Sunday, August 06, 2006

Another Memory

A few weeks ago I attended a funeral at a nearby church for an acquaintance in the neighborhood. He died at age eighty. In the eulogy given by one of his daughters she expressed regret and remorse for not talking with her dad about his experiences in WW II. Just before his death she said, "I joined him for a restaurant meal and asked him questions and was enlightened by what he said about his experiences." But, this dialogue was too late in his life.

I think the above situation is common. Young people are busy, have their own agendas, and little time for discussions with older people. This is one reason I'm recalling and documenting my experiences and feelings, and writing them on this blog.

Five, twenty-five, a hundred years from now, descendents or someone may stumble upon this blog and find my written words and pictures interesting history. If so, it will be worth my efforts of putting these bi-daily blog updates in print.

The top picture is of me somewhere in Vietnam in February 1966. 

Daily existence in Vietnam was difficult. The weather was always hot both day and night. The range of temperatures were mid 70's to high 90's. There was no ice to cool drinks or air conditioned spaces to get relief.

There were periods of monsoon which was continuous rain for several days and nights. We were soaking wet all that time.

There were no toilets, showers, beds or laundry services except in rear areas. Rear area was a heavily guarded space near a town and next to an airfield. The rear area we used most often was near a coastal town named Tuy Hoa. The airfield was only big enough for small aircraft and helicopters. The military used laundry services of the civilian population to clean our clothes. We returned to this rear area one or two days per week to change clothes, bathe, eat cooked meals, and sleep on a cot under a two-man tent that was surrounded by sandbags.

Here we would rest, clean our weapons, replenish our ammunitions, and get more c-ration meals for the next deployment to the countryside. These deployments meant squad or company size foot patrols into areas of suspected enemy habitation. The officers and non-commissioned officers received instructions, studied maps, and planned our next mission.

The picture below is a convoy of jeeps ready to move to another area or ride patrol on the coastal highway that ran north to south. The man in the passenger side of one vehicle is 2nd Lieutenant Palmer who was the officer over our platoon. Lieutenant Palmer's driver, standing by the jeep, was Spec. 4th Class Hovland.

Return here on Tuesday, August 8 for an update.

Have a good day!



At 8/07/2006 9:05 PM, Blogger t browder said...

I could swear that the top picture is Gomer Pyle!


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