What Did You Do During the War, Daddy?

 I think I have told you all several times that where you were and what you did made a lot of difference in how the War was for you. I am fairly sure that the difference in units also made a big variance in the conditions and your reaction to the War.

 I started my 365 Day journey on a Boat, the USNS Geiger, headed out of Long Beach, CA. From the day we stepped on the boat until we had 365 days it all counted. Basically my first 20 (+) days were all counted as "In-Country" time. It too our unit about two weeks of in country schools, unloading and travel to our first field location to get on the list of real live units. basically, the first month of my 12 months was a waste of time, or a lot of time that counted but didn't accomplish much.

 I started out assigned as a Forward Observer but never was assigned to an Infantry unit with the 6th Bn, 84th FA which was my first assignment. The first night in the field we were mortared so severely that the Battery Commander and the Executive Officer were both wounded and I assumed command and the position of XO combined for about 2 weeks. Just before I was re-assigned to another unit, I had a run in with the Group  Commander (06) and I told him what a horses' ass I thought he was and was moved shortly thereafter.

 My Second unit in Vietnam was a real live battalion that had been in country for a year or so located in Pleiku. They had their act together and you could tell they knew what real leadership was and had a good mission plan. I started out there as the Ammunition Officer assigned to Service Battery and had a pretty tough job for a month or so putting all the ammo in the ASP at Dak To that had been blown up during TET. For me, it was day after day of picking up ammo from the ASP in Pleiku and getting it to Dak To. I got to fly during that time as an aerial observer to cover the convoys. Somewhere in all that I pulled some interesting assignments as a Forward Observer out with the boys in the mud, the blood and the beer

. Near the end of the summer (and the Monsoon) I was assigned to a firing battery and we moved three times as we spent days on end firing in support of units on the ground. There was also the nightly Harassment and Interdiction rounds we would fire to keep the VC and NVA on their toes and off the paths at night. Those fires were scheduled and sent to us by the next higher headquarters. We computed the data in the early evening and waited until the guns had fired all their missions. My last month or so I was the Executive officer for the battery on the top of a mountain way the hell and gone out near the border. Like I say, I have been mortared, ambushed, spit on, shit on and never was awarded the Purple Heart for being wounded.

I consider myself to be one lucky SOB for that fact. I have been in places where there would be 8 or 10 others and they all were wounded. I was even sitting on an air mattress that was wounded by a mortar round and I wasn't. I am now pretty fully recovered from dreams or tribulations of the War. I feel sorry for those guys that were forced to bring it home with them.


No comments:

Post a Comment