Once the artillery barrage of Hill 110 was over, the surrounding low growth jungle area subsided into a windy silence.

The hot air wafted, like blown cobwebs sweeping slowly back and forth across the face and body of anyone standing. I lay in my hooch, waiting. The night was coming and my fear was rising once again. I hated that the Gunny was right and that I was starting to get used to being terrified to death, not that the terror lessened. It didn’t. Somehow I could maintain control while going through it. Maybe, for the first time, when the sun went fully down, the terror would not be as bad as it had been every night before. It was only my fourth night but thinking back to the airliner ride into Da Nang was like mentally going back a year in relative time. The only good thing about the night was the coming of the next day if I lived. Resupply, with tracers. Another day closer to getting a letter from home, or even a package or tape. Anything. “Home” was in the music from the radios and from the notes in the cigarette cartons. And the letter hastily written to Mary was in my front pocket. That was it.