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  Just One Story From One Of Those Men

It was the first day after the three-day cease-fire in observance of Ho Chi Mins' death. Co.A 4/23rd Inf. (Mech.) 25th Inf. Div. Tay Nihn R.P.V. was part of a joint maneuver at the base of Neu Bau Dein (The Black Virgin Mountain). As the motor Sgt. it was my responsibility to stay with the APCs, the company was to forge through the rice patties to the base of the mountain in our sector, at the same time the Koreans, to our left, and as I recall Co.B 4/23rd, to our right. Everything was going smoothly until our point man (his name, unlike his face which is etched in my memory like the names on the wall escapes me), jumps across a ditch and turns around to see how far ahead of the others he was, looks in the ditch which was full of NVA . As he jumps back across the ditch to warn the rest of the company, all hell breaks loose. It sounded like a 4th of July fireworks show. The point man was hit in back of the head cutting the cloth attachment that holds a steel pot on right in half. The company was taking some bad hits. I recall the radio transmission; it was the company commander, asking for volunteers to bring the company some smoke bombs so the dust offs could find the landing spot to evacuate the wounded. I had a lot of friends in a lot of trouble, so the only thing I could do was grab my M-16 and a smoke bomb and along with the head medic for your company who had the same reaction to the call for help that I did, headed toward the mountain. It seemed like everything was in slow motion as we trudged through the rice patties and over the berms, I remember the thump the AK-47 bullets made as they hit the water beside and in front of us. We finally made it to the berm where the rest of the company was. I remember setting off the smoke bombs, and rushing to the point man with the medic that made the journey with me, as we turned him over he was gasping for breath, he was trying to swallow his tongue, the medic told me to put something in his mouth to holed his tongue down, as he rushed to another one of the wounded, I managed to break off a rice stem and placed it in his mouth, it seemed like hours which I found out later was minutes. The dust offs arrived as I threw what seemed to be a lifeless body onto the chopper it sounded like a piece of meat hitting a slab of concrete. The only thing that I recall after that is the Battalion Commander saying to me Drummond aren't you a Mechanic. And my response to him as corny as it is true was, " I go where I'm needed Sir."

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