I am pretty sure that if you talk to soldiers about their experience in Vietnam,  you would find a different story depending on a lot of variables.  If you look at California, you will see that it is different from North to South.  Vietnam was the same except that the very far south in Vietnam was the Mekong Delta and swampy.   I served mostly in the Central Highlands where the mountains were just to our west most of the time.  Most of the places we were it took a helicopter to reach the base. 

I was an Artilleryman and as such spent a lot of time out with the Infantry as a Forward Observer.  When I finished that stretch, I was on fire bases out to hell and gone most of the time.  They would lift my 155mm Howitzer Battery in using Sky Cranes and the people in Chinooks.  Seems like we would just get the hill top position finished and we would have to move.  We went where the Infantry units were and needed support. 

During my various stints out as a Forward Observer, I served with  all kinds of units.  One was a Mechanized Infantry unit, one was  an Airborne unit (1st Bat 503rd Inf, 173rd Abn) and one was a Basic Training unit of Mountain yards.  One of my favorite assignments was when I was with a RVN unit that had Australian advisors.  "Guns, Where are me Bloody Guns" would go around the unit if I would sneak off to do my business behind a tree.   After 23 weeks of OCS, I just hated to ask for permission to take a dump. 

One final note I found was that Alcohol was then as it is now a really bad thing.  Many of the leaders in Vietnam would spend about half of their tour in the field with a unit and turn into raging alcoholics in a rear area.  I had a battery commander that had been the Battalion S-1 for six months and brought his bad habit to the field.   I didn't mind him getting drunk but when he started to invite my Gun Chiefs over to his hooch to get drunk I just had to ask the Battalion Commander to step in.  After the call for help, the Battalion Commander flew out at first light the next day and found the Battery Commander still too drunk to walk.  He was loaded on a helicopter and I never saw him again. 

Oh well, again I have managed to flitter away another hour or so.


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