|105mm casings during second battle for Khe Sanh|
If you look at a few of the pictures on Facebook, you will see that the rear bases and cities were in no way like what a lot of us had to put up with.
We didn't have hot food every day, or showers, clean clothes, USO shows, mail, movies, BX, alcohol, soda, or candy. We were lucky to get once a week, once a month, depending on the Branch of Service, Army, or Marines (which I was).
We were almost always on the move looking for the VC, or stock piles, or rocket launch sites, or pushing them into a blocking force, after clearing village after village, or hamlet, mile after mile daily. Rarely did we see what they called the rear. We called it the Battalion Area. I can only remember being in the rear two times, possibly three, in seven months.
One time proved fatal for guys in a tent barracks two down from us. They were collecting all the ammunition from the time in the bush: grenades, claymores, bullets, laws (rockets), everything. Someone triggered something and killed and wounded a lot of guys. It was a mess outside. The tent was almost gone.
These are the things you remember, not the things like showers, shows, and BXs. You remember all the lives lost due to accidental discharge, because it could have been your own on one or two occasions. It was only for the fact that I moved, that another's life was lost instead.
You remember your own artillery coming in short and almost killing you, but not any VIP, for there weren't any. You remember inept officers and the stupid actions of those around you and wonder how you remained alive.
You read about the horrors others faced and you asked yourself, "Why was I so lucky?" and I was compared to thousands of others, compared to 58,000 plus, compared to MIAs, and compared to POWs.
|Was it Worth it?|
There are so many brave warriors that went unrecognized, due to bureaucratic jealousy, vindictiveness, revenge, false bravery on the part of those handling the paperwork, even Superiors who knew no combat at all. Bravery was denied on many, many, many occasions, falsely claimed by those who showed none.
I don't know how this all will be interpreted, but these are my opinions, my views, my thoughts about those who were short-changed so long ago, who died to prove a point that proved fruitless and meanless.
It was strategy for a future battle that ended up costing lives and wounded, and for what? To just give back the ground soaked in blood, sweat, tears, and lives? Not just once, but several times? This, by those disassociated with the Realities of Combat and the Sacrifices We Made Daily, following asinine orders by REMFs, who looked at a map, listened to a Radio, but couldn't face Reality,
They were there in the rear, not being shot at, not sacrificing anything, but words. What is their futility, their death wish, their epitaph? It wasn't their family's door that would be knocked on. What decoration would they award to themselves for the sacrifices they didn't make? Can you understand how some will perceive my views?
I don't believe it's time to move on. There are still between 1500 to 2300 -- if not more -- unaccounted for MIAs ...
WIA 28 July "69
“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
Do you have an opinion, or a comment, you would like to share about this post? Click on the comment button.