Introduction - Ray Layman, another of those "lucky" guys drafted on May 17, 1966 and
becoming part of the 9th Infantry Division when it was reactivated for combat service in Viet Nam.
I'll always remember Ray as one of the most likable soldiers in our 2nd Platoon - I don't know if June had already whipped him into shape, but Ray was one of those men who carried his load responsibly and could be counted on for any tough job. There we were, on patrol in the nasty Rung Sat Special Zone - it was another three day mission searching for Viet Cong and we had already encountered sniper fire and an absolutely horrible, muddy, swampy jungle terrain, when we settled in for the night next to the river. It was a cold drizzly night, but that didn't stop the V.C from sneaking up on us and exploding a huge homemade claymore mine. The sound was deafening. Fortunately, we had only one soldier wounded, but unfortunately that one soldier was Ray Layman. However, I guess you would call it the "Million Dollar Wound", because that Purple Heart resulted in him goin' home.