"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

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together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Friday, February 10, 2012

C. David Ramsey: Dogpatch

This came to me today in an email from C. David Ramsey, who was a Marine in Vietnam.  I know Dave from the Vietnam Veterans page on Facebook.  Please join me and welcome him to Memoirs ... thank you C. David Ramsey for your service and for sharing this memory.  Welcome Home, soldier.

Dave Ramsey
It was just a couple hours flying time until we landed at Danang. It was a good flight, no turbulence, plus it was nice and cool inside that plane.

As soon as we touched down, everyone started gathering their sea bags, and getting in line to see Vietnam. When the door opened, a rush of hot air filled the cabin and the heat only got worse as we got out and stepped on the tarmac. Everyone was soaked with sweat. None of us had ever been in that much heat and humidity, at least not me. It made several knees buckle, even though we were Marines.

I remember every person took a moment to look out toward those beautiful mountains that laid just north of Danang. Soon we got into a convoy of deuce and half trucks and drove a couple of miles over some red, bumpy roads to a place called Dogpatch.

The buildings we were to stay in had been built several years prior by the French when they fought in Vietnam. Each of us set up our bunks, then we hung up the most important thing we would ever own, a mosquito net. Even though we were in a war zone everything had to be in it's proper place.

As we hung our rifles on the bunks, we started asking where we could find the ammo. To our surprise, no ammo had made it to Dogpatch. A few hours later, beside one of the out buildings, I found one 7.62 round, plus a rusty old machete. I was young, only 19, but I started to have a not so good feeling about being in Vietnam. There we were in a war ravaged country and I had one (1) bullet.

Every time I see the Andy of Mayberry and Barney Fife, I think back to those three days of having only one bullet. We were a Marine Helicopter Group and I had one round to stop the "Spread of Communism".

I have no idea how many Viet Cong or NVA troops were looking down on our little hamlet called Dogpatch, but I am thankful they didn't give us a housewarming party during those three days.

For some strange reason, different songs earmark the events in my past life. The song by the Animals marks those three days of June in 1964, "We Got To Get Out Of This Place -- If It's The Last Thing We Ever Do" ...

Thank You.
C David Ramsey

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  1. Welcome home Dave.
    I share the sames song with my FB friends every weekend.
    We probably saw some of the same ground. I was north of Danang in the Phu Bai area, 1970-1971.
    Craig Latham
    Sugarcreek Ohio
    Combat Writer and Photographer for the 101st Airborne Division (Ambl).

    1. Yep...We had to go to Hue for a few weeks,,,Beautiful country up there,,,


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