EXCERPT FROM “HEIRS OF HONOR” – ‘DOWN TO THE CHILDREN’


“…My military career had taken a direction I never expected.   A Demolition Team later established the explosives were strapped to those kids, so I was justified.  The children couldn’t get out of the harnesses.  Somehow, Charlie had forced them on a suicide mission.  The VC had radio-controlled detonators and probably watched from nearby.  Possibly, Charlie wanted the kids to walk near our C.O.  Perhaps it was part of the never-ending psy-war against us, designed to prevent relaxation, anywhere.  The war became something else for me on that day.  Charlie became contemptible in my eyes.  What kind of human kills children to kill a soldier?  I had lost all feelings of respect for my enemy.  Why we were fighting became unclear.  Maybe we were fighting because that’s what soldiers do.  Just a mean little war, fought for nothing more than the sake of fighting, and testing new weapons systems.  It was going to be a very long time before I saw anything human in Vietnam.  I had taken my first step into the madness that is common to soldiers.  It is extremely unnerving, knowing your enemy hated you with such intensity they were willing to kill their children to get at you….”

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