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arrow link LZ Construction Part 2
Do you really build or construct an LZ? Usually when you build something, you start out with a plot of empty ground and construct some sort of structure on it. When you build an LZ, you start with section of jungle that is covered with trees and vegetation and end up with a plot of empty ground. Sounds like military thinking to me.

 

arrow link Rescue of Dustoff 65
It seems like yesterday that my friend Don and I were walking down the street checking out girls and cars like we did everyday after junior college classes. A little over a year later, I was a 21-year-old infantry platoon leader, part of the famous 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles, and Don was back home dying from the effects of that same place. Don would be forever assigned his destiny as a casualty of war.

 

arrow link The Third Brigade's Fight for Hue
On February 2, a foggy, misty day with clouds hanging so low that helicopters had to fly at tree-top level, the 1st Air Cavalry Division's 2nd Battalion 12th Cavalry air assaulted just outside Pk-17, an ARVN outpost 10 kilometers northwest of Hue. Winding southwest the next morning, the battalion stopped when lead elements, standing inside a wooded area, spotted armed enemy soldiers milling about lazily on the other side of a broad rice paddy, in the picaresque hamlet of Thon La Chu.

 

arrow link Battle of Trung Luong
Late in the afternoon, I was ordered to the Battalion CP for a warning order. It seemed that a U.S. Marine Corps Regimental Landing Team was going ashore for a training exercise North of Tuy An, (Map Sheet 6835 IV, Series L7014, coordinates 100790). Our Battalion was to go into an area Southwest of their AO to see what they might flush out. It was also noted that the Special Forces Camp at Dong Tre (coordinates 900700) had been hit fairly hard the previous night and that "maybe" several NVA units with main force back up were in the area.

 

arrow link Vietnam 1968
I arrived in Vietnam in February 1968. American's counteroffensive to the infamous Tet offensive was fully engaged. I was assigned to the mostly volunteer 101st Airborne Division's Screaming Eagles as an infantry platoon leader. Reading about this time, you find little about the war other than the communist offensive. Yet although poorly chronicled, the fighting in 1968 was substantial. I turned 21 a month after arriving and found myself leading a platoon of mostly younger men through the jungle 12,000 miles from my home. This how it looked to us.

 

arrow link Sgt. Charles D. Carter, Co. 'D', 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division (retired)
I remember disembarking and a group of soldiers in fatigues grabbing us one by one as we exited the plane telling us to run and forget our luggage. They led us to safety behind sandbags as mopping up crews pushed back the attackers. Right then I wondered how much of John Wayne's movie was fact and how much was fiction.

 

arrow link Chapter 13 from the book, "River of Memories: An Appalachian Boyhood"
David Lee Thompson grew up in Bowen Creek, West Virginia. A Vietnam Veteran who served with the 1st Infantry Division, The Big Red One - in 1965-1966, he graduated from Marshall University with an M.A. in education. Now retired from teaching, he lives in Salt Rock, West Virginia, with his wife, Janet. They have two sons and two grandsons.

 
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