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. The reason for this writing is that the nightmares have gotten bad, real bad, so bad that I can't even talk about them to anyone even the person I love the most in this world. I guess maybe that's the reason that I put at least a part of the blame for some of the things that have happened in my life on those things that happened so very long ago. I think that maybe if I put it down on paper at least just this once that it might help stop them, or at the very least slow them down , or make them a bit more bearable. It was Christmas of 1975, or a few days before I think, maybe the twenty-second. We were at about thirteen thousand feet over what we had come to call “ The Badlands” Charlie Country, home of the VC, and the NVA (North Vietnamese Army), and as usual I was busy checking my equipment, and wiping the sweat from my eyes, and head for the thousandth time since takeoff. The mission: Rescue about 300 Amerasian kids from the hands of a Colonel who was holding them hostage. Now this was what we did, but this was a special case. This Colonel was selling the girls ( as young as 6 years old to some real nasty people in Thailand, and somewhere in the Middle East. Where we did not exactly know, but it was our job to stop it before any more were sold. I looked up just as the red light went on. That means we are getting close to the jump point. I always hated those damed HALO jumps ( high altitude, low opening ), but the did save our butts a lot. Then the green light went on and it was time to stand up, and check each others equipment. With that done we all pulled our O2 lines from the pipe behind our heads, and hooked up to our individual bottles getting ready to jump. Then the back loading ramp went down, and it got real cold, and real noisy real quick. It was time to jump. As usual Lt. Was
No trees. After I gathered my chute. “They Called Me DOC”. The Cap had said it was better for the team to key on me and not the Lt. After hearing . and hid it as best I could I pulled my little locater out and started looking for everyone else. Oh well. I don't really think I ever knew what religion it was for. I only had 11. There were 19 little green dots. As I went out the door I remember thinking “ Man I really HATE THIS SHIT” . but thats why we had those little transmitters injected into our necks in the first place. I think the key word there was MIGHT. then the Sarge. and I quote “They might not be as quick ti kill a Corpsman as an officer” Yeah. then me with the other seventeen men to follow. and we would have no quiet way of finding each other.or 8 0r 9 miles if I remember right. not even a creek. ground. We started humping it though I must admit it was not the worst. It took us about 4. but anyway we were there at last. and nervous as hell on a mission?) but as usual it didn't help.lucky. As I watched the green dots began to all get closer to me.first. The red one was me.000 feet to think about it. no big assed rocks. and the green were the other 19 men of the team. You might think that as the team came and gathered around me that it would ease my nervousness a bit (did I mention that I was always scared shitless. All of the guys were coming toward me because I was the Corpsman. It just goes against human nature. or the thickest jungle we had ever encountered. It was an old Convent of some kind. Lucky. Spread a map top show us where we were in relation to where we needed to be. About 12 klicks I guess. and one red one. Because he thought. When the team had gathered Lt. They were sort of like the transponders on an airliner. but as I said it was normal. I don't think I really got to liking the act of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. Just as usual we were a hell of a lot farther than I liked to hump it through the bush. or 5 hours I think to get to where we were going. lucky. Luckily when I hit the ground this time it was just that. Without them the little locator's would be useless.
or 30 minutes later when Little Joe Duska gently. We had stopped about a half mile from the Convent so we had a few minutes of walking to do before things started getting dicey. I found myself as comfortable a place as possible to catch a few z's till nightfall came again. and Lt started pointing out our respective positions with his fingers giving the mans number. and began to ready it and myself for what was to be the worst night of my life. and waited for all the team to assemble and report. We had worked our way through the Convent checking rooms as we went. After we were all in place we had three minutes before going in. hell we didn't even see anybody. “No Kids Anywhere to be found”. No Victor Charlie. Strange as it was. Then we came to the doors of the main sanctuary. or direction. and I moved very easily behind. and we would go in and get those kids out. It seemed like about 20. and to his right so he could still see me and I him. get your lazy ass up you've had your 2 hours now time to rise and shine” I got up and did a check on my equipment. no NVA.the op from the Lt. To move. and we had to start being very.(I always used my locater for this since it was p[pretty good at showing the shape of where everyone was at least. and then pointing out his posit. As he did he said “Hey Doc.) When Lt was sure all was right he gave the signal which was two clicks on his com unit. It was all the same from everyone. We got close. and quietly shook me awake. It was the standard gate . Well. We found plenty of evidence of the presence of children. I waited for the Lt. to get going into the convent. nobody. What I saw next was beyond even my imagination. We got to the low wall around the old convent and stopped to re con and see that everyone was in place. very quiet and stealthy. As we crept into the Convent we met absolutely no resistance. so we prepared to enter it. just no children. there was only one room left. This was one time I wish that I had been anywhere else in the world but there. it was also somewhat relieving until I started imagining all of the reasons why.
When we finished we stood around the graves and were eerily silent. and Little Joe side by side then me. and it seems that the harder . From what I could bring myself to look at I think most of them were hacked up while still alive since most of them still had rope tying their hands and feet together. I know you have been worried about me lately. and they were all there everywhere. Lt looked at me and I saw the same hurt in his eyes that I know must have been in my own.crashing formation. In pieces all over the room. As we opened the door I was faced with what remains with me today the most horrible site I have ever seen. and 8 hours late for our extraction we finally finished the burying. and the rest of the team behind me. After I had emptied my stomach all the way down to my toenails I stood up just as the Lt. then Scotty. so I left the room and went into what we call the Vestibule to throw up several times. They had been hacked to death in pieces. Fires Sarge. but since no one was saying anything Lt. Be assured that I will be all right it's just kind of hard to forget something like this. Pieces of children everywhere. We just couldn't leave those kids like that so we got every one together and started to put the kids back together with what we hoped were their own body parts. and I hope this will let you see what has been bothering me. Looked at me and said “Doc. Well at least I was not the only one( I learned later that most of the team had not even gotten out of the room before they too puked). I could only stand so much. why don't you say a few words to send these kids on their way to a hell of a better place”. As I was heading up that part of the process some of the others were busy finding blankets to wrap the kids in and some were busy digging graves. Honey. Came out to throw up. These guys were hardly ever at a loss for words. but we had a big job ahead of us. burial detail. About 14 hours later. because I would never let it happen again. And. We had found the kids. but I swore that I would never have to repeat those words again.yes I can still remember what I said that day.
.I try the more I remember. and I will be OK. I love you. Doc.
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