There was no hooch for Captain Casey. The remnants of his tent lay scattered about the sand, a testament to the power of the Chicom 82mm mortar rounds that had impacted, taking Billings’ life with them. Only Billings’ bloody poncho survived, along with some items from Casey’s pack. Pilson scrubbed the dead lieutenant’s poncho near the edge of the sand, occasionally stopping to look up, as if to assure himself that no additional mortar fire was forthcoming, before going back to work. Night was coming, which would bring its own form of concealment but no cover. The jungle trees and other growth were the only covering protection available to any of them.
There was a loose perimeter the Gunny had put together after Billings’ body had been dealt with, and the effects of the mortar strike were over. I helped Fusner find a place for my hooch twenty feet deep inside the jungle bracken, backed up to a stand of old bamboo stalks. The rest of my informally reassembled scout team was nearby, set in around and under the same overhanging fronds of the stand. The Gunny made his way through the path we’d worn over to the sandy area. He squatted down, but made no move to make coffee.
“Where is he?” I asked, sitting comfortably as possible in the center of my poncho liner, preparing to write another letter home before I lost the light entirely. I was greasy again from covering myself with the repellant. The mosquitos in the valley were large, and their bites painful.
“Checking the perimeter and probably looking for you since he has no minions left,” the Gunny said, his tone one of mild disgust.
“We’re backed up to the river with the perimeter?” I asked, not giving our hastily erected defenses much thought, at first.
“That’s the captain’s plan all right,” the Gunny replied.
“I wonder how deep the river is,” I replied, absently, my mind forming the letter I was going to write about the beauty of the river and the sand. I would change the color of the river to a sort of clear blue, or maybe aquamarine. If the river was to be considered a defensive barrier, then it couldn’t be easily fordable.
“Hell, I don’t know,” the Gunny said, “I’ve never been this far downriver in the valley. Last time I came straight over from Hue. Pilson’s scrubbing out the captain’s boots. I told him to check the depth of the river, while he was at it.”
I knew Hue to be well north of our current position. I also knew a river’s breadth wasn’t always a good indicator of its depth, and what could be shallow in some areas could be relatively deep in others.
“Fucking Bong Song, or Song Bong,” the Gunny went on, his tone becoming one of derision. “They’re all the same names. Different rivers but same names, and they all suck.”
I didn’t mention that the word ‘song’ in Vietnamese meant wave, as in river wave. The real name of the river that flows through the A Shau, now our river, is the Rao Lao, often referred to as the Song Lao.
“We can’t have the river at our back unprotected if it’s shallow enough to cross,” I said, trying to figure out how to write my wife about what the words bong and song meant.
It was interesting stuff to write about, and nothing like what had happened to Billings earlier. Or what his body had looked like. Or the expression on his face and in his open staring eyes. He’d looked at me with a grim understanding acceptance. It was a dead man’s expression, but I knew it would live on with me, although probably not for long. It was like the man had known he was going to die. I knew I was going to die but I prayed there would be no acceptance of my facial features when I went. Angry as hell, maybe. I’d have liked to write that in my letter to the only confidant I could trust. She was four thousand miles away, though, and she was a confidant I couldn’t say a word to, even in a letter that probably wouldn’t reach her for weeks.
“Can Pilson swim?” I asked, putting an exclamation point on my river description sentence in the letter with satisfaction.
The Gunny didn’t answer me. I looked up and our eyes met.
“Shit,” I said, jamming my unfolded, and barely started letter into my left thigh pocket.
I quickly got to my feet and then trotted down the path toward the sand and the river. I heard the Gunny leap up after me. I knew without looking that Fusner wouldn’t be far behind.
Captain Casey stood at the edge of the sand, studying a section downriver where the slow-moving water ran under a huge overhanging tree, and then disappeared around a sharp bend.
“Where’s your stuff?” he asked, as I stopped right next to him, shading my eyes against the sun’s fading reflection off of the water.
“Shit,” I said again, dropping to the sand and working as fast as I could to get my boots off, wishing I had a pair of zippered paratrooper boots I’d once seen at a PX.
Pilson was in the river all right and coming downstream faster than the current seemed to be flowing. He wasn’t swimming. He was struggling to stay on the water’s surface and stay alive, and he was losing the battle. I took it all in with one glance. He was not only drowning. He was drowning without letting go of his rifle. He was also conclusively proving that the river was too deep to wade across.
I hit the Song Lao with a surface dive, my background as a surfer in Hawaii, a one-meter diver in high school and two years of lifeguard training all finally coming into play. I’d sat in lifeguard chairs thru two summers and never saved anyone. The dive was perfect, my head barely went under before I was breast-stroking gently, watching Pilson come right to me, down the very center of the moving water. I didn’t like the fact that the end of his M-16 barrel was swinging and plunging all over the place. Just before we made contact, I went under. I took him at the waist and then swung around to my right, crooking his torso with my open left arm until I could grasp him by the material of his utility blouse. Because of his kicking and carrying on with the gun I could not get control of him or move him through the water toward either bank. I thrust myself upward above the surface and took a huge breath, before sinking down. I pulled Pilson with me, both hands entangled in his uniform. I found what I was seeking. The bottom. It was sand. I pushed Pilson upward without letting go of his uniform, once, and then again. I began bouncing him toward the near shore. It took two more surfacings and innumerable bounces before I had him in water shallow enough to walk him onto the lower bank of the river.
The Gunny and the captain were there to haul him in. I crawled out of the water and sat on the bank. A life-sucking fatigue had come over me, as soon as I touched the sand. Fusner brought me my boots and helped me get to my feet. I walked in my socks back to my hooch, making sure to put my boots on and lace them up first thing after sitting down. I was soaked with river water. I went to work rubbing more repellant onto all of my exposed skin.
All I wanted to do was lay down, but I realized immediately that that wasn’t going to happen because the Gunny was back, a soaked Pilson plodding behind him. Pilson hadn’t come to thank me, however. He’d come because he had his radio strapped back on and was accompanying Captain Casey. Rittenhouse straggled behind the small party, swinging his ever-present clipboard and wearing a sharpened pencil behind his right ear.
I pulled the partially written letter from my pocket. It was so much mush. The government pen marks were indelible, but the paper itself had turned to a blue pile that looked like a soggy stack of used Kleenex. I tossed the mess off my poncho liner into the brush.
“Leave nothing for the enemy,” Casey said. “Field strip your cigarettes. You learned that like I did back at Basic School.”
“Cigarettes?” I asked, in surprise. I wanted to ask him what cigarettes he was referring to but decided to ignore the comment instead.
Fusner gently retrieved my letter of mush, and put it into his own trouser pocket, like the wet paper held dog poop or something at its center.
“What did we learn here?” Casey asked, when the rest of us were down, with him trying to pace in front of us but having a tough time because it’s hard to pace in the jungle foliage. Rittenhouse hung back deeper in the bracken until he saw Nguyen come out of the bush near to his side. He moved closer to the captain’s back, looking to see where Nguyen was but the Montagnard disappeared again, like the silent leopard he was.
Nobody said anything back in reply to the captain’s question.
“I’ll tell you what we learned, Junior, and the rest of you,” the captain began. “We learned that you don’t send Marines into deep water unless they can swim and all Marines can’t swim. We all go through drown-proofing in training but that’s not the same.”
I looked over at the Gunny but he looked away. Rittenhouse was taking notes, probably about my sending Pilson into the water without checking to see if he could swim.
“And, for anybody else in this company, Junior, saving the man would earn a decoration. But, since you sent him in and since you are something of an officer, saving him was what you had to do to balance the scales and it’s also your job to take care of my men.”
I looked at the Gunny again. This time he met my eyes and smiled. I smiled back, although mine lacked his depth of meaning. A decoration. The word made me think of something that went on top of the frosting on a cake. I knew the Gunny felt the same way. I was, however, a little tired of the Gunny pulling every stunt in the book and getting away with it at my expense.
“How are your boots, sir?” I asked, in the most innocent tone I could manage.
I watched the smile disappear from the Gunny’s face in an instant.
“Funny you should ask,” Casey said, continuing his ragged pacing, trying to overlook the fact that although he was attempting to pull off a parade ground swagger the jungle wasn’t cooperating.
“Rittenhouse tells me that sometimes the men put a repellant in their boots to give them lesions so they can get to the rear. Apparently someone put a repellant in my boots. The Gunny here is looking into who might have done that.”
Captain Casey stared unblinkingly into my eyes, stopping his pacing to wait.
I knew once again that I was not the Gunny’s equal when it came to playing mental games in the running or leading of the company. Somehow, everything negative that happened twisted about and came right back at me.
“They always hit us at night, sir,” I said, hoping to veer away from the subject I’d opened up. “I’ve heard that our mission is to head upriver to secure an old landing zone and hold it so the South Vietnamese can build a firebase there.”
“What does that have to do with being hit tonight?” Casey replied, suddenly remembering where he was.
He removed his eagle-like gaze from me long enough to take a look around, although there was nothing but jungle to see.
“We always move in the day,” I answered, relieved that I was able to steer the conversation into an area I had some knowledge about. “Tomorrow’s move is about ten clicks. That’s only six or seven miles. Why don’t we move tonight? We’ll surprise the enemy if they’re planning something and as long as we stay on this bank of the river we’re protected by the river on our left flank and the cliff on our right.”
I knew we could be shot at from the other side of the river, or even from high atop the cliff, but the risks seemed smaller than just sitting where we were with an enemy that not only had the position registered for mortar fire but also likely knew that the company would be headed upriver the next day.
“We’re just getting set in here,” Casey replied.
I waited, trying to get to know the man. Casey made almost instant decisions, but then almost invariably changed his mind after thinking about the decisions he’d made. The man used decisions like they were flexible experiments only thrown out to see how they’d be received.
“I suppose you have some silly name for this new plan, Junior?” he mused, rubbing his chin with his right hand, and staring off into the bush like there was something to see.
“Night and Day,” Stevens said.
I looked at my Scout Sergeant in surprise. I’d just thought of the plan a few minutes before. ’ had shared those thoughts with no one.
“I see there was a planning meeting that I missed out on,” Casey said, amazing me with the accepting tone of his voice, like having a meeting behind his back to apply company tactics was quite okay.
“Gunny, I presume you’re in, or Junior wouldn’t be presenting this Night and Day plan to me?” Casey asked.
I watched the Gunny’s face break from its usual expressionless series of facial planes into a frowning mess.
“Well, sir, we don’t move much at night because friendlies that do usually get ambushed. The gooks are out there everywhere.”
I stared into the Gunny’s eyes like Casey had stared into mine about the repellant. The Gunny looked away first.
“But I have to admit that Junior’s strange plans have worked okay so far,” the Gunny squeezed out in a voice that seemed to be more in agony than agreement. “But I don’t like the name. It’s too tacky and it’s the name of a song I don’t like.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. The name of the plan? We were hours from getting hit in the night with mortars, and maybe more, and the seasoned Gunny I knew was quibbling over a dumb name Stevens had come up with?
“We’ll call it Night Moon then,” Casey said, with another of his experimental decisions.
“Fine,” I said, more in exasperation than anything else.
I was going to have to talk to Casey about calling me Junior. He quoted the dictums learned at the Basic School but then didn’t follow them himself. The nickname was not a good thing. At the same time, it diminished me it made me into a sort of Junior of Vietnam. Lawrence had not fared so well with his fame. I knew my life might be a whole lot shorter but I didn’t want my slimmest chance for survival to end up with going home as Junior anything for the rest of my ill-gotten fame-abbreviated life.
“We’ll kick off from the line of departure one hour from sundown,” Captain Casey said, holding up his left wrist. “We should synchronize our watches.”
“Fine,” I said again, in defeat. None of us knew what time sundown was going to be but that didn’t seem to matter. Maybe I’d find out if Casey’s watch kept as good a time as Gus Grissom’s Omega. We synchronized our watches.
I retreated back under my poncho before taking it down. I wanted to get the letter ready for home. I was going to write about the river and the valley but I also wanted to write about Casey because I might read the letter one day, if my wife saved it, and be able to laugh myself into old age when I could laugh again.
I worked on the letter for half an hour. It was getting too dark to see when the Gunny appeared outside the open vent.
He squatted down in his familiar pose.
“Are we square?” he asked, and then waited.
“Of course,” I replied, telling the straight truth. Crooked, conniving and feral as he was, I knew the Gunny was why I was still alive and why I might have had any shred of hope in living to go home.
“Casey,” I said, and then smiled my best fake smile.
“Casey,” he repeated, waiting.
“The Night Moon Plan,” I said. “There’s no moon tonight.”
The Gunny started to laugh and, although I didn’t join him in that, his laughing made me feel good.
Jim, couple more. Seems like I’ve been through here before but they keep popping up. The story is so good, these little typos just get glided over. Later, Dave.
… into deep water unless they can (swim Junior,) and all Marines can’t swim. => (swim, Junior,)
Why don’t we move tonight? We’ll surprise the enemy if (their) planning something and … => they’re
Again noted and corrected,
I will never forget the first time I encountered incoming mortars. They are spooky. My platoon had just moved to a new position for a platoon patrol base and we were settling in. It was common for troops to use the assistance of C-4 to help them dig their foxholes in the clay. I heard a loud explosion. I called out to remind everyone to call out “fire in the hole” before setting off C-4. Just then another loud explosion went off on the other side of the hill. No doubt – a bracket. This explosion was followed by a radio transmission from a security patrol that announce they heard a mortar being fired about 100 meters from their position. They reported that the were moving in on the position of the mortar. I radioed back, “the hell with that, they are firing on us, open up on them.” The mortars ceased. Yeah, mortars are spooky, ’cause you can’t hear them coming in.
Nope. Unless you hear the launch you are in the shit. Fortunately, the launch of those
things is really loud. The big ones are the worst. The 4.2 stuff of ours fired so far away
nobody could hear the launch. That 120mm they had could fire five miles and launched a missle about the
same size as a 105mm howitzer round. Tough stuff. Thanks for the experience and the support…
I was down in the Mekong Delta at Dong Tam 9th Infrantry,and you could here the motar round leaving the tube.Charlie would start walking them a mile a way or so,and walk them back and fourth taking out as much as they could before the 155s zeroed in on them.Was in a bunker during one attack durning Tet received a direct hit by either a mortar or a 120,my ears are still ringing.Thanks for sharing you tour with all of us can’t wait for day twelve.
Bunkers were great for mortars, as they did not have the ‘dig’ of artillery incoming.
Most of their terrible damage was done to undefended troops or Marines out in the field.
Thanks for writing about your experiences here.
In the Cavs division base camp @ the golf course (An khe) a piss tube took a direct hit from a mortar round in our company’s area & blew its contents over everything nearby. Found 30 days on Facebook. Brings back memories buried long ago. I can’t imagine putting myself out there like you have With 30 days.
1st Air Cav 66-67. I was one of the lucky ones & left 1 month before the Tet offensive.
Thanks for the straight comment about your own service Phil. Some amazingly funny shit happens in the field.
Thanks for making us all smile over that one.
Glad you were lucky…
Hey Strauss! Still pedaling my sore old ass around SE USA. Got Florida, Alabama and most of Mississippi behind me. Roughly 550 miles from jump off at St. Augustine. The first night in quite a while that we’re close enough to real civilization for me to get “connected” and caught up with 30DHS. I stayed with one of my closest friends from TBS days for a night and day in Alabama and introduced him to your work. We followed a similar path in drawing the lucky card that kept us from being in your boots and getting killed. With what you’ve already been through by the 11th night, I’m amazed at your compassion for Kelley. As hard as I try not to, I’m always inserting myself in your spot. I’m generally exceptionally patient, but when the patience is expended, I’m bat shit crazy. Kelley would have put me there, particularly with his blase failure to accept his role in the death of Billings. You’re a complicated man. We do need to spend some time talking face to face some future day. It’s Sunday, and I missed Mass. I hate doing that. I’m going to give my “Peace be with You”, to you instead.
Casey, not Kelley. Freudian slip. You’ve got enough to do without correcting my mistakes.
Nah, I got it going in. I know where the Conway is coming from all the time. Out there on Life’s Highway
drumming out the miles running from demons he doesn’t really have with a constant laughing companion
who knows it all and doesn’t care…I’m smiling here at you and your wife’s travel…and travail out there
as I write back here (actually I’m at the Turtle Bay right now on Oahu).
Semper fi, my friends,
Hell, John, I was mad at everyone just about all the time!
If I wasn’t outright being the subject of their murderous intent or they my own!
Emotions ran extremely high. There was no reason for us to be put out there to die with
such abandon and then leaving us alone, except for all the supplies and fire support
we could ever want or need. Like rich parents dumping their kids at a very terminally dangerous summer camp.
But there we were and trying to accommodate a bunch of whacked out uneducated brats loaded with varieties of
life and combat experience not truly knowable was more than a human challenge. I was an ‘alien’ for awhile in
life and somehow, like Rod Serling wrote about the twilight zone…
I made past the sign post up ahead…
wherever the hell that is.
I am out there on the road with you…
smiling and enjoying the trip…
Lt General Harold G Moore
got his closure today. R.I.P.
“There is no such thing as closure for soldiers who have survived a war. They have an obligation, a sacred duty, to remember those who fell in battle beside them all their days and to bear witness to the insanity that is war.”
Thanks for the quote. Sacred is a word I might not have chosen to write if I had penned that quote.
The obligation of remembering has proven to be quite a burden to so many not given the ability to carry
that load. Interesting comment though.
Thank you for putting it up here.
Hal was frequently a man worthy of quotation. He exhibited good understanding of History and the human condition. His teaching time gave us Great Warriors too.
I ponder heavily his death on his wife’s Birthday, just 2 days prior to his 95th. I think there is meaning there on a scale I may never understand.
So sorry about this loss. Hard. Good men are so hard to lose because there’s just not that many
of them were are ever exposed to,..and then mostly we don’t know how great they are until they are gone!
Thanks for writing about it here….I care, and so do a whole lot of these guys…
Hello Jim, Just stumbled unto your site on facebook, through a posting by another vet’s wife. Had many “contact fire mission over” calls in the fdc, 1st Cav. 1970-71. Being mortared was my constant fear, nothing compared to walking in the jungle at night I’m sure. Went on one short daytime excursion outside the perimeter to practice grenade throwing as I recall, but returned with many leeches.My first mortar experience, just days after being assigned to an outfit was sheer terror as it was from a captured 120mm.
From then on I could awake instantly from the thump of a launched round in the jungle, wondering is this the one?
Subscribed and looking forward to the rest of the story.
God bless you!
Yes, Bob…all of that…and being out there was something.
At least I never had that delayed fear of waiting for something to happen.
It was happening all the time. I think if I got a leech on my neck today
I’d probably croak on the spot. Getting mortared in as set in position is
lousy because the solution in the bush is to run and dive into whatever pile of
jungle crap is around. Absorption and then the fact that if they mortared you
they’d probably measured the distance to their target carefully. They could not
launch zone fire stuff because they just didn’t have the ammo, thank God.
Thanks for the straight stuff and for following the story…
We used to set up a Perimeter at night and then in the Middle of the Night move and surround a Village hoping to Kill or Catch any VC that were visiting their Wives or Girlfriends that night,,,,don’t remember it ever working and as We surrounded the Village the Dogs almost always gave us away,,,sometimes after the Company set up a Perimeter with full size shovels and picks and axes, digging Bunkers and cutting down trees to lay on top of sandbags and then sandbags on top of the logs for overhead cover with trip flares and claymore mines surrounding the Perimeter,,,at dusk the LP’s Listening Posts and Ambushes went out and set up,,,sometimes not always after set up would move in the dark to another location and set up….
I guess I could be pithy and say ‘my but weren’t those the days’ and nights. But it was
a lot of labor staying alive and trying to deal with an ever present but nearly invisible
enemy. Thanks for you observant comments.
PTSD – Primordial Total Survival Defense. Though my time in Nam was nothing like yours, once one goes Primordial, in my opinion, that trigger is always there I live with it, go to group, and remember.
There is a certain catharsis in reading your story. Glad that my tour was not so rough yet guilty that some, like you, carried a disproportionate load.
I preferred the night, the birds lizards and monkeys were the best tell tells that something was moving. well enough for now. I will comment again I am sure. Thank you so much for writing this. I envy your talent.
Glenn. (Mustang Major)
Thanks or the kind comment Glenn, and the insightful commentary.
I am glad that your own tour was not so rough and I hope many more
who read this story can say the same. There was a great deal of luck
in whom you served with and where you served over there. Some good and some
not so good.
Thanks again for the motivation to keep going.
Ten lines from the end does not make sense to me, “… when the Gunny pulled appeared outside the vent I left.”
And the 5 lines from the end “…and why I had might have any shred of hope of living…” I rearranged the words in my mind to make sense while reading. I think some words need to be moved around. So much for the editing today. Great writing. Keep it up. I’m reading it every time I see it on FB. Thanks.
Thanks for your input, Tom…..
Duly noted and fixed.
Let me know if it makes more sense.
Thanks Tom, for helping me get it right…
Jim: guess I’m a bit confused or missed a chapter, didn’t Casey come in with two Lt’s, were both Kia? Look forward to your posts. Was there with USAF, 1966/67, and certainly not in the crap like you. Thank you for your service and excellent writing.
Yes, Bob, he did. Keating and Billings. Yes, they were both KIA, leaving me and him.
Some of comments and replies hit so close to home it’s frighting! I was thinking PTSD should be called Post Traumatic Stress Condition! Anyone who was there would have a disorder if they didn’t have the condition! Keep it real and thanks.
I do not believe post traumatic stress disorder is anything described. Not in war.
If you go out into the bush or the desert and into combat you step through the door
to reality. You live that harsh unforgiving and rotten reality. You live and then
step back through the door to this unreal phenomenal world we’ve created. You are expected
to forget and not talk about the reality you saw so violently and personally. You are supposed
to go back to making believe. You are supposed to get over it. You are supposed to take mind altering
drugs. You are supposed to go to individual and then group therapy.
But you can never, and don’t want to, forget reality or the men who fought
and died with you while you were there. But nobody back here in our special
la la land wants to know what’s out there in that jungle or desert.
Whom ever thought that loneliness would be the companion you are
to have for the rest of your life, as your reward?
Sorry to run on…but it’s a tough one to accommodate.
This reply really summed up the feelings. VERY WELL STATED! The problem from ‘stepping into reality and back’ is the situation that most will never understand.
The problem with the reality stepping thing is also to do with memory.
No matter what drug you take or bottle you drink from you cannot forget
or diminish reality and what you experience while there except for short periods
of time. It pops right back because living reality and knowing what it is
is part of genetic survival long written into our codes.
Thanks for the comment and reading the story.
Jim, I have attended several reunions of the company I served in. Most of the vets who attend were there during times that were a lot more perilous than when I was there in 1970. I often wondered why I was with them. Then, I had one Marine say to me, “I can tell you things that I cannot tell my priest, because you were there, and I can tell you things that I cannot tell my fellow Marines, because you are a priest.” (I am one of two former members of that company to become an Episcopal priest.) I now know why I was there. Thank you, John Regal, former Kilo 6, 3/1 for inviting me.
Thank you for that John. What a wonderful set of phrases pieced together.
You are a priest who was a warrior…and therefore a special priest.
Combat is about tribal behavior of the most elemental sort…a sort most
men and women are never going to be taken to or be part of…except in passing,
by reading stories about it like here or maybe in seeing Band of Brothers (that was good!)
Thanks for the telling of this and supporting the work…
Stepping through the door……..pretty well sums it up….
Thanks Michael. Yes, it does. Coming home was stepping through that door the other way.
I’m not sure which adaptation required was the more extreme!
LT, when they ask you about making a movie from this, take ’em up on it. The story needs to reach more people and a movie would do that. I was Navy, I thank you for your service then and your newer service now in presenting this story.
Mostly they don’t make movies out of real stuff, as you might have
noticed. And then, if it does get filmed how do you keep them from
up and up and away and back into John Wayne mythological crap?
Remember, the people who live and work in Hollywood don’t believe this
story any more than regular citizens.
Thanks for the thought and the support.
We cleared the same LZ 9 times after the 3rd time it became sureal. I mentioned this to my Crew Chief and at first he thought it was funny but then he panicked when I told him or was like we were repeating the same day over and over again.
They were like fly paper sometimes. You get unstuck in one part and you are stuck in another.
The persistence of the enemy in almost every way was daunting. The fatigue I discuss feeling
was partially because of that unending pressure when out on field operations. Seldom discussed
anywhere by anybody. Thanks for the touch of reality here Daniel.
That tenacity led them to victory. The lesson we should have learned – but doubtful that we did, or ever will – is that if you aren’t willing to commit to the long haul, don’t bother going. It just pisses people off, and kills or maims our young men.
Thanks for the very engaging read. I’m not a vet, for which I make no apologies. I enlisted in ’60 and received a prompt Medical discharge. I lost a close friend in RVN. I still miss him.
It wasn’t just their tenacity. It was fighting on their homeland
to decide what they hell they wanted and not what we wanted them to have.
Hard to fight a whole population that really does not want you there
no matter what they might be saying to your face. Behind our backs they
were killing us left and right.
Thanks for your comment and your support…
Lt, I have shared you memories with a close and trusted friend, now in Saigon, to aid he and his friends a deeper taste of what we struggled with while there. Your honesty, travails and memories can only add demnsional light to “the rest of the story (apologies to Paul Harvey!). It’s my hope your work more deeply brings together ALL of us, them inclusive to a painful chapter of BOTH of our struggles. Your words are a medicine as horrible as they are for those who witnessed and endured. With your blessing??