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Within the jungle covered mountains of the Central Highlands of South Vietnam, prowl many a strange creature. This is the story of a chance encounter between two such creatures

In order to move a number of men through the densely covered floor of this magnificent rain forest; we travel in single file. The first man in the column, the point man, had the advantage of picking not only the path he must walk, but also the pace he must walk it.

On this day, Dwight Lane was walking point for the recon team known as Tiger Force. While winding their way up an especially thick portion of terrain, the order came around to stop.

As Dwight was exhausted from fighting nearly impenetrable foliage, he sat down next to another individual who appeared to be enjoying a meal.

Thinking him to be either his slake man or an another member of his team, he started a conversation but was totally ignored. The order came up to move, Slightly irritated by now and with out looking at him, Dwight told the individual he was in the way and slapped him on the shoulder.

Instantly the individual jumped up and landed directly on Dwight’s chest.

A few yards behind, Bob Campos heard one hell of a commotion and looked in Dwight’s direction. Bob saw what he later described as an enraged child violently shaking what looked like a raggedy Ann doll.

Amidst the thrashing and the jumble of arms and legs he could hear Dwight scramming......

Shoot it!............“Shoot the thing!”

Campos not knowing whether to yell, shoot or spit, watched in astonishment as the scuffle ended as quickly as it began. Battered, bloodied, and totally bewildered Dwight picked up his M-16 and ran into the jungle swearing and firing at the five foot, 150-pound orangutan that accosted him.

TJ McGinley
Tigers 69