I had the place and the time but I could not sleep. The NVA had brought its .50 caliber equivalent heavy machine gun up on line. The gun laced our position up and down every twenty minutes or so. I couldn’t figure it out, laying curled up in my cleft. What was their point? Keep us pinned down until the morning, and then what? They didn’t have supporting fires capable of reaching our position, and they didn’t have any air support at all. Why get to the morning? I had instructed the Gunny earlier to stop firing back at them. It was a waste of ammunition and it gave their leadership power in being able to conclude that they were actually getting a response. The Ontos, with one of its high explosive rounds, could have reached out and taken the .50 down, except for the fact that the gun fired, and was then quickly moved to a different location. The night was remaining active and I couldn’t sleep through it.

They were going to attack before dawn, I knew. How much before dawn is what caused me to be unable to sleep. The Gunny was right. The NVA was an angry force now, after being bloodied so many times, and they were still very powerful in position and troop strength. That they had no clue as to what and why we were still sitting in front of them, a great immobile target, was apparent, but meant little or nothing. They were where they were and we were where we were and that was it.

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