"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vietnam Thoughts: Pete Manuguerra

Hometown: Medina, Ohio
Vietnam Service Dates: April 9, 1969 - May 17, 1970
MOS: 11-B Light Weapons Infantry
Units Served:
1) Company A 1/35th Inf, 4th Infantry Div
2) Headquarters Company 1/'35th Inf
3) B 3/12 Inf, 4th Infantry Div

I found this on my office computer trying to clean up some computer junk and thought you might get a kick out of this old picture (it's me) from May 1969 at a Firebase called LZ Rock Quarry near Pleiku in the central highlands ...

I was basically still an FNG, so they gave me the M79 grenade launcher to hump & carry ... the gun was light, but ammo with vest was real heavy.  The picture was taken the day after our firebase got hit pretty hard the night before and our platoon leader, Lt. Gentinne, was killed.  Our medic was wounded pretty bad but he survived.

I was especially moved by three events this year:  providing a firsthand account regarding Lt. Gentinne being KIA'd at the Rock Quarry, attending the Ken Henniger Memorial Tribute, and of course the presentation at the Reunion in Pittsburgh that honors our fallen heroes ...

On November 21, 1969, at what remained of the Oasis Fire Base, I remember and honor Curtis Frantz, Robert Worthen and Charles Howze, who were killed due to a faulty 4.2 mortar round. In addition, Donald Boyles' KIA was related to this incident since he led a convoy from Camp Enari to the Oasis to potentially pick up the wounded. The convoy was ambushed on its return trip to Camp Enari killing Warrant Officer Boyles. I remember this day quite well after so many years. I still think about my buddy, Roosevelt Lawrence, who was on that convoy and, if my memory is correct, he was awarded the Silver Star.

I learned from all of my Cacti buddies, just how important it is to never forget. I am also thankful that I was one of the lucky ones to survive the experience of Vietnam.  Lets all not forget about our current military units who are fighting the war on terror. I have met some of these young men at the 35th Infantry Regiment reunions, and they are true warriors and special indeed.  

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.


[Thank you, Pete, and Welcome Home. ~CJ]

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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1 comment:

  1. Welcome Home Pete

    Craig Latham
    101st Airborne Div. (AMBL)
    Phu Bai (70-71)
    Combat writer and photographer


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