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Thomas Moore’s story reminded me of a story about my first CO (G Co. 2/5, 1970) in VN. He was a 1st. Lt. and for the life of me I wish I could recall his name. Anyways, our company had finished our 30 days in the brush and was supposed to go back to An Hoa for a three day break. However, Intelligence told the Bn. CO that a RAV compound located next to Liberty Bridge was going to get “hit” and we were re-routed in order to reinforce this position. We couldn’t lose the bridge. We only stayed on this site for a couple of days, but due to the filth of the area around this compound, men started coming down with everything you could get in VN. We were sending guys to the USS Sanctuary a few at a time.
When the order came to head back to the brush without a break, we were just happy to be getting off that pile of dirt. However, we moved only a half a click when Marines started falling out due to heat and illness. I was carrying the radio so I could hear what was being said between the CO and Bn. They wanted to know how bad things were getting for us while we stood there waiting for a medivac for the fallen men and losing more by the hour. The CO informed them that he “would soon be promoted to a squad leader if we were not trucked out of there as soon as possible”. After we got back to An Hoa, I (being your typical Marine) was expressing my discontent about being put on that dirt pile while the shower water was running brown from the hair on my head. I didn’t know that the Bn. CO was standing next to me in showers. He didn’t say a thing to me. He just dried off and left. Like Mr. Moore, I realized that we had someone looking out for us and things might not be as bad as you might think, given the circumstances.
The CO got orders for flight school not too long after that. A friend and I ran in to him in Da Nang and he knew who we were by name. We were still his men and we all knew it.
I swear, this newsletter keeps bring back memories that I thought were long gone. Thank you, again!
Robert H. Bliss, Sgt.
Serial # 2488—-