We had set up a position so that we could get badly needed resupplies. I was just standing around wondering, if I started yelling “short” would the CO believe me and send me back to An Hoa so I could get orders for the states. The Platoon Sgt. decided that I needed to do some work in order to get such foolishness out of my head. I volunteered to “off load” the supply choppers. I have no doubt that every Marine who reads this knows what it’s like to stand in the open as the chopper is landing in a dirt clearing. After the first one came in and we managed to push and pull the large crate out of the back of the chopper; three of us took the plastic sheet and held it up in front of ourselves for protection. Man, you would have thought we invented the light bulb. We stood there laughing at the fact that the plastic kept us from being belted.
The second supply chopper (with the water on it) came in and touched down then took off again before we could take the crate out. Yes. When it took off, we got hit with dirt, small stones, and so forth and we were so mad that we started to make up words to call those pilots. Then we hear a sound that every Grunt in combat knows real well—AK-47. A sniper thought he/she would try their luck on these choppers and/or us. Apparently, while the three of us were standing in the open behind the sheet of plastic; the sniper was using us for target practice or sighting-in their weapon. So anyways, we were able to take cover in hole provided by a very large bomb. No one was hit but everyone was upset about the water. The three of us (volunteers) went to change our trousers. All I could think of was where is my lucky helmet. Being sniped at twice and being miss both times was not something I wanted to keep trying—if you know what I mean?
A footnote to this situation: due to the shortage of water, the third squad could not make a helmet of hot cocoa over the glow of C-4 and tell their different stories (or lies). Ever notice how every Marine seems to be the true gift to women? There sure are a lot of Marines who mistake their imagination for their memory. Of course, not me—just the other guy.
Semper Fi my brothers and sisters (and to those who didn’t qualify on the rifle range)