Vietnam I Corps Marines 1965-1975
by, 10-27-10 at 10:13 AM (2153 Views)
Growing up on the south side of Chicago was my whole world as a kid. I came from a poor Mexican American family so going to school and hanging around the neighborhood was pretty much the extent of my life experience.
Marine Corps Boot Camp was my first real experience outside of mommy and daddy's house. When I look back at it now I think to myself, what a way to get started in life. Talk about a rude awakening and culture shock. Nothing like a Marine DI to knock you into manhood and get you there fast.
I say all that just to say that Vietnam would be even tougher than that. Culture shock was a mild way to express what Vietnam would be. It would be like Dorthy stepping out of her house in the land of OZ, only the Munchkins would be little yellow people called Viet Cong and they would not be giving us the key to the city.
That famous line from the movie the Wizard of OZ, you know the one that says; I don't think we're in Kansas anymore finally hit home in Nam. Here I was in a place that the only thing that would be familiar to me would be my fellow Marines and the situation that we were now in.
In the days ahead hot humid days and miles of trekking the lowlands and mountains of South Vietnam would be my life. Day patrols and day Ops would be most of my days and Ambushes would make up most of my nights. The Characters I would meet along the way would add a little to mind and help mold who I would become. I just thought of something that someone said to me when I landed in Nam; "welcome to Vietnam Sweet Pea."