The M-60s had opened up from in front of me, but I could not estimate the distance or the true direction the machine guns might be firing from, what with the sound of the nearby rushing river water and the incessant beat of the rain down upon my helmet. I knew all the Marines understood that there was no alternative to a full-frontal attack that would take us to the very edge of the forest line. Digging in, and then holding that position would take every bit of supporting fire in the night that the Ontos could provide and then every bit of fire support from the air to hold the position during the next day.

I pushed forward, with Fusner at my left shoulder and Nguyen breaking the jungle in front of me as best he could. The rain beat away the mosquitos and cooled my skin a bit, although the pain from the leech bites all over my back would not retreat as much as I would have liked. I knew the three of us had to be within five hundred meters, or so, of that front edge of the jungle. From there we would command a full view of the waterway cutting into the side of the Bong Song, and also the southern exposure of Hill 975. The Starlight Scope would once again become very important in sighting in to suppress fire, if we could get it into position.