Daylight comes over the thick green hills, and the tension begins to
fade. It is now that you can see the concertina wire just a few feet in
front of you. It's good to feel the warmth of the sun, and to know
that you have lived another day...
Then a voice shouts,"3rd. platoon saddle up", today is my platoon's day
for patrol. As we leave the fire base, smiling faces seem to fade, and
boys of 19 now begin to look much older and worn. The tension now
begins to build, as you see fixed eyes, and there's no such thing as
noise. Five hours later and we return to base, no contact, thank God!
It's not always this way, and when contact comes, and you know death's
hand could be only seconds away, it's then that you find the real
you. It's then life's at it fullest, everything is crystal clear, all
your feelings are at their peak, its the moment of reality...
You live with people you would have never have met, if you hadn't come
to this place called Viet Nam. There's no need to say it, it's
understood, that you become a part of each other. When one is killed
it's like a part of you has also died...
I have been home now for 30 years, but when I think back, and my
memories carry me to a jungle 11,000 miles away. I remember the lines
written on the camouflaged covers of the steel pots such as: "God is
my point man" "Only the good die Young" or their girl's name from back
home. I can close my eyes and it's still there, never far away...
Time may pass, and blow the sands of war away. But the scars I have
on my heart will always remain. When they enter this war into the
pages of history, "Let it be known" That in a time when men were
looked down on for wearing the uniform of their country, that these
were America's best, and I thank God I was lucky enough to have known
a few of them.