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To my peers
I told you I would get even
I hope I did you proud
We don’t get the whole five days of stand down; it is more like two and then we go back into the cycle of isolation, movement to the launch site and insertion. Our next target will be one of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) targets. That is an oxymoron, the term Demilitarized Zone. The area fairly bristles with NVA. The only thing demilitarized about it would be the lack of any US military in the area for longer than a few hours.
The launch site at Quang Tn is in sharp contrast to Phu Bai. The site is located outside the sprawling Fifth Mechanized Division’s base camp and adjacent to the main ammo dump. This means a quick turn-around time for the gunships on reload. It also means that we are isolated from the hubbub of prying eyes. The site is run by an acerbic major named Slatten. He has the same grace that Manes shows, that of a retread. The starkest contrast is the launch site NCOIC (Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge). His name is Budrow. More commonly, he is known by his nickname “Pappy.” Actually, he has several nicknames, but other than “Pappy” the rest will get you clocked if you mutter them within earshot.
Most important to us is the fact that he is a former one-zero. Pappy won’t launch a team unless he has the assets to support the teams on the ground. Pappy is our shepherd, he watcheth over us, he layeth us down in green pastures, and he shall fear no evil. Those pastures are full of pissed off PAVN and he has the great equalizer: air support. Without it getting there on time and in strength, we’d be just another red smear on the ground and letters of regret to our families. He has our trust. Of course, this imbues him with the charm that comes from big responsibilities and too little sleep.
We no sooner arrive at the launch site than the shit hits the fan. There were two teams on the ground and one at the site to act as a....
“But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother;”
I visited your site this AM and noticed that the picture accompanying the recommended book list, for my book has the picture of the pamphlet that the publisher handed out at the convention was the visual. The actual book cover
can be found at www.realwarstories.com.
The continuation and second part of the original " Whispers in the Tall Grass" is in process, I have been doing a rewrite so I dont know when it will reach publication. My problem has not been the richness of the stories,
but rather of making it a cohesive two book edition, yet having each stand on its own. The second book reflects both my own and the projects burn out, due to over extension, and the waning commitment of the war planners to win as
opposed to holding actions without that desire to achieve a victory.
I have talked with veterans of the Legion, Wehrmacht, Portugese Commandoes,and Rhodesian Selous, that experienced the same and will try and convey that to the reading public, with hopefully, the same candor and dark
humor that allowed us all to survive.
I believe today's generation needs to know the sacrifices, and selfless commitment that our departed comrades, who gave that last full measure of devotion to this Republic; is an example of why we are great as a nation and a people. It is a story and history that this nation can be proud of and that we all should celebrate as an ideal. To those that believe as the Japanese and the Nazis did a generation before did, that America is a weak and effete culture, should listen instead to our foe on being congratulated on the eve of the successful attack on Pearl Harbor, when he cautioned their exuberance with the words, " I fear that we have awakened a sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve."