Our Lieutenant was badly wounded right off the bat. I can't even remember his name now, but he was new and right out of officer's school. Our medic was badly wounded and unable to treat the wounded.
|Medical Evacuation Chopper|
It seemed like one gunship or another was on location most of the night. One of the officers back at the firebase was extremely helpful and one was kind of a smart alack, for lack of a better word. I had no choice but to tolerate him, until he made me really mad. At that point, I told him to go f*** himself (sorry Mom) and I guess he did, because I didn't hear any more from him.
The next morning, our company commander sent my close buddy, Sergeant Donnie Byrd, from Bryceland, LA out on a helicopter to take my place and the helicopter took me back to the firebase where there was a crude medical facility.
Years later, Donnie told me there were eight of us left, counting myself. I didn't remember how many of us there were, but I knew there weren't many. I didn't know how many we had put on the medivac choppers, or whether they were dead or alive. At some point I found out quite a few were badly wounded and ended up in Japan for medical attention and then on back to the world (USA). Through some miracle, and by God's grace, there was no one killed.
When I got off the chopper at the firebase the next morning, after Byrd relieved me, Captain Moon met me on the way to the medics. I didn't have a shirt on and he told me later that my guys had put so many bandages on me and had poured so much of that red stuff on me, he thought I was on my last leg. I probably only needed about three bandages and I think they had put about twenty on me.
A few minutes later, I was lying on a table face down, where the medical guys were picking and cutting shrapnel out of my back. The battalion Executive Officer came into the room and as soon as I saw him, I remembered telling the other officer to go f*** himself (still sorry Mom). I figured the XO had a pair of handcuffs, because I had no doubt he had listened to us on the radio all night.
After all of these years, I am still grateful for the miracle of no one getting killed that day.
“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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