30 Days Has September: The First Ten Days

A true-to-life fiction accounting of the Vietnam War

 

From a traveled elementary school education, changing schools ever two years, to attending a small liberal arts college, I graduated to a leadership position that turned out to be a ‘hanging by the fingernails’ survival position in the Marines Corps in the Vietnam War, 1969.  From a hospital bed, when I finally found it was likely I would live, I looked up and asked God for one favor.

I asked not to lead a normal humdrum life.  I now believe that God heard my prayer and pointed one finger down to grant my request.  Outrageous fortune was smiled down upon me with all of its travel, pain, depression, elation, danger, adventure and total lack of believability.  For a time I tried to have credibility until I discovered that my own credibility was without meaning.

James Strauss

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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 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….

THE NINTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE NINTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

The rest of the night passed in mud, a penetrating mist returning to add some sort of cutting liquid thinner to the blood being sucked in by the feeding mosquitos. There was no more firing or explosions that I was aware of, as I lay in my semi-comatose state replacing real sleep.