August 1, 1968

I was the new guy. I just did what the other guys told me too. I probably thought I was supposed to go too the mess tent. That worked for about a month.

When I woke, the sun was shining, Marines were milling around and Anderson said, “hey man, let’s get some hot fucking chow over across the road which ran straight through the fire based..

While we were standing in line waiting to get our hot eggs and bacon, Anderson told me the Rock Pile was a fire base that had been hit by rockets and NVA ground assaults many times. The army and Marines were on the base. The army mostly just took care of the artillery. The Marines stood lines and provided security for the base and surrounding area.

We hate our soupy eggs and bacon, then headed back over to the bunkers where our gear was. When we got there, our fire team leader, looking all bent out of shape, asked us where we had been and then told us to beady to move over to the lines “right now.”

We picked up our gear and headed for the north end of the perimeter. L/Cpl Thomas showed us our fighting hole and we dropped all our gear and smoked a cigarette. As I was cleaning my rifle, L/Cpl Thomas came up and said, “Get all your gear together and be ready to saddle up in an hour. We are moving back up the road about half-way between the Rock Pile and Camp Carroll. There is a bridge there and we are going to provide security for it.” To that PFC Anderson said, “I wish them sons a goddamn bitches would make up their mother-fucking minds.”

I finished cleaning my M-16 and loaded, it packed up my cleaning gear and got my pack and the rest of my gear ready to go. We sat around for about two hours and shot the shit until we got word to move out. We walked back to the road and got on another convoy that was headed to Don Ha We rode about three miles down the road and got off at a bridge that two hills, one each side of the road.

First Platoon had to set up a perimeter on top of the hill between the road and the river. The climb to the top of the hill was almost straight up two hundred feet. Once we got to the top, our squad was assigned the part of the perimeter overlooking the river. There were hole already dug so that saved us a lot of work.

That night, I had second watch. I could hardly keep my eyes open, I was so sleepy - and finally I dropped off. I woke with water being poured on my face. It was my squad leader emptying a canteen on my head. He said, “If I had been a gook, you would be ead. Come by my hootch in the morning, I want to talk to you.

© Carole Dixon 2015