Monthly Archives: December 2015

EXCERPT FROM “HEIRS OF HONOR” – ‘THE MORNING AFTER’


 

“…It was the spooks that dropped us in the wrong camp, after a very savage night in the foggy jungle.  When they let us out of the chopper, it was dark, so I had no idea of the condition of my uniform.  It so happened I was covered in blood and had forgotten about it, in all the excitement.  I looked like hell and had no idea, because I hadn’t seen myself in the light.  I had been in a very dark place, all night long.  My partner was spotless.  It was just my bad luck to be dipped in shit by a very hostile night in the woods.  It was one of the most terror-filled nights of my life.  When it ended, I was on an elated emotional high because I was alive.  It’s an insane feeling to be so happy after living through terrible things, but it was common.  ‘Survivors’ joy’ is probably why there is so much ‘survivors’ guilt’….”

“….Anyway, uniforms aside, we ended up being dropped off in the wrong base by the spooks.  We had handed over to them more than two hundred pages of papers that were a diagram to a huge tunnel complex that was full of weapons and ammo.  It was so important to them that they called in a massive air strike, almost immediately, and managed a direct hit.  The sky was glowing before we were disembarked, and everyone seemed pleased at what we brought them.  When we got off the chopper, we had received so many pats on the back that our hats no longer fit our heads.  We were two twenty year old soldiers, stunned by our success and the praise of men we didn’t trust.  They promised our performance would not be forgotten.  We got off their chopper with orders to grab a bite, and get a flight back to our base at 0700.  We had two hours and it was still dark.  We walked through the camp, fully equipped for the field, feeling like Caesars, laughing out loud, and confident we could kick the ass out of all the gooks, on our own.  That’s when it hit.  The aroma of bacon and eggs cooking stopped us in our tracks…..”

EXCERPT FROM “HEIRS OF HONOR” – ‘THE HIGHLANDS’


 

“…It struck me, as I looked out the window of the Chopper taking us up into the Highlands, that Vietnam was a green on green splendor of a country.  The land itself was a beautiful contradiction.  Its’ lush tropical growth was filled with life.  Even after all these years, it’s easy to recall the exotic insect whine of that world, or visualize its’ jeweled birds.  The rich sweet sour odor of houseplants has always triggered memories of the decaying vegetation found in the murderous jungles of Vietnam.  Death was the natural order of things over there, and we soldiers were its’ most enthusiastic agents.  The stench of our accomplishments wafted over our camps on the night breeze, and perversely, it was not out of place.  Death was as much a part of Vietnam as the blood soaked red soil….”

“….We Americans had massive firepower in the Nam.  In the daylight hours, the engines of our gunships shook the air.  At night, the thumping chant of artillery prevented sleep with menacing explosions and constant ground vibration.  We knew somewhere out there, Charlie waited for us so the killing could continue.  Most of us dreaded the moment, others had become indifferent, and an even smaller group looked forward to it….”