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.
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" ...
C David Ramsey
“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