The Obama destruction of America

January 7th, 2015

As we all know, the Obama administration has been a total disaster. For the first six years he had Harry Reid covering his sorry lack of leadership. Obama has never had a real job that involved real leadership and especially honesty.

He has a very small group of close knit friends that actually do the governing. The only thing Obama has done well is campaign, lie, play golf, and take vacations. It is apparently clear Valerie Jarrett is the star chamber President.

I am a patriot, I fought in Viet Nam in an infantry company for our freedom (despite the propaganda disseminated by the left) and I never thought at age 67 I would be ashamed of the President of the United States. The “man” is a total hypocrite in everything he does. He and the far left lied so many times during this administration causing this great country to hang our head in shame.

The “Affordable Care Act” was sold on lies that are still coming out day by day.

Bengazi was a total lack of leadership that got four men killed then was covered up by blatant lies over and over.

The IRS debacle was purely using a branch of the government as a weapon against Obama’s enemies (yes, he does have an enemies list).

The VA situation has been going on for years and he knew it (as did President Bush) yet nothing was ever done nor will it be.

There is no doubt in my mind Obama is a pure racist despite all attempts to cover it up. All a person has to do is look at his record. In any incident he has taken the side of the black or Mexican. This is a thumb in the eye of all Americans. And Holder, well there is nothing good to say about him. If you think this administration is not racist look at who they turn to when the need to cause trouble, Al Sharpton. Enough said there.

These “protests” running rampant through the country are not protests, they are riots in any way you see them. They enter private businesses and lie on the floor shouting in an effort to disrupt people’s lives. They have no permit to assemble on private property or block roadways. Every time they do these things there should be lines of buses to escort them all to jail. Yes they have the right to assemble but in a proper manner. These “protests” are organized by a group of agitators, nothing more, nothing less.

Where is Obama on this? He calls himself a Constitution professor but he means his Constitution, not the United States Constitution. He understands these trouble makers rights end where others begin but he will not enforce the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit for all Americans, not the select few he has chosen to support.

There are so many moves he has made that will never pass muster it is impossible to even believe.

His goal was to transform America. To what? Russia, China, Middle east, or perhaps Cuba. He is completely out of control and will be much worse for the last two years of his term.

Destroy America, that is his goal!

Worst President Ever

June 6th, 2009

How in the world do the moderate democrats continue to stand behind this person that calls himself the President of the United States? The first thing he did was run up the highest deficit in the history of this nation under the ruse of “national interest”.

George Bush ran up a deficit of $600 billion during war time. Obama came behind him and ran up a deficit of over $14 trillion in the space of less than 6 months. Yet, the democrats continue to harp on the Bush administration deficit. Have they really taken complete leave of their senses?

Unemployment is at 9.4% and expected to rise to 10% or higher before the economy “turns around”. I was under the Obama impression the $700 billion “stimulus” was supposed to stop unemployment when, in fact, it has raised it and had absolutely no effect on the economy. It was a pork laden bill that was shoved through before anyone could read it. Nobody really knows exactly what is in this package and I doubt anyone ever will. This was simply the first Obama attempt to run up more spending while blaming Bush for the problems caused by Frank and Dodd in the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac fiasco forcing banks to make bad loans.

This whole problem is a democratic problem. The last time the budget was “balanced” Clinton took credit for it when spending was brought under control by a repubican controlled congress. The democrats tend to forget that small part of history because they had no hand in it.

Then we have the Obama apologizing tour. He only weakened America by apologizing for our actions protecting ourselves. Then he went to Egypt to regain his “Muslim roots” and apologize for America again. He told Iran it was fine for them to pursue nuclear “electricity” when he knows they are building a weapon. In the mean time Korea is running wild and he is totally ignoring them while he gets in touch with his “Muslim roots”. He then threw Israel under the bus in the Muslim world. He basically gave the Muslims a free hand to go after Israel. His token “we will stand behind Israel” was just that, empty rhetoric.

Then we have all the corruption within is administration from the Vice President down and, yes, that includes Pelosi. She is out of control and answers to nobody, not even the American people that she happens to work for.

This entire administration no longer answers to the American people. Obama lied his way to the highest office in the land and is now attempting to push through a radical left wing agenda.

This has become the most serious crisis this country has ever faced. Something must be done to stop them. The 2010 election cycle is our best and only bet if we are to retake this country away from the hard liner socialists in control. We are rapidly becoming another USSR and it must be stopped.





Youth vote

May 17th, 2008

May 17th, 2008

Obama is preying on the total ignorance of the youth voters,

They follow Obama all glassy eyed and swooning like he is the savior. The young voters he is appealing to weren’t even aware of the war when it began or why it began. They don’t know he is a one term senator that has spent the biggest part of his term on the Presidential campaign trail. They only know that he is articulate and can deliver a fine speech.

They don’t know he didn’t vote for the Iraq war because he was not even a United States Senator at the time.

They don’t understand he has been groomed as the “golden boy” to take this country down the path of socialism and a complete two class society. They do not understand he will be all powerful just like FDR and the middle class will completely disappear. It will be the working class and the ruling class. This has been the democrats agenda all along.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the youth vote has been programmed to never be able to understand the socialist society.

If they continue to follow Obama they will see the Great Depression of the 30’s was a walk in the park. That’s exactly what the democrats want. This is their chance to remove the government as a republic and change the Constitution so this country will become the USSR (United States Socialist Republic) with Obama as the Premier much like Kruschev.

The youth doesn’t know what the meaning of “jack boots” is. They think it is a conservative. They are simply too ignorant to understand how the democrats can institute a government to force them to knuckle under to their demands. They don’t know what a total loss of privacy is until they look up and see the SS standing in their doorway.

It’s a sad commentary on the vast majority of today’s youth. I see it as a great argument to raise the voting age back to 21. The drinking age was tried at 18 and found they were not mature enough to handle responsible drinking. What makes anyone believe they are mature enough to handle responsible voting?

Republican Candidates

November 30th, 2007

November 30th, 2007

Let’s examine our choice in candidates. We have a very divided republican party right now and that can lead this country to disaster. I’m going to look at them in no particular order. I believe we, and that means each of us, are going to have to sacrifice some of our principals if we are to keep the socialists out of the White House with their continued control of Congress.

Socialism is a cancer that has been developing since the Kennedys came to power and the torch has been passed to two even more dangerous people, Bill and Hillary Clinton. It has become increasingly clear that the candidate of that couple is actually Bill Clinton. He is hoping to sweep his way into the White House by becoming “First Husband”. Who can honestly say Bill Clinton would not be in a joint Presidency with Hillary if she is elected. These two have been calculating this since Bill left office.

Mike Huckabe

This man is what we term as a “compassionate conservative”. In other words he is a social liberal on most issues other than abortion. He claims to be a fiscal conservative yet his record as governor of Arkansas tells a very different story. I find it suprising that a preacher could attempt to twist words into actual lies. He claims to have cut taxes during his term when, in fact, he actually raised taxes by twisting tax bills around.

Following is a quote from concerning his “tax cuts”:

The former Arkansas governor is fond of saying – in debates, on his Web site and in that Nov. 18 Fox News interview – that he cut taxes “almost 94 times in my state.” (On his site, he rounds up to “nearly 100 times,” adding that he saved “the people of Arkansas almost $380 million.”)

That turns out to be far from the whole story. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration found that 90 tax cuts were enacted in legislative sessions from 1997 through 2005, while Huckabee was governor, and those cuts reduced tax revenues by $378 million. But Huckabee fails to mention the 21 tax increases that occurred under his watch and that raised revenues by substantially more. The total net tax increase under Huckabee’s tenure was an estimated $505.1 million, says the Department of Finance and Administration’s Whitney McLaughlin, adding that the figure has been adjusted for inflation.
Now let’s look at his spending record he claims to have decreased:
When we talked to Mike Stormes, the administrator of the Office of Budget for the state of Arkansas, we discovered a different story. In fact, after adjusting for inflation, we found that spending in fiscal year 1998 (the first budget for which Huckabee was responsible) was actually $10.4 billion, while spending at the end of 2006 was $15.6 billion. That’s a big increase.
He also comes out in favor of the amnesty bill and giving te dependents of illegal aliens entitlements while not being in favor of giving the dependents of our soldiers special entitlements. He claims the illegals need to be assimilated into our society when, in fact, they should be back in Mexico along with their parents.
Is Huckabee a likeable man? Of course and he is a good Christian and compassionate man but I do not believe this is the kind of man we need leading the nation.

Rudy Giuliani
His claim to fame is curtailing crime and lowering taxes while serving as mayor of New York City. Granted, crime and taxes did lower during his term but the fact he fails to remind everyone is he inherited the declines. He took office in 1994 but the crime rate actually began to decline in 1991 meaning the program was already in place when his tenure began. He merely kept it in place.
Now, he did cut taxes but not as much as he claims. Of the twenty three tax cuts he takes credit for eight of those were initiated by the state of New York, not Giuliani. Another tax cut the state legislature passed he was opposed to. He did cut taxes by $5.4 billion but that is just over half of the $9.0 billion he takes credit for. Another slight stretch of truth.
Giuliani is also pro choice which goes against all conservative values. He makes a very fancy play with the words to make it appear as though he doesn’t like abortion yet he never does anything to stop it. His record as recent as August 2007 supports this with the following statement.
Ultimate decision by woman, her conscience & her doctor. (Aug 2007)
That is pro choice no matter how you slice it.
Supports domestic partnerships, but not same-sex marriage. (Aug 2007)
This means he supports homosexuality.
Here is a very interesting tid bit about his family values. You might find it a little strange.
Annulled 14-year 1st marriage because wife was 2nd cousin. (Jan 2007)
Gun control is not his strong suit either.
Gun control reduces urban crime; no effect on hunting. (Feb 2007)
He is strong on national security and fiscally responsible. Is he a good choice? From what I’ve seen of him he isn’t the conservative we are all looking for.

Mitt Romney
Mitt is basically a clone of Giuliani except for a few slight differences. Romney has “changed his mind” on the abortion issue. Was this politically convient or was it honestly a change of heart. Personally I believe it was an honest change of heart due to his deep religious convictions.
With the mention of religious convictions I believe the fact he is a Morman will really hurt him despite people saying it won’t. Mormans simply will not play well in the “Bible Belt” and that consists of the entire southern third of this country. The differences between the Morman religion and other Christian religions is far to great to overcome in that part of the country. It’s sad but it’s a real fact of life.
On the plus side, he is fiscally strong and has a lot of experience running not only a state but a company. He and Giuliani both believe in the so called “sanctuary” cities. They would never admit it but it is a fact. He is also strong on national security.
He does believe in the seperation of powers of the different branches of government. He believes we need to get the legislators off the bench as is in evidence by the following statement.
Breach of Constitution for justices to adjust Constitution. (Mar 2007)
Truer words were never spoken. That is one of the most important issues of this election.
He is extremely family oriented and believes the best way to teach kids the true values of life is through a strong family home life. He would be a better pick than Giuliani in my opinion.

Fred Thompson
I believe Fred Thompson is the best conservative for the job. He believes in the seperation of the branches of government and the judicial branch being held in check to keep them from legislating from the bench. He has strong family values.
Fred believes in a strong nationl defense, I honestly cannot find a lot of things wrong with him and feel he is the best man for the job, I do not believe he would ever give in to the democrats. I believe he makes his positions clear and sticks with them.
He is anti abortion
He wants to appoint strict Constitutionalist judges
Scure borders
A strong military presense throughout the world
Closing the borders
Saving social security although not in it’s present form
Cutting taxes on corporations allowing them to invest more money in the job market
Revamping medicare
No gun control
His list could go on for a while but I believe in Fred Thompson and his positions.
His campaign is getting nothing but negative publicity from every media outlet in sight including FOX so he has an uphill struggle.

John McCain
McCain has an excellent record and is a war hero to boot. Unfortunately his illegal alien position is going to do him in. His age isn’t helping him either. Basically, he has no chance.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter is a fine candidate. He, Fred Thompson, and Tancredo believe in basically the same things. Hunter’s biggest drawback is he is a total John McCainunknown outside of Southern California. I have been accused of not liking Hunter but that is simply not the case. I just do not believe he is electable in any way.

Tom Tancredo
He is also a Thompson clone on issues and suffers the same fate as Hunter. I believe Tancredo is in the race right now to keep everyone focused on the illegal immigration problem as is Hunter. I don’t see him winning anything.

Ron Paul
What can be said about this one. He is a total whack job that is a liberal libertarian running under a republican ticket. The only thing he does for this country is give us a good laugh when he goes off on his rants.

Those are the Republican candidates. Our choices aren’t the best in the world but I belive Thompson is the best man for the job. Now, the problem would be is he electable. I would like to think so but the Clintons have one heck of a powerful machine and it is going to be hard to overcome.

Home At Last

April 26th, 2005

April 26th, 2005

After all the military red tape in processing and them telling us how to act we were allowed to go book our flights to our homes. I booked a flight on the old National airlines on an old 707 but then it was fairly new. While walking out of the processing center there were a lot of long hairs and girls with headbands standing along side the fence on our way to the bus. They heckled us a lot but we weren’t spit on. The movement wasn’t that strong at that time. I climbed aboard the bus for my trip to the airport. There wasn’t much going on so far as protesters so it went without incidents. I lifted my duffle bag on the baggage portion and picked up my ticket then began moving down the concourse to my flight departure waiting area. I remember walking with pride, spit shined jump boots, Combat Infantry Badge, Air Medal with silver oak leaf cluster, Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Citation, Vietnamese Campaign Medal (2 campaigns), Vienames Service Medal (two stars on it for two six month stints), National Defense Service Medal, Jump Wings with the 1st of the 12th Cav background, 101st Unit Patch on the top of my left sleeve, one glorious 1st Cavalry Division Combat Patch with the last of the Airborne tabs worn over the top of it, Garrison cap with the glider patch, Sergeant stripes on my sleeve, and last but now least, two gold two inch stripes running perpendicular to my sleeve to signify two six month tours in combat. I was beaming with pride. I had faced the worst the enemy could throw at me and walked away the winner every time.

Believe it or not there were an awful lot of people that stopped me and greeted me, shook my hand, told me we were doing a fine job and told me they were glad I made it home. That honestly brought a tear to my eye. There were a few long hairs that made nasty remarks but nobody got in my face. I’m quite sure they didn’t really want any part of a returning vet wearing a CIB and Jump Wings.

I reached my waiting area and checked in. The two young ladies also thanked me for my service. What struck me as strange is one of the ladies walked out from behind the counter, gave me a hug and said welcome home. That meant a lot. It was time to board so I got on the plane as nervous as a cat. I was ready. I knew my family was probably leaving the house to come pick me up at the Memphis airport. We tok off without incident and were having a pretty smooth flight until we hit the Rocky Mountains. Then it got really rough. We hit a wind going straight down and we all began to pray because the plane was dropping like a rock. But apparently it was common to have those downdrafts over the rockies. The pilot got it under control after dropping 500-1000 feet and we all wiped our brows. From there it was a smooth flight. I remember touching down at the Memphis airport thinking “what was I going to say” and who was going to be there. At that time we still had to walk down the ladder. I came out of the door to a round of applause. I was stunned. My entire family was there. The first one that came up to me was my father. He stood back and looked at me. He was never an emotional man at all. He looked at all the decorations on my uniform and shook my hand for a minute then pulled me too him and hugged me then wispered “welcome home son”. That was one of the most important moments of my life. Then we went through the family greetings. I knew they were glad to see me no matter what kind of a son of a bitch I had been all my life because they were all crying.

We drove home to a nice home cooked meal. No “C” rations. We visited for most of the day then I went out and saw my friends who all busted my chops in a joking manner. The next few days were like the first. Then I wanted to buy a car because I had been sending all except $20 of my check to the bank. I only kept $20 on me in the bush (no place to spend it). At that time you had to be 21 to buy your own car. You could not legally have it in your name until 21. I went to my dad to get him to go sign for my car. I had cash to pay for it. He refused, told me I was too young to own my own car. I was a little more than taken aback but what could I do? My mother heard him say that and told me to go get in the car and we drove down to the car lot to buy the nice ‘61 Impala convertible.

I played around in Memphis for the remainder of my leave time “breaking in” the car at every opportunity. Finally I had to report to my next duty station, Ft. Campbell, KY, home of the 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles. When I reported into the replacement center I was greeted with wonderful news. At that very time the division was deploying their last two brigades. Since I had just come back I didn’t have to go back for 6 months. It was my choice. The 1st Sergeant saw me standing at the counter with the Cav combat patch, Combat Infantry Badge, and Sergeant’s stripes. He tried to talk me into going back with them and I declined. He told me to wait a minute then escorted me into a Major’s office. The recruiter did everything but beg me to go back with them because they needed experieced NCO’s because not very many of their men had ever seen combat. I was an E-5 Sergeant at that time and he promised me I would be an E-7 platoon sergeant by the time I got back. It was a tempting offer but I turned it down. I often wonder how many men I could have saved with my experience because I know I could have saved some. But I became selfish and stayed on at Ft. Campbell with a security platoon that was simply gravy while those other young troopers were facing Charlie in larger numbers and the fights were becoming more intense. When TET began 6 months later I really felt bad because I know I would have saved some of those men.

On the bright side, the orders had come through for my Bronze Star with “V” for valor and I had it pinned on my chest by the commanding general of Ft Campbell in front of an entire brigade. That was a proud moment for me.

Still, to this day I wish I’d gone back to help.

Getting Short

April 18th, 2005

April 18th, 2005

The end of June came and went without incident. By this time I had about 45 days left in country. Believe me, I certainly didn’t want to get blown away after all the crap I’d already been through. It was an unwritten rule the short timers didn’t walk point nor did they take a lot of short timers out on night ambushes or squad patrols around a place the company CP was set up. One thing we did have to do was to send out at least one short timer on the same ambushes and patrols because of experience. Experience can save a life just a easily as inexperience can get someone or a lot of people killed. I was like most short timers, I knew if it got nasty I would rather be right in the middle of it than sitting back at the end of the column. Once an NVA ambush opened up we would just naturally move to the front of the column to make sure some FNG didn’t do something stupid and to help get them out of the killing zone of an ambush.

The killing zone was the most important part of an ambush. If you had a bunch of FNG’s in the middle of a killing zone that would be what would happen to them if we didn’t move up and overtake the ambush. The new troops are taught in all their training to turn into the ambush, lay down as much fire as they could muster, and move forward toward the ambush. Superior firepower saves lives. When an ambush is actually sprung it is a natural tendency to stop and take some kind of cover. That’s where the veterans and squad leaders came in. We would get to the ambush site and move the newer troops into the fight and lay down as much fire as possible. The vast majority of the time the people that sprung the ambush would pull out within minutes when we began to lay down all our fire and move in.

Now, that being said, if there was a larger force in the ambush they could pin us down and we would have to find cover out of the line of fire, pop smoke, and let the gunships do their job.

I was extremely fortunate to be assigned to the strongest unit in Viet Nam and also in the 1st Brigade. The Cav had more choppers than any other unit and could bring in gunships in mere minutes and Charlie didn’t want to stay around and face the gunships. I honestly believe that was why God placed me in that unit, so I could come home in one piece. Things happen for a number of reasons but I do believe there is a hand somewhere making them happen.

The majority of the last couple of weeks in July were fairly quiet other than the booby traps. That meant Uncle Ho was moving his little buddies into position for an offensive somewhere. The first week of August was very quiet. Simply a lot of air assults looking for Charlie after one of the Bell choppers had spotted troop movement. We were moved around from mountain to mountain to check out the trails. That was primarily the duty of the 9th Cav’s Blue teams but just about everyone was doing it.

The second week of August I was sent into An Khe on a chopper to get ready to go home. When I got on that chopper I simply prayed the chopper would make it to An Khe without incident. While in the air the chopper dropped into English because they were needed quickly to move some troops. I ended up driving back to An Khe in a jeep with nobody other than me and the supply sergeant. So guess what? We had to drive down a road that took you through An Khe pass which was notorious for ambushes of motor convoys. We had two M-16’s and that was it. Thankfully we made it back to An Khe and I turned in all my equipment, put on fresh jungle fatigues and hopped a Caribou to Cam Rhan Bay. I was then processed out and loaded on a C-141 for the flight to Oakland.

When a 141 is loaded with troops the seats are set up facing backwards and the way a 141 flies it feels like it is pointing down rather than level. That is a scary feeling. You think “I just made it through a year in the jungle and now this damned plane is going to crash into the ocean”. But, thank God, we made the trip with nothing happening. There is no way to describe the feeling when the plane touched down on American soil and began it’s taxi to the army’s in processing terminal.

I wasn’t home yet but I was on American soil for the first time in a year. The date was August 17, 1967, it was time to go home.

Becoming More Cautious

April 12th, 2005

April 12th, 2005

By this time of my tour there were several of us getting “short” (close to DROS (date of rotation to the states)). We were as anxious to avoid contact as we had ever been. We had a lot of FNG’s coming in and several of us that been replacements the previous August. There weren’t very many of us that had made it for 9 1/2 months without a Purple Heart and none of us wanted one. Promotions weren’t automatic as some thought. There were an awful lot of infantrymen that spent their tour in the bush and came home as a Spec-4 (E-4). It wasn’t that they weren’t good soldiers, they held their own and didn’t slack off at all, they just weren’t leaders that could react decisively in a hurry. They were great soldiers but they were followers. Nothing wrong with that. I saw some men come in and within three months were promoted from PFC to SGT. There was no favortism or butt kissing in the bush. Men were promoted as their actions deemed.

One thing you could bet was medals weren’t handed out just to be handing them out. They were awarded for a special kind of valor. That was the biggest problem I had with John Kerry. His medals were all simply political to boost his resume’. That was the reason the vets voted against him rather than for him as he was depending on. That was especially prevelant among grunts. We all knew Kerry was a fake.

We spent the next month humping mostly the mountains. It was the day to day grind again. We were still picking up signs of heavy troop movement by the NVA. We knew something was coming. What we didn’t know was they spent about 6-8 months getting their units into position for the TET offensive of ‘68. That was one of the reasons we noticed a decrease in fights of any size. We still ran into the booby traps and they were the type that were manufactured just like weapons were manufactured then hauled down the Ho Chi Mihn Trail by the NVA. Those things were all over the place. We placed our older guys on point. That may seem unfair to the guys almost ready to go home but, to the contrary, it was safer for them because they could spot a booby trap a lot faster than a new man. We simply wanted to make it like a hike through the mountains nice and safe. We avoided trails as much as possible. We ran across trails wide enough for carts being pulled by animals to get down. We certainly got the hell away from those kind of trail.

We would be set out on night ambushes almost every night somebody got the honor of these treats. It didn’t matter, nobody ambushed anybody because there were simply too many enemy in the area. We would set up on a trail then back off the trail about 50 meters so the enemy didn’t see us and spend the night like that. It wasn’t the Oliver Stone crap of setting up right next to a trail then ambushing the point of a column of NVA. That was simply stupid. I don’t know where he got that. Just some more hollywood crap that made us look like crazed killers. I could identify with some of the fights in Platoon but the rest of the movie was total bullshit. There wasn’t any of this coming back into the bunkers for the night for some beer drinking and pot smoking. That movie really torqued me. Reality was We Were Soldiers. It didn’t get any more real than that. Throw the hollywood left wing twist by some of those nut jobs out there and watch Mel Gibson play his role along with his entire batallion. Hal Moore was real and that was the actual way he lead his men. Those soldiers were good soldiers. There was no crap in the 1st Cav then or through at least ‘67. That was my army, not Oliver Stone’s portrayal.

We got through the end of June without any heavy fighting which was a blessing. That left me with about 45 more days to stay alive along with several others that came in as replacements with me. We were all counting days now.

Continue To March

April 11th, 2005

April 11th, 2005

In reflection of the battle at An Qui, there are so many little things that you begin to remember. I can remember when I had gone back across the open area for the second time trying to get back to our lines the M-60 had jammed and there I was with no weapon. I had made it across the open area and picked up a wounded man’s M-16. That weapon belonged to Peace who I had told you about earlier. He had a bandage wrapped around his head and was full of blood but the strange thing was he had a smile on his face. I’ll never forget him sitting there against a built up hedgerow dike. I remember asking what in the world happpened. He just looked up at me and smiled and said “I guess I got shot” like it was nothing. Apparently what had happened was a round had hit the front site of his rifle (for those of you that don’t know about the sight on the M-16 it sticks up a couple of inches in a triangle on the front of the weapon). When the round hit the front site it deflected it just enough for the round to crease the top of his forhead and part of his head. It wasn’t a horrible wound but when you think about the possibility of what would have happened had the round been 1/4 inch to the right or left it would have hit him right between the eyes and there was no doubt he would have been killed. God works in very strange ways. Peace got on the medevac and only had the same amount of time left in country as I did he never came back to the field again.

Then there was a big black guy by the name of Shedrack (sp). He was sitting next to Peace with his rifle broken down running a cleaning rod down the barrel to get a round out that had jammed. (The M-16 was notorious for jamming. A tiny grain of sand would jam it so it had to be kept clean all the time). When I was picking up Peace’s weapon for another trip across the field I looked down at Shedrack and just kind of laughed. He looked up and smiled and said “darn M-16″. He was never a slacker at all. He could always be counted on. He was an extremely religious man and you would never hear him curse no matter what happened.

Charles Thoms, a New York City kid was on the other M-60 was pouring rounds into the village. I slipped around him and let him know where I would be so he didn’t fire in that direction. I got about half way across the field from another direction with more cover and slipped down behind a tree. As I began to pour magazine after magazine into the village I had just made it out of just in case the NVA had moved back into the bunkers to catch our trapped our last squad coming out. I kept the covering fire up until our last man was out of the village and we moved out of the village. We took up positions out in the dry rice paddies while the artillery, ARA (gun ships) and the jets pounded the village. I remember the Phantom coming in with their bombs. When they exploded we heard the awful sound of ppfft……pfft……ppfft hitting all around us. We were too close to the village and the sharpnel was landing all around us. The RTO got on the radio and screamed to call them off until we could get back about another hundred yards. When we got down and covered up Goode (another rather large black man) was ling on his back next to me. His eyes were as big as saucers. He was in the squad to the right of mine going into the village. They got pinned down immediately and couldn’t move an inch. The gunships came in and laid down fire so precise he said it was about 25 feet in front of them and worked over the NVA positions so they could pull back.

There were simply so many little things that come back to me when I begin to think about it. It seems like it was yesterday. I remember when I went back in to show them where the bodies were. Sgt. Dunn was lying on top of a bunker as was Sgt. Neese. Dunn had one hole in his stomach that was so small I could see his intestines sticking out the hole. Sgt. Neese had most of his head gone. The new guy had been shot several times. He had bandages on his head where Doc Word had patched him up while he was still alive. That just wasn’t enough. He had several holes in his chest also that he had take after Doc had patched him up. Doc was on the end of him where his head was while patching him up when he got hit several more times in his chest. I remember asking Doc about it and he was crying. He thought he had saved him so we could get him out to a medevac but as he was working on him he got raked again. I could tell by Doc’s face that he was just frustrated because he could have saved the man had they not raked those bushes again. I guess it’s hard to imagine how Doc felt sometimes. He was a wonderful man, as brave a man as you would ever meet. Our medics knew no fear. They saved so many lives with their pure guts.

But the fight was over and we were back on English drinking a warm beer waiting for a couple days until we had some replacements and were ready to go back to the bush. The next day we got a new Lieutenant that was gung ho. He was the type that thought he was a hard ass. This was a guy that wanted to be a hero and was apt to get some people killed. The night before we were going back into the bush I began to run a high fever. The batallion surgeon took me to his tent, gave me an IV and iced me down. He told me to stay there. About 10PM that evening the new Lt. came into the surgeon’s tent and told me I had damned well better be on those choppers going to the field the next morning. To begin with he didn’t know me from adam. He was simply an asshole. That’s as simple as it gets.

There are two different types of malaria. One is called Plasmodium vivax which is gone forever once cured. The other is Plasmodium falciparum and is the life threatening malaria. It never leaves you blood stream and can come back if you are in the wrong climate for years after you have had it. That was the kind I had caught early in my tour. Never the less the next morning I pulled the IV out of my arm, rucked up and moved out with my company as I had been ordered. We had set up in a small abandoned village and were sending platoon patrols into the mountains out of that location. The new platoon leader had threatened to bust me down to a PFC from a Sgt if I didn’t get out of that bed and hit the choppers with my unit. Needless to say, I was pretty well torqued at him. Before my platoon moved out I was talking to the third platoon leader, Lt. Radcliff, great guy, West Point Man and great leader. I tried to get him to move me into his platoon before I decked this young Lt. He said he would love to have me but he blew smoke up my ass and told me I was too good a man to take out of that inexperienced platoon (yeah, right, and my mama’s a possum). So, I went back to my platoon to begin patrol. I was walking third in the column but we had one guy with a month in walking point and an FNG walking second. I was pissed anyway and itching for a fight. I told the point man to take my place and I’d take the point. The new Lt. told me no way and I told him to go f*** himself, it was my squad. He told me when we got back to English he was going to Article 15 me and bust me. Like I really cared. I told him to do as he pleased and moved out. Along the trail I began to feel like hell again. Doc word came up again and stopped the column on the spot. He called the platoon leader’s RTO up and called for a medevac. I heard the batallion commander on the radio ask Doc “is it Foote”. Doc told him yes and the batallion commander, a Lt. Col. brought in his own chopper to pick me up. The Batallion surgeon came to the chopper when the Col set it down and asked me why in hell I left the tent that morning. I told him what had happened and the Lt. Col. simply lifted his chopper off and flew me to Cam Rhan Bay immediately. It only took two weeks to knock this bout out and I was right back with the unit ready to go healthy as a horse. Funny thing was when I got there we had a new platoon leader. The new Lt. had been replaced the day the batallion commander picked me up. They apparently sent him back to some unit where he would do administrative duties rather than lead an infantry platoon. I remember Lt. Radcliff came over me, shook my hand and said he was glad to see me back so soon and the problem had been rectified the day I was lifted out. Some people just aren’t meant to lead. I’m sure that Lt. didn’t go far in the military. Probably about like John Kerry. Kerry reminded me of him, no wonder I hated Kerry so much.

But on we went. It was getting close to the first of June and I was getting what they call “short”. I had about 75 days left in country and was hoping we would get a nice quiet area to hump for a couple of months. No such luck, we headed further north than the Kim Song in the direction of the AShau valley. It became known as the “Valley of Death” when the Cav first entered it. The Bong Son area was mild next to the AShau. We didn’t enter the AShau but we were close enough to begin running into a LOT of NVA platoon size plus units and the fights became more numerous. When I returned to the platoon there were several new faces and a couple new sergeants plus a couple sergeants missing. One had finished his tour and the other had been killed. As we patrolled closer to the border casualities began to mount as did enemy contact. I thought to myself “I just knew I should have found a way to stay in that hospital”. Problem being we had a lot of new faces and they needed all the older guys they could scare up to help the FNG’s survive. So on I went back into the same old grind, climbing up the mountains, setting up for the night on top of a mountain, hoping Charlie wouldn’t want that particular piece of Viet Nam that night. It became routine again. Most of the older guys would get a night on English now and then just to get a break and a good night’s sleep. We all needed it. I can remember some of the newer guys kind of resented that but they would simply have to deal with it.

It was getting close to July and no major fights since An Qui but we knew there was one coming soon. We were seeing way too many signs of heavy troop movement and that wasn’t a good thing. They were massing again. We just didn’t know where.

Charlie Making His Move

April 5th, 2005

April 5th, 2005

May began just as April ended, rough. We weren’t going very deep into the mountains surrounding the Bong Son plains in Bihn Dihn province. Even though we weren’t going very deep into the mountains we were going on a more regular basis in smaller units. It seemed odd to all of us that we operated in a company size unit out on the plains and going through the villages but when they sent us into the mountains the largest force we used was platoon size.

They began sending us into draws coming out of the mountains looking for trails to set up on. They would split the company and platoons into 10-12 man teams for these ambushes. Here’s where military intelligence becomes an oxymoron. If I’m Charlie sitting on the ground watching the choppers moving into the mountains in pairs and setting down on several different LZ’s. This turned into a big duh. Charlie knew we were setting up ambushes on the trails in the draws. Who among the readers of this blog would think the NVA was going to walk into one of these ambushes? Once in a while you might catch a couple of stragglers but that was about all. Hell, they knew where we were better than we did. If they chose to they could have wiped out every ambush set up for them but they had other things on their minds. They were slipping over the border and through the mountains in platoon size groups going into staging areas for company and batallion size units.

Lessons learned from LZ Bird? It appears as if nothing was learned. Before we were over run on Bird intelligence knew the 22nd NVA was operating in force in the Kim Son valley yet they put us out there as bait anyway. Those of us that wiggled off the hook at Bird knew there was something wrong with the picture and we talked among ourselves about it. When we talked about what was going on you could see the fear in the faces of the FNG’s. When someone tripped a booby trap the fear among the FNG’s grew even more. Those of us that had been around for several months knew the bobby traps were standard procedure. One thing the new guys invariably asked was “where were the punji sticks” and those type of booby traps. We simply explained to them that wasn’t the type of enemy we were facing in the central highlands. These guys were hard core NVA and Main Force Viet Cong. They weren’t the farmer by day, VC by night type of enemy. Most of the less than lethal booby traps were in the south in the swamps, not in the mountains.

Bihn Dinh province was crucial to the NVA. They needed it to cut the country in half and to have a better base of operations to operate from. As we got deeper into 1967 we all knew something was coming at us. We just didn’t know what. We were moving constantly from the mountains to the villages and back to the mountains. Around mid May we began to run into larger elements, not stragglers, squad and platoon size elements all headed to the middle of the Bong Son plains. We’d have a quick hit and run fight or hit a booby trap but the difference was it was happening more often.

We were air lifted to the top of a mountain with a well traveled trail we knew the NVA were moving troops and equipment along. We set up in a company size position and sent platoon patrols out to cover the smaller trails coming into the larger trail we were sitting on. When the patrols were sent out we always kept a few men from each platoon to secure the company command post. We would rotate people staying back so everyone got a chance to rest a little. One day five of us out of my platoon got the gravy duty of resting while the rest of the platoon went down the mountain and were to come back up the other side of the draw. Walking point was a guy from Florida by the name of Larry Clausen. He was a hot dog but had reason to be because he was a genuine bad ass, not afraid of anything. Behind him was an Indian from Arizona by the name of Poolaw. Very quiet, very likeable man. He was the definition of stealth on a patrol. Suddenly we heard an explosion about halfway down the mountain. I saw Doc Ennis running toward my position which was facing the explosion. He wasn’t running to see me. I grabbed a rifle and ammo and was right behind him to cover his ass heading down the mountain. One of the radio operators followed me. We ran into some extremely thick brush. We could see the position of the explosion down the mountain but just couldn’t get through the brush. Then we heard the medevac coming in. We saw them drop the stretcher into the jungle and knew someone was hurt bad. At the same time we heard on the radio it was Clausen and Poolaw that had been hit. The position of the booby trap was set in such a way that it killed them both instantly with pellets to the head. I remember hearing the company commander asking my platoon leader if it was Poolaw. This was confirmed and we all just sat down and cried. That was a very unusual thing because we always tried to block out the hurt when someone went down. I was stuck in the brush with Doc Ennis, he was the chief headhunter (company medic), and the RTO. Poolaw was special to all of us, there is always someone like that but the loss of Poolaw simply devestated all of us. Yes there had been another man killed but it just wasn’t the same. The platoon made it back up to the company CP and we were extracted and dropped into LZ Pony for a day.

The next day we were right back at it. We were out in the plains checking the villages surrounding the village of An Qui. Suddenly we heard a fierce fire fight break out over in An Qui. We were about a click (kilometer) from there so we were ordered to move out and move into An Qui from the west and push through to A and B companies who had set up as a blocking force. we got to the edge of the village and dropped down behind the rice paddy dikes. We saw movement and some NVA heading into a hooch. The platoon leader screamed for the 60’s to open up on that hooch. That was my cue since I was then humping the 60. We pretty well shreaded the hooch. If there was anyone in there they were dead or shot all to hell. We then got up and began to move into An Qui, 1st squad to the left and 3rd squad to the right with second (mine) squad in the middle. When we moved into the village we had to cross an open area about 50 yards across. We got out into the open moving quickly and all hell broke loose. Two men in front of me and two men behind me were hit immediately and I kept moving firing all the way. I knocked out two bunkers, one a machine gun bunker and killed 4 NVA in those bunkers. That gave us time to get our flanking squads pulled back. As I was moving back I saw Doc Word in the brush with wounded. One was a young man that had just joined the company the day before. I asked Doc if he needed help. He said he needed to get the platoon leader out of there but the new guy was already dead along with two squad leaders. Doc and I grabbed Lt. Mordue and got him to safety. I returned to the crossing and laid down fire to help get the rest of the men out of the killing zone. The Lt had his ankle shot all to hell.

We finally got out of the village and had our wounded medevaced. We had to leave three dead in the village. There was no way to bring them out then. The gunships, jets, and artillery began to pound the hell out of that village and pounded it all night long. The next day we had to sweep the village because the NVA had moved out during the night. It seems we had walked right into the middle of an NVA batallion dug in looking for a fight. We lost 7 men out of my platoon that day and several wounded. The company commander came to me and asked me to show the armor where the bodies were. Apparently I was the only one that had made it that far into the village and lived to tell about it. We went in with chains and I pointed out the bodies of our men. The armor guys thanked me and said they would take it from there. They had to drag the bodies out with chains because they might be booby trapped. I got back to the company position and batallion air lifted us back to English to stand down.

For that day the Batallion Commander awarded me the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for valor. They also gave me a Purple Heart for scratching myself in the bushes, go figure. I wondered why because all I did was get the hell out of there as quick as I could. I did nothing anyone else would have done had they been in the same position.

After that fight we stayed in a stand down position for 3 days to collect ourselves and pat ourselves on our collective backs for still being alive and mourned the dead.

It was getting worse and we all knew it.

The Old Grind Changes

April 1st, 2005

April 1st, 2005

April brought more rain but the dry season was just around the corner. We looked forward to that for some strange reason. It really didn’t matter, you were going to be wet anyway no matter what. Once the rain stopped it was so hot you were dripping wet with sweat. People that haven’t done it can never imagine how hard it really was humping day after day after day. It seemed like people were in a daze a lot of time. It took everything a man had sometimes just to keep up with the daily grind.

It wasn’t unusual for a man to simply fall out from heat exhaustion. The rest of the squad would pick up the slack for him. It happened to me once. I swore I would never let the squad down by passing my work on to someone else because everyone was over worked anyway. It was hot and we’d been humping the mountains around the An Lo valley again. I’ll never forget it. I began to feel weak in the knees. I knew the heat was getting to me. I took my canteen and took off my steel pot to pour some water over my head. I wasn’t sweating and that’s not a good sign. Harrington, the gunner, a very large black man from somewhere in the northeast, held his hand up and grabbed my shoulder to get me to the ground. About that time I went black for a few seconds. It wasn’t very long but as I began to open my eyes Harrington and Scotty (the other grenadier, a black kid from NYC) were taking my rucksack off me and covering my head and face with wet towels (everyone had a towel around their neck most of the time) to get me back to my senses. The column had stopped until I was ready to go. My platoon leader, Lt. Mordeau came back to check on me. I told him I was fine, let’s move back out. I saw a look on his face I’d seen more than once on a man’s face. The look is yeah, right, you’re ready. Wayne Peace (funny I remember some full names after all these years, mostly I remember faces) and Eddie Harris (the man I had become pretty tight with) grabbed my gear. Peace carried my rucksack and Harris grabbed my web gear. All I carried was my weapon and ammo. Harrington and Scotty would have carried the gear but they both carried extremely heavy loads. Harrington humping the gun and Scotty humping the 79, so they couldn’t really carry that much extra weight. A couple minutes later the colum moved out again as it would have normally. About an hour later I was feeling stronger so I took my web gear back then after another half hour or so I took my rucksack. I thanked Peace and Harris and it was simply a smile returned meaning they knew I would do the same for them and they also knew if we’d hit something I would have pulled my load.

Funny how you remember some things. I can honestly still smell the fires in the hooches as we’d walk through a village. I remember some trails as if they were my back yard. I remember so many little things and all the big things that happened. We were a strange mixture of men. SFC Baiza was a huge hispanic (then we termed them Mexicans and they didn’t mind at all), SSG Horton was an average size man from Missouri, nice guy, good squad leader, Wayne Peace, a very simple guy my age from Georgia, Eddie Harris, another very simple young man from North Carolina, Scotty, a guy as black as the night, about 5′8″ and strong as an ox, Sgt Peiffier, simply a very average man from California, Sheddrack, an extremely quiet black man from South Carolina, Larry Clauson, a real hard case from Florida (he was one of the replacements), Rubio, another Mexican from a poor part of some city in Texas, Hundly, as nice a guy as you could ever meet but strong and steady (another replacement), Doc Word, average size black guy from Texas, Charles Thoms, ugliest SOB you have ever seen, buck teeth and a nose that ran to his chin, young kid from NYC, thought he was a bad ass, Brophy, heavy set guy, never met a friendlier person, and the list could go on, just so many young men coming and going either by rotation, medevac, or a body bag. I simply feel obligated to let people know everyone wasn’t just a poor black from a ghetto. We were from all over and all cared as much as anyone could for each other in that situation. Nobody wanted anyone to get hit but we knew it was going to happen. There was simply no way it wasn’t going to happen. We were in a war, we all knew that. We just hoped it was someone besides “me” meaning every man there.

We were paying more attention to the mountains on the edges of the valley now instead of being deep into the mountains. That told us Charlie was moving closer to the villages. That also told us there were going to be more and more booby traps and snipers in the areas we were patroling. One day I was in the point squad patrolling the ridgline facing the rice paddies. Our squad went out around the point of the ridge searching down the hill for signs of enemy activity. After we had moved out around the point of the ridgeline the squad following us had cut across the ridge. Sure as they did the second man in their squad tripped a bouncing betty. That is a booby trap that, when tripped, springs up to about waist high and explodes. It took out two men, Brophy and another that I can’t remember the name of. I remember looking back and seeing Brophy lying there. The mine had cut him in half. We called in the Medevac, Doc Word had patched him up as best he could and filled him full of morphine. It didn’t matter, he died before the medevac could get back to the forward MASH unit on English. We continued humping never saying a word. We knew he had died and nobody said anything. We just set up for the night and went about our duties. The log ship brought us hot chow and mail. That was always a welcome sight. I remember we had roast beef, smashed taters and gravy, and lima beans. Of course we knew it wasn’t real roast beef, it was water buffalo. It tasted just as good but it was always a little tough and stringy but it was hot and good. We all had mail whenever the log ship brought it out because we didn’t see it every day. I’d seen times when we didn’t see the log ship for 5 days. It was a welcome sight anytime though.

We stayed in the mountains around the Bong Son plains for a couple more days and it was nearing the 3rd week in April. That meant my R&R was coming up. 5 days of drinking and chasing Japanese women (actually it turned into less than 4 because flight time and orientation time to Japan took up a lot of time). Never the less it was great to climb on the log ship the day before I was going to get on that big iron bird. Even as I was flying back to English to chopper over to An Khe to get my class “A’s” the door gunner tapped me on the shoulder and told me someone was in the shit and choppers had been deployed to pick up my company to go in to help. Apparently it was A company and they were getting hit pretty hard. My thoughts were I hate to see it happen but I’m going to forget about it for a few days.

We got to Japan and we were all strangers to each other because we only let one man from the platoon go on R&R at a time. They had different hotel packages so four of us grunts from different units grouped up and went to the same hotel. As soon as we checked in we headed straight into downtown Yokohama to hit the bars. We started out in a bar that catered to American military. Most were stationed in Japan. This is the killer, I went to the bar and ordered a beer and you would not believe what happened. The bartender carded me and of course I was 19. It seems the legal drinking age in Japan is 21. Here I stood with a Combat Infantry Badge on my uniform on R&R from Viet Nam and the bartender wouldn’t serve me. There were several guys at the bar that were apparently stationed in Japan. One of them told me to go sit down. About 5 minutes later here came a half dozen of these guys and each of them sat down at out table and each one of them set a cold beer down in front of me. They said they had just had a friendly conversation with the bartender so I could drink all I wanted. They were a bunch of nice guys. As soon as I was good and drunk they pointed us to the girls in Japan. We walked into a bar and were immediately surrounded by girls. I had one on each side of me, both pretty girls making sure I knew their intentions. So I ended up with two pretty Japanese girls for three nights. It sure made me forget Viet Nam.

But, all good things must come to an end so back to Viet Nam I went. When I got off the Caribou at An Khe the dust and heat hit me in the face and my head dropped. I thought, “here we go again”. I picked up my gear at supply and hopped a ride to the chopper pad. I climbed on the log ship going out to my unit. Of course I was greeted with the expected sarcastic “welcome homes” I was given by all my platoon. They were actually happy to see me. SFC Baiza had been moved to third platoon which puzzled me a little. I asked what was going on. SSG Rozelle was now our platoon sgt and we had a couple of new faces in the platoon, actually several new faces in the company. Hell, one of he FNG’s even tried to bust my chops a little when I got off the chopper but he was shut down in a hurry by the rest of the platoon. (Dumb Ass). Apparently the night I went out and my company was picked up A company (again) had run into an NVA company. My platoon lost an entire squad that night to friendly fire. Apparently two smoke grenades were popped (same color). One was where to bring in the slick and the other was to mark the position of our forward troops position. The gunship mistook the first smoke as our forward position because it was popped first and the gunships were coming in for their run. They opened up and chopped up an entire squad. Joe Bailey, the guy that had taken my place humping the 79 had also been hit 6 times, not by the gunships but the NVA. They told me he was all right and was in a Japanese military hospital. They told me he had taken all 6 hits in the arms and legs. I found out 20 years ago he was KIA that night when I saw his name in a casualty book at a Memphis vet center. My platoon simply didn’t tell me that because they didn’t want me to feel guilty about him getting killed walking in the exact spot I should have been in.

Things really began to heat up at the end of April and continued to escalate into May. Charlie was going to make a move somewhere. We just didn’t know where.