“…Sitting just inside the tree line, trying to catch my breath for the fifth or sixth time in the last four hours, my body was shaking uncontrollably and sweating profusely, from head to toe.  I guzzled the last of my water and ate the last of the dried fish in my pockets.  It didn’t amount to a mouthful and I knew I was pushing it.  I had to look away from the group at the gate below.  To do that, I began a scan with the binoculars, anything to avoid those accusing eyes.  Over the black slate high sloping rooftop north of the school, I could see a large body of NVA troops approaching.  They were heading for the rear of the orphanage.  They were moving in infantry combat lines, not columns.  Their uniforms were of a lighter gray, so I guessed they were not from the regiments I’d spotted earlier.  Those khaki clad troops were approaching the orphanage along the red dirt road that ran toward the east.  Both groups were moving fast.  The group I saw in the valley had sent a large contingent toward the orphanage and the narrows.  Probably after their sniper missed his shot at me, he informed them of our proximity.  Some of them were marching toward the school, down the road to the front gate, but others were out in a combat line and moving on the double toward the hill I was on.  It was just luck I got out when I did.  At least two hundred men were converging on the school, and ten times that many behind them.  As I watched from the cover of the trees on the hilltop, a second line came into view over the rooftop of the school.  My head count went higher, and in the face of such numbers, I decided my luck had been pushed to the absolute limit in the last few days.  I got up and ran…”

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