We do, however, have a plan for this type of situation. We quickly set up an assembly line of sorts and three of us start doing this as fast as we can. She was about my own age, 18 or 19 and had an American M-16 strapped across her back. There were other reasons why I joined the army, but one of the main ones was to serve my country. Turns out the domino theory was dead wrong – after the war, Vietnam went into Cambodia, overthrew Pol Pot’s murderous, communist regime and reinstalled the monarchy, which is to this day still in power – the exact opposite of domino theory doctrine. Not only could he have wounded or killed me, but the 20 or 30 guys in front of me as well. The sad fact though is that during the Vietnam War, many men lost their lives due to accidents and friendly fire. They preach hatred and intolerance in the name of Jesus. They could have been the point for a platoon, a company, or a battalion. By Rex Reed • 01/27/20 1:40pm. We’ve taken a terrible beating—especially my company and especially my platoon. When you’re looking for enemy movement, it can be pretty unnerving. There was the one about a man who held up a mom-and-pop shop in a small Vietnamese town with a hand grenade.Or the one about a mother who fled that small town when the communists arrived, taking her sons but leaving behind her adopted teenage daughter to take care of the shop, believing she would soon return. And yet I was also an American. I assure them they will be okay. Can’t you hear the dull hum of the war machine we live in, the white noise of a massive mechanism oiled by banalities, bolted together by triviality, and enabled by passive consent? turned Christian principles on their head and taken over our government. Though it was a relatively short battle, it was by far the most intense fighting I saw during my tour. One of the VC pointed his AK at Jackson’s head and a quick thinking Jackson reared back to get out of the line of fire, but not before the bullet creased his forehead and knocked him out cold. Andrew deGrandpre and Tony Lombardo. However many times it happened, whether I’d known them or not, no matter what I’d felt about them or the way they’d died, their story was always there and it was always the same: it went, “Put yourself in my place.”, on Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new course. Through my interpreter/guide, we questioned him and asked him if he remembered the battle. We were simply told that communism was bad and we had to draw the line in Vietnam, domino theory, all of Asia will fall, etc., etc. “Those Who Served: Vietnam” originally honored Central Illinois veterans in 2015 as the nation marked the 50th anniversary of the start of ground troops in Vietnam. We bonded as brothers over there, but like brothers everywhere, we don’t always agree. Being acclimated to hell is part of our disorder.But listen carefully. A few minutes after 1 a.m., a thunderous roar of incoming mortar, rocket and small arms fire blows me out of my slumber as Charlie hits us with everything he has. Our platoon Sargent, Paul Jackson, a lanky southerner and army lifer, led the way and was the first to get to the trench. I witnessed a 155mm howitzer blow up when the loaded round in the chamber exploded prematurely, killing another three men. For the rest of the night our eyes were riveted on the body. Late one hot, sweaty afternoon, our platoon leader chose seven of us for a night patrol and put a young, ambitious buck sergeant in charge. Personally, it has never been far from my consciousness. Peasley and I were ordered to switch positions late the previous afternoon. Our combined field strength of infantry and artillery on LZ Bird that night is 170 men. I shut it out and feel nothing, which is all I can do to keep from going mad. The bee-hive rounds have blunted the onslaught and Charlie begins to retreat. In the best command voice he could muster he said: “Okay it’s over, let’s move it out.” I looked him square in the face and said, “After you sir…. Thanks to Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation for funding this site. Things like freedom of the press, free speech, freedom to peacefully protest and even the right to vote have been chipped away at to the point you’d have a hard time recognizing them. Just wanted you to know Joe, that I still think about you – especially around Memorial Day. The true war story is also that war is normal, which is why we are always going to war.War is boring, a bad story most people do want to hear. The steady stream of grenades we put out are highly effective. The Asian American Literary Review does great work. The wrongheadedness of this desire is inadvertently shown in the infamous final shot. It made me feel like I was in one of those German prison camp movies from the 50s. What is most disturbing about his photos is the implication that if war is hell, then this is what hell looks like, Americans enjoying seemingly innocent pastimes. Twisted, grotesquely mangled limbs, body parts of all kinds hanging from bushes and trees – everywhere the smell of blood and death and rotting flesh. In some ways you were lucky Joe. Our country has become a police state run by multi-national corporations – a corporate plutocracy. As I did so, I could see one of the VC through a small gap in the hedge. The fighting was the most intense any of us had ever experienced. The total attack force is estimated at 1,000 men. I also recall our battle at Hoa Hoi, when our battalion had the whole VC village boxed in. She tried to get out I pointed and yelled to the other men: “He’s right there, kill the motherfucker!” The whole squad, except for Johnson and myself, opened up on the hedge on full automatic. WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. On October 2nd, A Troop 1st Bn., 9th Cavalry was sent to the small village of Hoa Hoi which was located closer to the Mieu Mountains than the sea. The other man, whom I had shot was laying face down and looked fairly normal from a distance, but as I got closer, I saw that his forehead was peeled open like a trap door with a good portion of his brains tumbling out of the opening – a small, dime-sized hole in the back of his head. From the opening salvo, it’s obvious we are vastly outnumbered. Our order: to make camp up against the hedgerow. I spend the morning dragging the lifeless bodies of our comrades to a makeshift morgue and cleaning them up for transport to graves registration in Saigon. The body dropped to the ground, silent and still. Despite the unpleasant drawbacks, I didn’t mind it much. I saw two men get swept away and drown in a flood swollen river and I witnessed a man shoot his own trigger finger off with a side arm to get out of serving. Footer Information and Navigation. It’s an awesome and frightful sight. The second thing I learned from Heinemann: rape was hard to account for in a certain kind of war story, the one that audiences call “good.” If, in a good war story, war makes you a man, does rape make you a woman? Regiment and as we moved closer you came into view. Perhaps that is why thrilling war stories captivate me, the ones with “gore galore,” in the words of art critic Lucy Lippard. He captured every Vietcong who imprisoned him, knocked him unconscious, and drug him back to his camp. Cavalry Division and the brave men of B/2/19th (105mm) and C/6/16th (155mm) Artillery units. Posted on September 14, 2015    When they got to the village, they discovered they were up against two battalions of mixed VC and NVA forces. June 03, 2010; One reason we love war stories here at Cracked is because so often, what actually happens on the battlefield is way stranger than anything we got in cheesy 80s action movies. Andras Toma. I saw a body slump and after firing those few rounds, my rifle jammed. This will turn out to be the first actual combat use of canister rounds. My bunker is very close to the landing zone for the supply choppers and there’s a 500 gallon bladder of jet fuel out in front of us. A big congratulations to Viet Thanh Nguyen, who is joining the Pulitzer Prize Board as its first Asian-American and Vietnamese-American member. I am so immersed in horror and death that I become psychically numb, going about my business with a vacuous, zombie-like feeling. The whole platoon laughed for days over your mishap, but being true to form, you took it in stride and laughed along with us. My squad leader, Sgt. Patrols count the enemy dead and examine Charlies’ escape routes. Base camp at An Khe was Hon Cong Mountain – a small mountain on the west side of camp rising a thousand feet or so above the surrounding plane and capped by a giant, yellow and black 1st Cavalry insignia visible for miles, to make sure Charlie knew who owned this territory. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. It continues to claim victims years after the bullets have stopped flying and the bombs have stopped dropping. I gave him a brief summary of what had just happened. The cause of death was blatantly apparent. Once again I want to thank Sally Saville Hodge at Hodge Media Strategies for taking the time to edit this story. Andras Toma was the longest held POW of World War II. We used up our mortar ammo quickly, then moved wounded Marines to the back of the perimeter, hoping to get medevac choppers in. We were flown up to Camp Radcliff at An Khe from Saigon as a unit to replace the mortar platoon of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment which got wiped out at LZ Hereford in the Central Highlands a day or two after we arrived. The deafening roar continues for what seems an eternity. She looked real peaceful lying there, After a year I felt so plugged in to all the stories and the images and the fear that even the dead started telling me stories, you’d hear them out of a remote but accessible space where there were no ideas, no emotions, no facts, no proper language, only clean information. Others tried whatever they could to forget – alcohol and drugs usually, but in the long run that only messed them up worse. As the first chopper makes its pass the sky lights up like the Fourth of July with tracers. You never had to go through the PTSD so many of us did. Our platoon had just acquired a newly minted 2nd Lieutenant fresh out of OCS. Then we level one of the Howitzer barrels and let fly with a canister or “bee‑hive” round (a shell about two feet long and about 4.5 inches in diameter that blasts out 8,000 red hot “flechettes” of metal). "We were fighting to get our own selves back home. The videos on this page are recommended by our team. Try the comment function and start a conversation. It happened in the early morning hours of December 27, 1966, Near Thôn Xuân Sơn, Vietnam. You dragged him to safety, went back and made short work of the enemy squad dug in there. A few minutes later, a figure in black silk pajamas emerged from behind the corner of the hooch, crawling on hands and knees straight toward us. You didn’t have to come home to an ungrateful country that was being torn apart by the war. Would they ever know what a superb soldier you became? 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