Images from Vietnam
The smell of napalm.
The price of war.
Whether dropped from a jet or sprayed from a river boat, napalm was always something to watch.  This baby pulled in after we were fired on trying to off load.  You would think after all the heat it would be an easy drop.  Not this day.
We didn't get more than 25 yards off the boat before the VC hit us.  Yea, we got one of their machine guns and a few of them, but our point man never knew, he's under the poncho.  We burnt the place 3 more times but weren't able to get off here.
We went on down the river about a mile and made a safe drop.  We moved inland until we found a heavily traveled trail and set up for a night ambush.  Nothing moved that night.  They picked us up the next day.  After a night in base camp we returned to the area by choppers and were dropped near a village about a mile inland.  This time the rest of our platoon and other units with us.  We thought we would hit the VC from the other side and push them out of their stronghold near the river.  There was about 400 yards of open rice patties between the village we took and the area we were headed.  The VC let the first squad get about half way to the nipa palm before they opened up.  We called in an air strike.  They riddled the place.  The squad moved ahead about 50 more yards and the VC hit them again.  We called in another air strike.  Our squat moved out and around to the south of the first squad.  We didn't get 150 yards before the VC hit us.  We laid down and another air strike was called in.  This went on for 3 days.  Back and forth, back and forth.  We were hitting them from four different ground areas, from the air and from the boats.  After the 3rd day we were able to move in.  Lots of bloody gear, no VC.  But as you know that was no suprise.  The story is not about the fire fight but what was found.  Underground was a complete village consisting of multiple levels, complete with a hospital on the third floor and a major communication center.  We had just taken one of the major operation and entrance areas from Cambodia into the area southwest of Saigon.  We felt good.
This is our platoon sergeant back at base camp.  He was wounded during the skirmish above.  The real Forrest Gump.  He walked past a spider hole and a gook popped up and shot him in the butt.
I didn't need a picture, I needed a hand.  The sides of this creek were really slick.  There is no way to describe the smell of many areas we worked in.  A mixture of gun powder, ashes, mud, mold, and you don't want to know, but I'll never forget.
Not the smartest way to cross the river.  We all sat on the other side for a while and debated whether to swim, or walk high and dry.  So, we sent one man to check it out.  It turned out to be clear so over we went.  Sounds like such a small thing, but there are no such things as small things in the Nam.
On guard while taking a break from patrol.  Breaks come often.  It's important to just stop and listen for a while.  You might hear what you can't see.  There are times when using a helment for a seat is not a good thing to do.  But we all did it.  Some paid for it.
Taking another break after sweeping a village for VC. None were found.  That wasn't unusual though, after all it was daylight.  I think the Sarge and I were discussing what to wear to the big dance tonight.
Wouldn't you know it, the Lt. said we couldn't stay for the dance.  He said we had another dance to go to.  And this was such a nice village too.  Really, it was.  The other dance didn't turn out to be any fun.
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