My story from our May 15, 1967 Battle
We were up early that morning and boarded the
landing boats. (Tasks Force # 117)
They let us off on some island as I recall. We
walked through the marshy jungle and came to an open field to cross and I mean it was wide open; nothing to hide behind which I didn't even think about at the time. Don Peterson was on my left
flank, Charlie Nelson to my right; Bob Hausner was my radio man.
Pete, as we called him, was far left and ahead of me by 20 to 30 feet. When the shit hit the fan everyone went down with nothing for cover. At the time I had no radio man near me. I saw Charlie Nelson was hit and as I went by him he told me to get away because they'll shoot us all. I didn't even see Don Peterson at the time. I moved away from Charlie, maybe 10 to 15 feet. At that time I felt something hit me in the left shoulder (like when we were kids and somebody hit you from behind). I started getting woozy and I guess I passed out. I remember lying on the chopper floor and asking for water but they only would wet my lips (somebody did anyway).
I remember being in the 24th
Evacuation Hospital and saying to somebody or mumbling something like take care of Pete first.
But nobody knew who I was talking about. I also remember lying on a gurney bed and a Chaplin or priest was on my right side with a purple shawl around his neck. Like I say, I was going down. But I think he was giving me my last rites because I remember that from being an altar server at our church. Then I went blanků and woke up 2 or 3 days later with all this wire cat gut as stitches on my front stomach, left shoulder, and on my back where the bullet left me. I'll remember this everyday for the rest of my life. It's been 45 years and I say the same thing but that's my story. It was like cut grass out there with nothing to hide behind. And the V. C. dug in right in front of us. If I live to be 100, I'll tell you the same thing.
July 7, 2012