"You guys. I love you guys but please do not bring this 10-31-68 up with me anymore. It brings it all back and I still grieve for Tony. We were on the same manifest to go home and I was going to spend my leave with him and his family. There is a God and things work out the way they were supposed to, all the good things and all the bad things-before that day, I never handled a 79 in combat before, but did get to fire it on one other occasion I will write about.
Here we go, drop your cocks and grab your socks, we are going down memory lane.
I never held a thump gun before Nam.
In April, latter part, it was time to fuck the first boys of Bravo. They took guys from the various platoons and sent us to X-Ray mountain (above Xuan Loc) to a signal unit for the most important purpose. We got to man bunkers spread among the perimeter while the signal corp boys were choppered down to the whore houses below. No pussy for us, we were the infantry--everyone's' favorite fuck.
One night there was going to be a movie shown and since I knew the signal girls had a huge ammo bunker and since I wanted to play with a thump gun, I told the two guys I would stay and man the bunker.
Before they left, I managed to steal a case of H&E rounds. The lads took off and there was a tower close to the bunker. I dragged the ammo to the top and picked out various targets at various distances. By the time that I had expended all the rounds I had become very proficient with the weapon, very proficient. The next time I fired the 79 was 10-31-68, almost seven months later.
I have my beliefs and I can assure you that they are as boring as anyone else's. I wish I had the two of you together and we had some cold brews and I would bore you to death.
This is what I recollect from 10-31-48.
A preface first. I have had a slight psychic gift since the age of five that at times not of my choosing, became quite strong at times during my tour in Vietnam and saved my life a few times. I had a strong dose of it on that day and if there are doubts-ask Jim Weed-I think he was the driver of my track-I yelled at him to stop and turn the track because there was another mine in the road, he did so. After the shit was over, engineers did find another mine and detonated it. Don't believe me, ask him.
The morning started out cool and bright, if felt good but you could feel the heat begin to make itself known; another hot and humid day on the last day of October. The Lt. told us that we had a mission.
I thought I would ride with Tony Delacerda. Tony and I were tight, real tight. We fought shoulder to shoulder, shared the same food and sometimes even the same whore. It was Tony who gave me the nickname, Snoopy.
I planned on riding on his track. I started to walk towards Tony's APC and saw a black cloud around it, I felt the vibrations of death and sensed it, I changed my mind and walked back to the Lt. I told him. The Lt. looked at me and said, "Orders are orders. We have to go."
I mounted our track and was sitting at the rear. Tony was sitting at the front of his.
As we went down Highway 4, I was looking (I always looked closely at things and wondered, "if I was a gook, where would I hit them from and from my viewpoint, "If we are hit, where is there good cover.") I was getting a real strong vibrational pull from a walled-in graveyard and the nippapalm---I knew the gooks were there.
I then looked at Tony and flipped him off, he threw back his head and laughed, he was still smiling when I saw him and the others, the whole fucking 50 turret, gun, and mount go flying into the air, saw the track rising up and heard the roar of the blast.
I immediately screamed at Weed to stop and turn the track because there was another mine on the road. You both must remember that this is happening in nanoseconds in actual time. I jumped off the track and thought, "Fuck-I have 34 days left to go and should hide."
By the time I hit the road I had said fuck it, went inside the track and got a case of H&E 79 rounds. I knelt on the road and put a lot of fucking rounds into the graveyard and nippapalm, it was not time for me because I had a lot of rounds going over and past my head.
Please do not mistake this for heroism, I was not nor was I ever a "hero." It was like something took over me, I do remember Rip kneeling down by one of the casualties. I do not remember hearing the 50 when we got reinforced, probably because I was so consummed in what I was doing at that moment. Time seemed like it was compressed, even while everything I was conscious of was slowed down almost to stop action frame by frame. A gook bitch got up and ran. I dropped a round right behind her on the dike and she was blown to her ass, the cunt got up and started running again. I chased her because I wanted to beat her to death with the grenade launcher. A machine gun was firing and the others yelled at me to come back and I finally came to my senses and did so.
I was told that the bitch's body was found not to far from where she started from.
I fired off an entire case of 79 ammo during that action, the majority of it from a kneeling position. My body was sore and black and blue from the recoil of the weapon for days.
Let me state again, I was no fucking hero but just an automaton that the Army made from its training."
John Driessler, July 2001