les Arbuckle 

In a message dated November 23, 2016, Mike McNally wrote:  Les Arbuckle, son of AFRS's Navy CPO Bryant "Buck" Arbuckle, is publishing a new memoir.  

Les left a message at the Saigon Kids American Community School website. 

He previously left a bio of his dad at the MACOI site.

As some of you may know, for the last fourteen years I have been working on a memoir about the eighteen months I spent in Saigon (1963-64).  In 2010 I acquired a literary agent and we set about pursuing a publishing deal.  After many years and dozens of rejections, we have finally found and signed with a reputable publisher and have begun the process of bringing my manuscript to market.  If all goes as planned, the book will be available in retail stores and online in August of 2017.  My story, in many ways, is your story, too.  You may remember things differently, but memory is a fickle thing.  I can recall many of the most mundane, ordinary events of this time as clearly as if they happened yesterday, while some of the more dramatic life-changing ones are hazy and undefined in my mind.  I hope my book brings back as many fond memories for you as writing it did for me.  The Saigon we knew was a wonderful, sometimes terrifying city, and the Saigon Kids were special people, with a unique and (so far) unacknowledged place in history.

     From:  Steve Sevits

     Date:  November 5, 2017

Subject:  Navy Chief Arbuckle  [In response to a message titled "Navy Chief goes Fishing"]

Even us Army guys are well aware that Chiefs run the entire Navy and everything around them. 
At AFRS Saigon I was privileged work for Chief Arbuckle and while there was no question as to who was in charge, it was a great experience observing how he handled people and working for him. 

Individual Photo Albums & Stories

Bryant J. "Buck" Arbuckle,  CPO, USN  

Station Manager, Saigon  (62)

    From:  Les Arbuckle

     Date:  November 5, 2017

Subject:  Navy Chief Arbuckle  [In response to a message titled "Navy Chief goes Fishing"]

Steve, It's always interesting to hear about my father from the people he worked with. I never got to know him very well because he died so young and I was either in the Army or college, far from home. The way we perceive our parents when we're young can be very different from the way we come to know them once we have outgrown the fires of our youth and gained the insights that only maturity and experience can provide.

Thanks for the insight!

Les Arbuckle,  Author of "Saigon Kids"


     From:  Les Artuckle

     Date:  October 25, 2017

Subject:  I'll be Signing Copies of "Saigon Kids" this....

I'll be signing copies of "Saigon Kids" this weekend at the B+N in Temecula, CA from 11-2 pm and the B+N in Encinitas, CA from 7-10 PM. In spite of what the title suggests, "Saigon Kids" is not your average "kids" story and is intended for mature audiences, especially Cold War era military and Foreign Service Brats. For all you military Brats, my memoir is, in many ways, your story, too. I just wish my father (AFRS Saigon and AFRTS N. Hollywood) could have lived to see that there's a place (this facebook site) where military broadcasters can stay in touch.    From:  Joe Green

     Date:   August 5, 2017

Subject: "Saigon Kids" by Les Arbuckle
The son of AFVN legend Chief Bryant "Bucky" Arbuckle has published his book about life in wartime Saigon.   I found it listed for pre-order on Amazon with a publish date of 22 August.
Les, the Chief's son, a few years back authored his bio on the MACOI Website.  

A few excerpts from his email follow:
"My book is available online at Amazon, Barnes+Nobles, IndieBook, Books a Million, and Powell's books. It will also be available wherever books are sold. I'm a dinosaur, preferring hard copy over Kindle. I will be signing stock at various bookstores around SoCal at some point. Can't sign a Kindle version...
"Please tell everyone you can about my book. It took a long time and much effort to get it to market, and I'd be very happy if it sells well. It's the first Military Brat memoir to find a regular publisher, and the only memoir I know of that details the violence and chaos in Saigon (circa 1963-64) and its effect on the American families that lived there.
"I'm hoping to pick up a little interest from people who see Ken Burns' new documentary (debuting September 17th) about the Vietnam War and then hear about my book. I've hired a publicist to set up some radio interviews, as well.
"I buy a lot of books online, but I make a point of going to my local booksellers, also. When I'm browsing a bookstore I usually run into stuff I might never see online.
"Your friends can find some info here, at my website:
"In the book I recount a lot of rebellion and some hard, negative feelings I had towards my father when I was young. He died before I could get to know him without the baggage of my adolescence hanging around my neck."​

Here are a few words about Les from the Amazon listing:

"In the years between his birth in 1949 and his nineteenth birthday, Les lived in Texas, North Carolina, Florida, New Mexico, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Hawaii and Vietnam, as a dependent of the US Navy. In June of 1962, his father, Bryant Joseph Arbuckle, (Journalist CPO, US Navy) was sent to Saigon, Vietnam to start the Armed Forces Radio Station. Les and the rest of the family (Lynn, Lowell, and their mother, Margaret Arbuckle) moved to Saigon in January,1963, where they lived for a tumultuous and often violent eighteen months. In 1964, Chief Arbuckle and family were transferred to Los Angeles, California, then to Norfolk, Virginia. After a stint as a saxophonist in the US Army Band (1968-71), Les moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he attended Berklee College of Music, and New England Conservatory. Les is married to vocalist/educator and longtime Berklee Professor Joyce Lucia, and has a daughter, Emily Arbuckle, who is an Archivist, living in New York City. Les and Joyce now live in Carlsbad, CA. Les has performed with a variety of musical acts including The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Lou Rawls, Vanessa Williams, Bernadette Peters, The San Diego Symphony Summer Pops Orchestra and The Artie Shaw Orchestra. His recordings for the Audioquest label are available at and feature well-known jazz musicians Kenny Barron, Mike Stern, Cecil McBee, John Abercrombie and Victor Lewis. Les currently owns, a vintage saxophone repair and sales shop with an international following. He has completed two fantasy novels (as yet unpublished), and is working on a novel set among the burlesque clubs of downtown Boston in the 1970's. The foremost among Les's other interests is surfing, and he currently spends far too many hours in the water at Swami's, in Encinitas, CA."

The book, per Amazon, is available electronically or in paperback.