Hello Sgt Grit!
Back again with another true story from the land of milk and honey!
Vietnam – Liberty Bridge – 1969… Well There we were. Fox Company, 1st Plt, 2/5 Security Detail, and it was a beautiful sun-shiny-day! We were just-a-strollin’ back and forth across the bridge makin’ sure the local Jack-A-Muffins weren’t getting into mischief when we spotted a jeep zipping down the road our way with a giant searchlight mounted on it… Is there a U.S.O. show coming to an HOA? We wondered…
Instead of passing us by, the driveer slowed down to a stop in front of me… “Hey Marine! Where is your C.O.? I got orders to stay here and sweep the bridge tonight.” We looked at the dog-faced Soldier who was a Spec-4 and about my age and started laughing, and said, ” Please give me your full name and serial number Soldier.” “Why?” He asked. “So we will know where to send your remains after you turn on that light tonight!” Our Platoon Commander, LT. Newson checked his orders and explained to him that Liberty Bridge was not the place to be flashing his pretty light around at night as it may make the bad boys of the neighborhood curious.
So during the wee hours he would flick the searchlight on to see if the cock-roaches would freeze like they do when you turn on the kitchen light and move his position to the other side of the bridge.
As the sun came up we were shooting the breeze and he asked my name. “Ivie,” sas I. “Ivie?” Says he. “You got a brother in the Army?” “Yeah, I say, Robert Ivie…just went home, was up at Camp Carroll near Khe Sanh.” All of a sudden his eyes get big and wide and he screams in my face; “You’re Hawkeye’s brother? (This kid was off his rocker…)
Dinky Dao, too much Army food, look at him jumping up and down. “No, no no! You don’t understand, I was with your brother for the last six months! He drove a 10-ton wrecker and he took me under his wing! He told me all about you! I can’t believe it! Hawkeye’s brother!”
After calming him down with soothing words and a cool drink of bug juice, he told us all about my brother “Hawkeye” and his shotgunning crew of bad-azz retrievers who taught him the ins-and-outs of the Nam to keep him alive… After hearing all the details, I was pretty proud of my brother (The Army Puke). And as he pulled away to return to Hill 35, I told him I would give my brother his regards… That is… after I find out who named him “Hawkeye”!
Semper Fi Brothers and Sisters
Always remember the good stuff as well!
Cpl. “Chip” Ivie
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