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07-08-02, 08:20 AM #1
Three short stories for your pleasure
Our First Night in Vietnam
The Saddiest Day
Epilogue to Our First Night in Vietnam.
07-08-02, 09:39 AM #2
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Rapid City, SD
Good to see ya again. Welcome back. Where ya been, Marine?Make sure ya stop by the chat room. Folks'll be glad to see ya. Thay fall in about 19:30 room time.
07-14-02, 03:48 PM #3
My "Sweetee" kept asking me;
"When is the baby dued?"
So, that led to my buying one of those home gym.
That you mount on a door.
Then I renewed my membership in a fitness center.
That part of my city government.
I was close to 200 lbs at 5'7".
Too much weight according to Marine Corps standards.
3 months later, I now at 160 lbs.
Watching what I eating besides workingout.
I just returned from a "Command Post Exercise or CPX" at Camp Lejeune, N.C
It was dedicated to my fellow "ALL THE WAY" aka Sgt. George H. Morrow USMC aka Nomad.
It was great to renew old friendships and start new ones.
Now its hard coming down from this CPX.
Next years might be at Quantico, VA.
It will be a return there since our CPX of 2001.
Plans are being made to take in the "Evening Parade".
Hope that many will made this next CPX.
Included will be a trip to all the Memorials in Washington, D.C
So that what I being doing.
Besides some reading of poetry from Vietnam by both sides.
08-11-02, 12:17 AM #4
A few notes on "Our First Night in Vietnam
This took place in April of 1965, we had traveled from Hawaii to Okinawa.
I was in Recon till we got to Okinawa.
Many of the line companies were short of NCO's.
I was a Corporal at the time.
So that how I came to be in India Co 3rd Bn 4th Marines three days before landing in Vietnam.
Then it was units being send as opposed to the later years.
When it was replacement units till you got to Vietnam.
There you were assigned to different units.
On joining that unit, you were assigned.
There were "salts" in those units to show you the "ropes".
If you were lucky, if no one showed you the ropes.
You were in the same fix as my unit was in "Our First Night in Vietnam".
Having been in Recon, I was use to working and traveling at night.
Darkness does things to people.
Some imagine something being there.
When it reality, it might just be a moving of the vegatation.
So looking back as a Veteran of that war.
I can find some humor, on what occurred that night.
I hope that it didn't offend anybody.
It's was just telling as it really was.
Later, many might had second thoughts of why they did all that firing that night.
08-12-02, 03:30 PM #5
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
When did you leave I 3/4, Ricardo?
I joined Mike 3/4 on Oki in Jan66. I enjoyed your short stories. Thanks for sharing.
Semper Fidelis, Frank
08-13-02, 08:37 AM #6
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Jacksonville, NC
Guilt By Bob Greene
"The day I turned 19, I went down for my physical and had my first and only experience of Army life. I took with me a letter from Dr. Murphy, my childhood doctor, describing in incompromising detail the asthma that had been a major part of my life up to 16."
Thus begins a article by Christopher Buckley in the September issue of Esquire magazine - an article that should spur millions of members of a generation of American men to question a part of their lives that they had thought they put behind them long ago. Buckley - the son of
conservative columnist William F. Buckley Jr. - describes in the article how he had received a medical deferment from the Army, and thus how he had escaped going to Vietnam.
The article is titled "Viet Guilt, " and it addresses itself to those millions of young American men who did not go to Vietnam - and who are beginning to realize, all these years later, that by not going they may have proved something about their own lack of courage - their own, lack of manhood, if you will - that ought to make them very uncomfortable. Enough words have been devoted to the moral issues of the war. The point that Chris Buckley makes is that, if the truth were really to be told, most of the men who managed to stay home from Vietnam did not do so for reasons of morality alone. Their real reason for not going was that they did not want to die, did not want to get shot at. And they found out that there were many ways to avoid Vietnam. Young men of my generation got out of Vietnam because of college deferments, because of medical deferments, because of having a "lucky" number in the Selective Service birthday lottery that was initiated toward the end of the war. Three million men of fighting age went to Indochina during the Vietnam War; 16 million men of fighting age did not.
Buckley was one of the men who did not - and I was, too. Reading his article made me realize the truth of the emotions I have been feeling lately about that particular subject. I sense a strong feeling - "shame" is not too strong a word - among many men who did not go to Vietnam, and perhaps now is the time to bring that feeling out into the open.
Those of us who did not go may have pretended that we held some moral superiority over those who did, but we must have known - even back then - that that was largely sham. A tiny, tiny minority served jail terms - the rest of us avoided the war through easier methods. The men who went to Vietnam were no more involved with the politics of the war than we were.
They were different from us in only two important ways: They hadn't figured out a successful way to get out of going, and they had a certain courage that we lacked. Not "courage" as defined the way we liked to define it; not "courage" in the sense of opposing the government's policies in Vietnam.
But courage in an awful, day-to-day sense; courage in being willing to be over there while most of their generation stayed home. When I meet men my age who are Vietnam veterans, I find myself reacting the same way that Chris Buckley indicates he does.
I find myself automatically feeling a little lacking. "I have friends who served in Vietnam..." Buckley writes. "They all saw death up close every day, and many days dealt with it themselves." They're married, happy, secure, good at what they do; they don't have nightmares and they don't shoot up gas stations with M-16s. Each has a gentleness I find rare in most others, and beneath it a spiritual sinew that I ascribe to their experience in the war .I don't think I'll ever have what they have, the aura of I have been weighed on the scales and have not been found wanting, and my sense at this point is that I will always feel the lack
of it..." "I will always feel the lack of it."
I think many of us are just beginning to realize that. I know when I meet those men of my generation who did serve in Vietnam, I automatically feel less worthy than they are; yes, less of a man, if you want to use that phrase. Those of us who did not have to go to Vietnam may have felt, at the time, that we were getting away with something; may have felt, at the time, that we were the recipients of a particular piece of luck that had value beyond price. But now, I think, we realize that by not having had to go we lost forever the chance to learn certain things about ourselves that only men who have been in war together will ever truly know.
Our fathers learned those things in World War II; our sons, God forbid, may learn them in some future conflict. But we - those of us who did not go - managed to avoid something that would have helped form us into different people than we are now. Buckley writes "by not putting on uniforms, we forfeited what might have been the ultimate opportunity, in increasingly self-obsessed times, of making the ultimate commitment to something greater than ourselves. The survival of comrades." But I think it may go even beyond that; I think it may go to the very definition of our manhood. I know that when I meet a man who, it turns out, has served in Vietnam, part of me wonders whether he is able to read my mind.
I don't know how widespread this feeling is among men of my generation who didn't go; but I can testify that, at least for some of us, it's there, all right.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
ONE PROUD MARINE
Once a Marine...Always a Marine
08-17-02, 01:28 AM #7
Frank, I was in I/3/4
As I stated, I was in Bravo Co 3rd Recon Bn before joining India Co 3rd Bn 4th Marines.
I went to Hawaii in 1962 or 1963.
So in June of 1965, my tour in Hawaii was over, but we were in Vietnam.
I was told to get in a chopter.
Let me backup a bit, we were taken by chopter to a hill that had bunkers on it.
And the only way to get off was by jumping on this platform after the chopter placed one wheel on that platform.
The bunkers had little sunning towers and were connected by a slit trench.
As soon as we took over from the unit we were replacing.
Those sunning towers were taken down and we tried to blend in those bunkers.
So they wouldn't be visable to an attacker.
I left Vietnam and rotated back Conus.
I was ordered to report to Edison Range in Camp Pendleton, CA.
Where I was a PMI till I was again ordered back to Vietnam in August of 1966.
After reporting and training a replacement platoon.
We reported to the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam.
I was first a troop handler at the transit faculity.
I was next assigned to Golf Co 2nd Bn 1st Marines till I rotated back Conus in very late November of 1967.
I was just to turn my 14 month in Nam and another Sergeant was just about to be fighting in Vietnam as a civilian!
When I addressed that concern to our new 1st Sergeant.
He said a few choice words and told me "To get my gear beside that Sergeant gear and turned it in and to await a chopter to take us to Danang from up north.
Came back all the way to Conus with no orders.
In California, I was informed that I could stay and await my orders or go home and wait for them there.
Guess what I opted to do?
I was out of there before he finished saying that.
Yet in the short time that I was I/3/4.
The nearest I came to buying the farm was late May of 1965 while I was in I/3/4.
The rest is history as they say.
08-17-02, 01:32 AM #8
That Hill was close to Phu Bi
It was might high down from those bunkers was concentina wire.
The reason we objected to those "Sunning towers" was that they made a perfect aiming stake.
Marking the location of each bunker.
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