The idea that Hillary Clinton was ever in a war zone with bullets flying and immediate safety concerns on a high alert has been proved to be only fanciful attempts by the Clinton campaign to win the Democratic nomination. And her assertion that she was the first wife of a president to be in a war zone since Eleanor Roosevelt is absolutely untrue.
Pat Nixon flew to Vietnam during the war in July 1969 and the scene can be viewed by the words and picture of that trip.
“We flew more than 1,500 feet above the ground in case of enemy fire,” Boyer says, “with fighter jets above and scores of helos flying under and around us for maximum protection. We even put down bullet proof mats on the helo floor.
“The Secret Service was against the trip,” Boyer says, “because the entire country was a war zone.”
In addition there is a passage in a biography of Pat Nixon by Julie Nixon Eisenhower that gives a description that makes Hillary Clinton’s trip seem like one to Disneyland.
Precautions for Mrs. Nixon’s security made her contacts with the Vietnamese during the one-day visit very difficult. At the Thuduc orphanage, where 774 children were housed, the hordes of Secret Service agents, reporters, military guards, and the din of the army helicopters whirring overhead all but drowned out any words spoken inside the buildings constructed years before by the French. As Mother emerged from the hospital, she saw fighter jets above the thick shield of circling helicopters. Their shrill whine added to the overpowering noise.
Soon she was in an open-door military helicopter flying 18 miles north of Saigon to visit the 24th Evacuation Hospital at Long Binh. Occasionally she caught glimpses of scattered U.S. troops on the ground below. The agents who traveled with her were armed with machine guns and bandoliers loaded with cartridges slung across their shoulders. In the news dispatches filed from Saigon on July 30, one correspondent wrote:
“Mrs. Richard Nixon risked her safety and possibly her good relations with some diplomats, brass and bureaucrats in Vietnam today. In trips to an orphanage, to a GI field hospital, and her exchanges with high-ranking officials, she made it clear she had little time for high-level formalities and wanted to see more of the men who were hurt and the children who had suffered….At the hospital, officials tried to tell her all about what they do. She brushed them aside. ‘I don’t really want to learn about the hospital. I came to see the boys,’ Mrs. Nixon said.”