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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

Dollars, dongs or Monopoly money?

November
4

I’m told American dollars are widely accepted in Vietnam. That’s a relief; we’re leaving in a few days, and I haven’t had time to try to get any Vietnamese currency (dong).

Last time my father was there, he used neither dollars nor dongs. Instead, troops carried Military Payment Certificates, which look like Monopoly money:

moneyfront2.jpg“American soldiers in Vietnam were paid with MPCs rather than actual dollars in order to prevent black market and money laundering activities,” he explains. “These notes were used just like regular dollars at the PX, officer’s and enlisted men’s clubs. Upon leaving Vietnam, a soldier turned in his MPCs and got regular dollars to go back home.”


Now, to paraphrase my old Columbia University journalism school professors, “This and $2 will get you a ride on the subway.”

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 4th, 2007 at 8:42 am by Nicole Neroulias. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Vietnam veterans, Vietnam veterans

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One Response to “Dollars, dongs or Monopoly money?”

  1. Panos Messis

    I had no idea that American soldiers in Vietnam were paid with Military Certificates,than with actual dollars.

    Thank you for the information Nicole!

    Panos Messis

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About this blog
"Return to Vietnam" chronicles the journey of Col. Andonios Neroulias USA (Ret.) of Briarcliff Manor, NY, joined by his daughter, staff writer Nicole Neroulias, to the country he fought in 40 years ago. They are traveling with Vietnam veterans and Rotarians from Rockland County and other parts of the country. Check this blog for daily posts, photos, recordings and slideshows about their experiences.
About the authors
Nicole and Andonios Neroulias

Nicole Neroulias grew up in Briarcliff Manor, NY, and graduated from Cornell University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has covered religion and city news in Cyprus, Connecticut and California, where she earned several fellowships and prizes, including a national Religion Newswriters Association award. She joined The Journal News in early 2007 and also teaches journalism at Columbia.

Col. Andonios Neroulias emigrated from Greece in 1956 and was commissioned an officer through the ROTC program of the City College of NY. From 1967-68, he served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry (Tropic Lightning) Division, whose main base was in Cu Chi, known for its intricate Viet Cong tunnels. Among his military awards are the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge. He is retired from the U.S. Army Reserve and lives in Briarcliff Manor, NY.
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