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….”

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