The Night I Became a RadioMan
In 1970, I served with Golf Co., 2nd. Bn. 5th. Marine Regiment out of An Hoa. The company was attached to another outfit as a blocking force in a weep operation around Liberty Bridge. At night, we were moved in to position on an old railroad bed and placed on line. The 3rd. Plt Lt. sent three men out on an LP per S.O.P. and, in about an hour, one of the men radio back that there was movement to they front. Well, the weep had not started yet so the Lt. was wondering what might be going on. He ordered the LP to move forward in order to determine what or who was out there and how many. No respond! After while, the young Marine radioed back that they took a vote and decided not to move. The men were ordered to return to the company’s line—NOW!. The Lt. questioned each of the men and learned that the person on the radio was on first watch. The other two had no idea what was happening or why they had been called back. I happen to be next to the Lt. when he took the radio away from this young Marine and informed me that I would be the squad radio operator henceforth. I can not recall the name of the equipment that was used by the C.O. to send secured messages to our rear area but I do know it was heavy and the guilty Marine hump that thing the whole time I was there. On the up side, he was never sent on rovers, sting sites, o.p. or l.p.. He never went outside the C.P. once we were settle in a place. Maybe the Lt. understood what this Marine was experiencing out there in the dark and gave him a way to save face. I’m certain that no one else wanted to hump that thing or considered him lucky!