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
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.