About ten years ago I started the book quite a few people told me I should write. Ten years later it is still the two pages I started with a decade ago! I have a friend in Idaho who can produce that much before breakfast. Since SHR publishing puts up any trash I generate, I thought I would throw this out there and see if it sticks. Next year will mark the half-century mark since the events began to occur…..guess I better get busy!
……..My ideas are redneck ideas. The kind of ideas expressed by charlatans running for an office of some kind. Not that THEY meant a word of it. I meant it! Sometimes I meant it to the detriment of myself and the world at large.
No one will know the exploits and heroism of MIKE”31”. MIKE Company, Third platoon, First squad-now there is a bunch of characters! Not immortalized in song and story. No it is my duty to tell the story. I can’t live with myself if I don’t find a way to tell that story. It is a tale inspiring – as exploits of honor, courage, and love can be. The heroes are courageous and pathetic at the same time. I just lost the brass. Yep right there. Blew my chance to make the story fit the plan. Don’t really matter though. Our war, you see, was a sergeants war. No shit man the whole thing was run everyday by kids! Corporals and sergeants, squad leaders. These guys who were pressed into service, so very briefly trained, and sent to perform splendidly under the worst conditions.
Let me tell you about 31. You got teen agers running around with machine guns, you got a problem. There were generally five of us. Yeah I know, a Marine squad is a dozen plus a Corpsman. We didn’t get a medic for each squad. Hell, the Navy was short handed too. “Doc” P, our USN Corpsman, was as badass a Marine as any in the Corps. Many times he would stroll with us back to our platoon position, after an act, and then turn right back around and head out with the next squad. Doc carried his Unit One (medical) bag and an M-16 with a full combat load! Red Crosses did not mean squat in the areas we operated in.
At the point was GREENMAN. A dedicated bush Marine (and rear area screw up!) who could sniff out the unusual. The unusual or the usual could strike you dead. Sniff out the unusual and you were halfway home.
Next walks RABBIT. Wound real tight. I loved him man but he was a nuclear reactor with the rods pulled. High strung. Wheel and shoot! I saw RABBIT take out two Chuckars that burst out of a bush behind him. He whirled and dropped both of them, “Quick Fire – Quick kill”, with an M-16 on semi-auto. We didn’t fire on automatic. As the Rifleman’s Creed says….. “It is the hits that count, I will hit.”
Next in the order is me, BUDDHA, squad leader, command and control. Not really, this squad was so good that it ran on auto pilot. About all I had to do was hand out the mail. BUDDHA was always in the tunnels looking for a MAKORAV pistol. Over six feet and like a snake under the ground.
Next up is MAC, married man. Got razzed for it but good natured razzing….Mac was nobody to screw with when it came to his family! Some times someone would take the risk and say something like, “Hey MAC……got any nude flicks of your wife?” You think that’s nasty? When you are living in the mud like an animal, quotes from the Bhagavad Gita aren’t usually the first things that come to mind.
At the Tail End Charlie position, Bahl, a decorated Marine from Fargo ND. Nobody made me feel as good about my “six” as Bahl. Tough, savvy, and high strung, the man would go hungry if he couldn’t find chicken with rice. With the exception of peaches and pound cake, I never saw that man eat anything else. Hell, I liked it too, but the word in first squad was, you eat the CWR you are eating Bahl’s chow!
A great bunch of blue collar warriors. Is that an oxymoron? Hell the more blue collar/ redneck a state the more they are represented on that SACRED BLACK WALL in DC. Do your homework. If you are tired start with West Virginia. By the time you finish there I think you will be ready to buy into my theories.
We ranged the Que Son Valley and Mountains out of LZ Ross. Marines had worked that area for years. “Ol Chuck” (VC/NVA) was down but by no means out. He was still capable of massing more than we could, if he so chose. We hurt him, but he was definitely capable of hurting us back. Old Charles was keeping most of his guys in Base area 612, in Laos. Intelligence knew the Second Division was out there. We didn’t go over there to get them. Out of bounds! Can you believe we bought that shit? Somebody should have been charged and hung for that. In those days a man was executed, not put down like a dog….
Yep, thats all folks! At this pace I’ll be elected pope before the rough draft is done. My boys deserve better…….No excuse Sir!! There are more men I am very close to who I haven’t mentioned yet. (I’m talkin to you Martin!) When and if I make a little progress on this it will be my honor to introduce them to you. For now…..