|No Windows, No Doors
Without windows and doors nor restraint, we fly. Over the trees, rivers, and craters we fly, West Northwest toward Quan Loi, up from the Mekong Delta, to the mountains along the Cambodian border.
This Huey Gunship makes me feel safe. This chopper is the one place I feel secure here in the dead zone. Safe at last two thousand feet above the trees, but this will be short term and I will be sucked back into a world I cannot escape.
Leaning out over the doorway, I can see down on the convoy nearing Ben Cat half way up to Quan Loi. Further up the road, we enter the air space above the old French rubber tree plantations. The beautiful French homes in the center of the plantations are often the headquarters for Viet Cong forces. The French people living there seem to pass freely from our side to theirs.
Topping out over the 175mm/8inch fire base at Quan Loi, I see the progress we've made in building the airstrip and securing the compound. Two months ago we made a mad dash up the road from Di An and grabbed our few acres of real estate in the middle of the night. That first night should have been our last. Why old Charlie let us get dug in is beyond my reason.
This knoll on the mountain has become my home and I am back from Rest and Relaxation with dread. How lucky can you get?
Mike Mercer Then and Now
18th Engineers, 557 Light Equipment Co.
March 67- March 68