|The First Time|
I got to Vietnam on January 31 1969, and to Quan Loi about February 4th. My first night there I spent on the perimeter and it seems like about every third night after that. In late February, I think it was the 21st, I was out there with two guys from "A" Battery. Now, I was both the new guy and the outsider so I was to pull the last shift on guard. About midnight I was awoken by the “awake “guy tripping over me to wake his buddy screaming "were getting hit.
No sooner had he said that, there was an explosion that seemed to be only about ten yards behind the bunker. I rolled off the bunker while one guy jumped. If you remember those bunkers were on a slope from the road, causing him to break his ankle. Now they had just put land lines in that day to the O.G. station. I called the O.G. to get some help out there. When he arrived he brought no replacement for the guy that was hurt.
HHB had a dog we called George that loved to ride shotgun in the jeep no matter what was happening. Well George came along with the LT. and got out of the jeep to stay with the two of us left out there. Myself, I was glad to have him, because he sat on the top of the bunker staring at the fence line while we stayed inside.
Now the whole time this was going on we are getting pounded by Charlie. When the O.G. left it suddenly hit me – “the gooks wanted to kill me!” At that moment I found out what real fear is and my only thought was “man I wish I were home in a nice safe bed”. I remember looking down the green line as they seemed to be walking the rockets strait towards us.
This went on all night, and in the morning instead of picking us up, they came out and told us we were to stay out there all day. We did get a small break at around noon when we took turns going to eat.
That was the first time I saw incoming, and it did prepare me for what was to come a few months later.