A Far Away Easter Sunday


We were clear across the planet in the jungles of Vietnam a long, long way from home…

imageA couple of hundred guys at least together in the stinking, moist heat of that tropical climate.

Yeah, two hundred guys strong no more than an arms length away from each other, but each one of us feeling totally alone.image

No use pretending like you weren’t scared, uh uhh, not with these guys because they knew everybody was scared most of all themselves. Funny you know, this was Easter yep, Easter Sunday but that didn’t matter, not this day in the jungle, not any day.

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No special family dinner for Easter, no Easter egg hunt, no coloring eggs with your kids, no friendly smiles either, not from Charlie anyway.

It’s a strange thing when you’re walking alone on point, knowing that it’s way too quite and that we really weren’t alone at all. image

It was kind of like those old westerns where the guy with the big cowboy hat says, “mighty quiet out here”, “yeah too quiet”.

That’s just how it was too, it was too quiet for us to not worry about running into some North Vietnamese troops, Viet Cong, or “Gooks” was what we called them. We could sense them out there, nothing metaphysical mind you it was from experience of course. We were sent to this sector on a seek and destroy mission so it wasn’t hard to figure out that if we were out there then so were they, and the gooks sure as heck knew we were there too.

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Man they knew those jungles all right, knew them real well. Been living in them all their lives and as a nation fighting foreign invaders for well over a hundred years.

Man, what am I doing here, I thought !

No more time for day dreaming now as the air around us had become live with fire, enemy fire that is.

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It seemed like the whole sky was balling up with large clouds of shrapnel exploding all around us. This was not good no sir, we couldn’t stay pinned down in that  mess, too many guys were going down.

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You want to talk about heroes, why there were guys right beside me carrying wounded buddies out of the direct field of fire, standing up with bullets flying all around them. That’s guts!

There was all kinds of small arms fire, grenades, mortars and plenty of other heavy shelling. No doubt about it, the VC were ready for us this time.

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A number of us managed to get down to a creek bed where we were able to carry our guys to the rear, where the medi-vac choppers were coming in to evacuate them. If our luck held up for another ten minutes, we knew we had a good chance of surviving this also.

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And that was pretty much what happened that day, yeah, pretty much.

 

As most of us guys did make it out that day but, um, well there were a number of guys who didn’t.

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No,they didn’t quite make it, that day.

~ by Vinnie on April 5, 2015.

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