2nd Platoon, C Company, 4th/47th Battalion, 2nd Brigade
Introduction Here’s another fine young man who was also drafted on May 17, 1966 and ended up with us in the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. I remember Ronnie as a quiet guy who never got into trouble and always tried his best to do a good job learning the art of soldiering. Ronnie always had a great attitude, and man, could he carry a heavy load of M-60 ammunition! Yep, he was a good guy, everyone liked Ronnie and the 2nd Platoon troopers affectionally nick-named him “The Penquin”. Oh, I’m certain this had nothing to do with his marching abilities – haha!
Once we became part of the Mobile Riverine Force, contact with Viet Cong troops occurred frequently and many soldiers became casualties. Some wondered if survival was a reality. It was another hot August day in the Mekong Delta and the 2nd Platoon was again in search of the elusive Viet Cong. Ronnie was walkin’ point down a trail as we patrolled a lightly wooded area ……..then, suddenly -BOOM! A loud explosion – instantly we knew Ronnie had tripped a booby-trap. Sure enough, several of us rushed up to find that Ronnie had been blown off the trail and was laying in a heap, dazed with both legs just riddled with shrapnel. I can clearly remember us young soldiers, gleefully repeatedly yelling, “Way to go Ronnie, you’re going home alive!” Surprisingly, Ronnie didn’t seem to appreciate our enthusiasm, probably because he was a bloody mess and in immense pain – so there he was, hollering and cursing at us with all of his might. It was quite a scene. Soon, Lt. Benedick called in a chopper to haul Ronnie to a hospital and that was the last time that I saw or spoke to Ronnie Reynolds. That is, until he and I recently spoke over the phone. Guess what, “The Penquin” is still that same ole quiet, nice guy with that same ole outstanding attitude. Ronnie told me that it took a very long time and a number of operations, but his legs finally healed and it never held him back from enjoying a nice life. Bill Reynolds – February 15, 2002