“Won A Heart … Won A Mind”

“Won A Heart … Won A Mind”

Hi Sarge,
A few months ago my eldest son, Greg, was going through the family archive of photographs and came up with enclosed. It was taken on Christmas day (1968) near the DMZ & outside a little Village called Cam Lo. My younger son, Tim, recently got it into my computer. Though it was snapped 39 years ago (And also about 39 lbs. ago), I thought you might get a kick out of seeing some of the guys (During their USMChay-day.) that yourself and your fine News-Letter have helped over the years. And like myself, remain grateful.

About half of us in the picture have since located each other in the past two years and, thanks to cyberspace, half been enjoying a few laughs on a regular basis.

To share a bit of a humorous account, I was leading a patrol one afternoon through a Village and toward the jungle when my point man noticed a pile of rocks outside the hut of one of the farmers. The point guy called me forward and we both agreed that the rocks were organized to form an “Arrow”. And it was pointed toward our platoon C.P. (Command Post) about a hundred yards away. Obviously meant to guide North Vietnamese Regulars into an attack on our position. Probably in the middle of the night. To make a long story a bit longer, I went to the hut’s doorway, called out some guy, brought him over to the rocks and politely asked him if he was Viet Cong (Which, obviously, he was.). The fellow flew into a complete panic and started screaming, “No VC…!, No VC…!” He literally thought I was going to shoot him. Anyway, we scatterd the rocks, radioed the C.P. to give a warning and continued on our merry way into the jungle. The next morning, I was awakened (After standing guard all night on 100% alert with everyone else in anticipation of an NVA attack that never materialized.) by the platoon’s interpreter. He had the old guy (Who was still razzed out.) with him from the previous day and asked if I was the guy who had called him out of his hut. After I acknowledged with a “Yea”, he told me the farmer wanted to give me something. He then handed me a long tooth that he told through the interpreter he had removed from a tiger that he had killed during his younger days. I refused, but the poor old guy was persistant. I finally accepted, walked off and swiped a case of c-rations from platoon supply and gave it to him. He was happier then a pig in poop and for the remaining few days that we all stayed in the Village we became pals. May sound strange, but I kinda’ miss the fella’. To, finally…!, make a long story short, you can see the tiger’s tooth around my neck in the picture. Hope you post it. Continued Thanks for everything…

Semper Fi’,
Mike

Photo:
Upper Row (Left To Right)… Swink, Winterton, Costanza, Poncho, Brombaugh, Vaughn
Lower Row (Left To Right)… Clark, Williams, Amato, That funny lookin’ Irish guy who could vanish into thin air when time arrived to off-load a chopper

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