THE FIRST DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE FIRST DAY, 30 Days Has September

The door opened. It was a steel door about six inches thick, or so it seemed.  It hit with a jarring thud when its heavy flat surface pivoted down and smacked upon the mud. Sunlight shot in like a wave of heat, followed by a wave of real heat, the air-conditioned...
THE FIRST NIGHT

THE FIRST NIGHT

I followed the Buck Sergeant down through the dark muddy aisle of the Da Nang Hilton. The aisle was strewn with back packs and other field equipment I could not help running into. My flight bag was tucked under the bunk, for whatever security that might provide.

THE SECOND DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE SECOND DAY, 30 Days Has September

I could not believe I was flying into my first field experience wearing crummy Korean War utilities. I wished fervently that I’d brought my own from training. At least they would have been green instead of whatever color I now wore. Being colorblind as a Marine...
THE SECOND NIGHT, 30 days Has September

THE SECOND NIGHT, 30 days Has September

Night didn’t come easily in the Nam. The day had been a blessing compared to my first night. Moving seventeen clicks through muddy rice paddies wearing a fifty-pound pack was its own form of misery, but the brutality of Marine training had kicked in and setting one...
THE SECOND NIGHT SECOND PART

THE SECOND NIGHT SECOND PART

The radio music transmissions were supposed to stop at night but it was not full dark when my small team of scouts and radio operator went to work setting up shelter halves around them. I was afraid of the radio transmissions giving our position away. I smelled heavy...
THE THIRD DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE THIRD DAY, 30 Days Has September

Ham and Lima beans. Nobody wanted them so I took all four boxes. It was preferable to the sliced ‘spam’ I’d had before. The boxes had already been picked through for sugar and fake cream packets. I got a carton of cigarettes. Lucky Strike. I sat back against a big...
THE THIRD DAY SECOND PART

THE THIRD DAY SECOND PART

I made my way back to the Gunny. The Corpsman lay still, breathing shallowly with a poncho cover wrapped around him. The poncho covers served as our blankets, since they easily separated from the rubber liner. The air mattresses most everyone had, like mine, were...
THE THIRD NIGHT

THE THIRD NIGHT

Once again, backed into the open-sided ‘lean-to’ my ‘scout’ team had made for me, I took out my writing materials to send another letter home. It was getting too dark to write so I did the best I could since using the flashlight under a hunched over poncho cover was out of the question in the heat….

THIRD NIGHT SECOND PART

THIRD NIGHT SECOND PART

I had heard of the RPG (rocket propelled grenade), the Russian version of America’s recoilless rifle. Basically it was a small rocket fired from a shoulder mount. The rocket body, about two inches in diameter, had a warhead about four inches. Because the weapon...