THE TWENTY-FIRST DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE TWENTY-FIRST DAY, 30 Days Has September

The sounds of the Bong Song’s nearby rushing waters, the whap whap whap of the descending chopper’s supersonic blade-tips rotating, and the rest of the valley background sounds all faded into non-existence, as four Skyraiders came down the valley from the north, no...
THE TWENTY-SECOND DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE TWENTY-SECOND DAY, 30 Days Has September

Corporal Mike Riorden was the Ontos Commander, although everyone called him Rio, like the city because his roots were from somewhere down in South America. The Ontos crew loved the Ontos, and I was almost certain their love had little to do with the machine’s armor or...
TWENTY-SECOND NIGHT, 30 Days Has September

TWENTY-SECOND NIGHT, 30 Days Has September

I stared at Jurgens, waiting for an apology I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear, and damned well knew I didn’t want to accept. The man was the epitome of a phrase I’d never used in my lifetime and had only heard about in occasional passing while I was in college. White...
TWENTY-THIRD DAY, 30 Days Has September

TWENTY-THIRD DAY, 30 Days Has September

I scrambled, slid and crabbed my way through the low growing debris spread like small islands of living flora all over the mud flat I was trapped on. The NVA gunners had opened up high or were trying to take out the Ontos instead of shooting at a few scavengers trying...
TWENTY-FOURTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

TWENTY-FOURTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

First light was almost upon us. I peered around the left edge of the ammo box. What I saw told me that there would be no more pawing around through the supplies dropped by the choppers in the dead of night. Through the misty rain, and what was left of the gently...
TWENTY-FIFTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

TWENTY-FIFTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

The only 25 series radio military occupational specialty in the company, not already serving one of the platoon commanders, was Hultzer. The only thing I knew about him was that he had been assigned to one of the Project Hundred Thousand privates sent in by special...
THE TWENTY-SIXTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE TWENTY-SIXTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

A cacophony of open combat fire sent me as deep into the jungle floor as I could get. The sound was pure small arms fire, which at close range, with the Marines around me firing outward, didn’t sound so small. I crawled forward, eventually running into the feet, legs,...
TWENTY-EIGHTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

TWENTY-EIGHTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

The engagement with the enemy began while it was still full dark. The Ontos fired into the general area near the western wall at its base, and flung flechettes across the open exposed area in front of it. With the artillery still coming in, responding to successive...
TWENTY-EIGHTH NIGHT, 30 Days Has September

TWENTY-EIGHTH NIGHT, 30 Days Has September

The six of us moved on our bellies, out toward the jumbled remains in the killing field of the mud flat, as one, without any signal. The ability of Marines in combat to need a whole lot less signals and orders than the guys doing all the training back home thought...
THE TWENTY-NINTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE TWENTY-NINTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

THIRTY DAYS HAS SEPTEMBER The Twenty-Ninth Day I lay in the muck of oozing mud seeping slowly up through the packed, cracked and broken debris of jungle detritus and aging decay. The smell was of the damaged sort I’d come to know as my home away from home down inside...
THE TWENTY-NINTH DAY, SECOND PART, 30 Days Has September

THE THIRTIETH DAY, 30 Days Has September

I had the leg strength. I’d always had the legs. The records that had fallen to me in the obstacle course, running, and other military skills during officer candidate school and the Basic School had all been functions of lower body strength and agility. The glacis was...