Tales Of A War Far Away

 

More than two score years have passed since I left Vietnam, yet the images and events linger, embossed on my memory.  A glimpse, a sudden sound, a dream at night, and the full power of some event long past surges through my being.   Through the years these images have taken a form of their own as I've told and retold the stories, eliminating the common and routine, the day-to-day events, until they've become what we used to call "war stories".  Each captures in compact form the excitement and adventure, the unusual and the tragic, taken from a year of many such events.

My experiences in Vietnam came in bits and pieces, not in a regular or orderly manner.   One minute we'd be walking quietly along and the next something sudden and unusual would occur - completely unexpected and out of context.  My life was made up of many such fragments, each woven around the common fabric of the Vietnamese landscape, my participation in a wartime military exercise, and of moving from one fire support base to another in our Division area of operations.  There was no grand design, no beginning or end.  We just lived the story from moment to moment.

Our year of duty became a collage of vignettes, of happenings.  So, just as each day brought its own adventure, these stories have been selected to represent the various parts of my total experience, as best I can remember them.

Contents

bulletAmerica, Good-Bye...
bulletPart I:  Fire Support Base Keene
bulletHome Was Never Like This
bulletAn Army Travels On Its Stomach
bulletEagle Flight
bulletWater Buffalo
bulletOut Of The Blue!
bulletBooby-Trap!
bulletSmokies
bulletA Home-Cooked Meal
bulletFriendly Fire
bulletPart II:  Fire Support Base Patton II
bulletPatton II
bulletThief, Thief!
bulletThe Garment District
bulletAll That Slithers Is Not Cold
bulletAlways Sit With Your Back To The Wall
bulletFrontal Assault
bulletPsy-Ops!
bulletLook Before You Leap
bulletMosquitoes
bulletThe Road Gang
bulletThat Circle In The Sky
bulletPart III:  Patrol Base Dragon
bulletDragon
bulletPatrolling
bulletCelebration!
bulletEureka!
bulletDeath In The Jungle
bulletTrapped!
bulletPart IV:  Fire Support Base Emory
bulletGive Me A Break!
bulletTin Fiddle
bulletBugs!!!
bulletTurnabout Is Fair Play?
bulletStamps And Silk Stockings
bulletThe Only Good Leech Is A Dead Leech
bulletPart V:  Back To Patton II
bulletCoca-Cola, Sir?
bulletMany A Slip Twixt Cup And Lip
bulletRice Bowl
bulletThe Three Minute Mile
bulletPatrolling II
bulletEmergency Flight
bulletOpen House
bulletFootprints
bulletPart VI:  Patrol Base Hunsley - The Beginning Of The End
bulletTo The Rear, March!
bulletCockroaches
bulletThe Sidewalks Of New York
bulletGoing Home
bulletA Hard Lesson To Learn 
bulletAppendixes
bulletThe M-16 Rifle
bulletThe M-79 Grenade Launcher
bulletThe M-60 Machine Gun
bulletJungle Fatigues
bulletThe Canteen
bulletThe Field Dressing
bulletThe Flak Jacket
bulletThe Fragmentation Grenade
bulletClaymore Mines
bulletThe Compass And Navigation
bulletRTO - The Radio Telephone Operator
bulletAPC - Armored Personal Carrier
bulletC-4 Explosives
bulletBangalore Torpedoes And Shaped Charges
bulletA Hootch Is A House Is A Home
bulletTunnels
bulletStanding Orders, Rogers Rangers
bulletMilitary Payment Certificates
bulletCleanliness Is Next To Godliness
bulletStress
bulletInternet Awards
bulletAcknowledgements

 

Introduction & Contents:  Tales Of A War Far Away
Copyright 1995 Kirk S. Ramsey
Last modified: April 05, 2015