»
Topic: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam
Replies: 44   Last Post: May 30, 2020, 7:42 AM by: clover65®
This topic has been archived - replies are not allowed.


[ Archives - Tiger Boards Archive ]
Start New Topic
Replies: 44  

50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

emoji_events [75]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 8:19 AM
 

Before he lost his life he might have saved mine. We were on patrol along a river in Quang Ngai province, the birthplace of Ho Chi Minh, and came upon the site of a former village only recognizable at its entry point by 2 stone columns connected at the top by wrought ironwork. Four of us were about to go through the columns to check out the area when my friend asked me to stand behind one of the columns and cover them as they went forward. Just a few seconds after they went past me, a tremendous explosion filled the air with the blackest of smoke, dirt, and flame. Arturo had stepped on a "booby trap", as IED's were called in those days, and died instantly(we never found his right leg). The other 2 guys were seriously injured but survived, but I was protected by the stone pillar. I screamed for the radioman to call for a "dust-off" chopper as soon as it happened and several guys behind us thought I was the one who was injured. Later in that same day my machine gunner stepped on another device just feet from where I was standing - it was much smaller- just a 12 ounce ginger ale can filled with shrapnel and explosives but opened wounds from his feet to the upper part of his face. It didn't look extremely serious at the time but we got the word the next day that it was 50-50 that he would survive. Fortunately, he made it and got to go stateside to recover. Those 2 were my best friends over the first 3 months I was there and were the first serious injuries my platoon had in that time span - I was careful not to develop close bonds with anyone else the rest of my time there. The irony of the timing of that incident is that Memorial Day occurs very close to or right on May 28 as a reminder each year.

Message was edited by: clover65®


military_donation.jpg

Wow. Perspective. Thank you for your service.***

emoji_events [6]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 8:22 AM
 



2021 white level member

Sad story. Thanks for sharing. My uncle also fought in

[4]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 8:30 AM
 

Vietnam. My mom told me years ago, he doesn't like to talk of his experiences and occasionally has flashbacks. Thanks for your service.

2021 purple level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpgringofhonormyfavorange.jpg

Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

emoji_events [5]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 8:34 AM
 

The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country should earn them our lasting gratitude and respect forever. Thank you for your service friend


Since when is the draft a ‘willing’ participant

[2]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 9:36 AM
 

Most folks couldn’t avoid going to Vietnam. Some others had connections or bone spurs.

2021 white level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg

Well , I personally waited patiently for the draft notice

[3]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 12:17 PM
 

because I didn't want people calling me stupid for joining like they did for a guy on my hall in 1968 who dropped out of Clemson to join the Marines since he didn't think it was fair to be in school while others served. Sort of like the NFL player who died in the Middle East after 9-11.

military_donation.jpg

My dad also ‘volunteered’

[3]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 6:04 PM
 

He knew his draft # was coming. By signing up, he had better control of which position to be assigned. Started off as a helicopter mechanic, then a gunner hanging out the side of helicopters while rescuing troops (and being target practice for enemy on the ground).

2021 white level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg

Re: Well , I personally waited patiently for the draft notice

[1]
Posted: May 29, 2020, 1:29 PM
 

after reading your initial post and this one as well,i feel kind of guilty,because I finished up my schooling in '72 and enlisted in the army.the war was winding down,and uncle sam sent me to ft Jackson where I stayed for 3 yrs.over that time I met a good number of Vietnam vets and developed a healthy respect for all of them.never had to go overseas,but I admire anyone like yourself who did.thanks!

2021 orange level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpgmilitary_donation.jpg

Re: Since when is the draft a ‘willing’ participant

[2]
Posted: May 29, 2020, 5:15 PM
 

To your point about bone spurs, Had a roommate at Clemson declared 4-F by the army docs at Ft. Jackson for heel spurs and my future brother-in-law was 4-f for flat feet. Both were mill hill kids from small cotton mill towns in SC so they had no connections so those were real reasons. And it didn't matter what your personal doctor said, it was up to the service medics.

By luck, I got sent to armor school. Spent my time at Ft. Knox and Ft. Hood, my unit went to Germany as a possible support to Israel a month after I was discharged. Did basic training at Ft. Dix, NJ. Had a DI that was drafted from Queens, NY Spent his whole time at Dix, and was being discharged as soon as our basic cycle was over. Another guy I went to HS with joined the Air Force because he wanted to travel away from South Carolina. After Basic they sent him to Myrtle Beach AFB and he never left. He even volunteered for Naim but no go.

All this was between 65-69. Military does strange things.

BTW there was one politician who got his draft notice and ignored it. Then he got another and went to Russia for two years. Later came back and was elected governor and then president. His initials are WJC


Thank you for your service and sacrifice for our nation***

emoji_events [5]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 8:34 AM
 



2021 white level membermilitary_donation.jpg

Pig

Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

emoji_events [9]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 8:39 AM
 

Thanks for sharing that with us. I know it has to be very personal.
I lost my uncle Buck in 1968. He was a chopper pilot and served 4 tours of duty there. The irony was that he was shot down in a helicopter transport on the way to his plane for home.
There were so many good men lost in that war.


Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

emoji_events [5]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 8:51 AM
 

Those chopper guys were the bravest in that war. Always an easy target.

military_donation.jpg

Thank You, and any others on the boreds for their Military

emoji_events [5]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 9:11 AM
 

Service. I was at Clemson during the closing period of the War in Viet Nam. To say it was an unpopular war would be the understatement of the century. But, it was still our Country that was in it, and our Soldiers did, and still do, deserve our full support. Sadly, due to the political climate of the time, that support was not forthcoming to many of our guys upon their return home from Viet Nam. That situation is still being put right to the present day. Support our Veterans, all of them.

2021 orange level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg

Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[4]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 9:22 AM
 

Thank you for your service.

2021 purple level member

"It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers any more than it is to make sheep ferocious."
--Henry David Thoreau


Thank you for your service!!! ????????????

[4]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 9:29 AM
 

Guessing from your profile picture that you're a Purple Heart Recipient...

2021 white level member

Salute to clover65, to Arturo & ALL Vets! ????

emoji_events [5]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 9:59 AM
 

Thanks forever for your combat service.

2021 orange level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpgringofhonorlightbulbbill.jpg


Thank you for sharing & for your service***

[3]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 10:26 AM
 




War is ####.

[3]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 10:36 AM
 

Sad and strange how it's always the bravest and strongest of a nation that end up dying for it.

"There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights." -- Major General Smedley Butler, USMC


Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[4]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 10:43 AM
 

Thanks for serving! All gave some. Some gave all. I'm grateful to all who picked up a weapon and stood the post. God bless our servicemen and women!

2021 orange level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpg

Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[3]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 11:27 AM
 

Thank you for your service and for sharing.


Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

emoji_events [5]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 12:23 PM
 

Thank you for your service Clover65. It's tough when you lose your friend.

2021 orange level memberbadge-ringofhonor-joe21.jpgmilitary_donation.jpg

Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[4]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 12:37 PM
 

Thank you for your service. I dont know if you've seen the documentary "vietnam in HD" the history channel did a few years ago but i watched the whole thing and became fascinated with that war. What you guys had to go through while over there was absolute #### and if you made it back home you were berated by the American people for fighting in the war. I understand being frustrated because so many of our men were dying and not supporting the war but i dont understand why they went after our veterans. Thank you again for your service


Since I was wounded later and went to Walter Reed

emoji_events [5]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 12:45 PM
 

for almost a year, I experienced a totally different return to the States. The hospital allowed groups to come in every night to visit and we had numerous people expressing gratitude for our service. Even had celebs like Johnny Unitas and General Westmoreland himself drop by and shake my hand. When I returned to my small hometown, folks also teated me well.

military_donation.jpg

Re: Since I was wounded later and went to Walter Reed

emoji_events [5]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 3:49 PM
 

Clover ..... I was in the middle of my hospital stay at the Naval Hospital in Guam 50 years ago today. I later went back to Viet Nam where myMarine combat engineer platoon supported the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine (just north of DaNang). As a platoon commander, I never wanted to have to write that letter home telling a mother that she had lost her son. Mostly through diligence and a heck of a lot of luck I never had to do that. One of our main jobs was sweeping roads for mines (IEDs) initially on Highway 1 and later around our compound further north, and we found all of them before they found us.

We also took care of booby traps and mines along trails when we patrolled or accompanied the grunts on operations. Our class leader from Engineer School, Walter Reitmier, lost both legs below the knees and an eye while clearing a minefield. The Army, later asked me and my platoon to clear one at the Hai Van pass and I politely declined (remembering Wally's fate). Most of the injuries in my platoon came when one of our own 155 firing batteries opened up on us when we were clearing some old artillery rounds on a mountain top overlooking the Elephant Valley. Four grunts were killed and several of my men wounded. The grunt platoon commander stood up as the rounds were raining down and started popping flares. Unfortunately, it was a US recon patrol that spotted us on the mountain and called in the artillery.

A couple of years before his death, I had lunch with General Westmoreland in Cashiers, NC spending about an hour one on one with him. He was suffering a little from dementia so I heard the same stories a couple of times, but it was a fascinating hour spent with a man who had seen it all.

You suffered through a lot more than most of us and appreciate the sacrifice you made for this country. I also honor your friend who died, as I feel sure you would have traded places with him if the situation had called for it. Thank you!

military_donation.jpg

I had posted on here before about "friendly fire"

[2]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 4:07 PM
 

My platoon had stopped to fill canteens at a creek and rested in the shade by the stream on a large group of boulders. After a while we decided to move back up the ridge and had only gone a couple hundred yards when a fighter jet dove across the hilltop directly over our heads and dropped a load of bombs on the rocks we had just left. It was during a big operations where we had aircraft observers supporting us but nobody would ever tell us who called in the airstrike.

military_donation.jpg

Speaking of Highway 1 - the most uneasy

[1]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 7:41 PM
 

I ever felt was being sent from Duc Pho to Chu Lai in a Jeep with just me and the driver . I was told to keep my M-16 unloaded unless we were attacked but that only lasted until we passed through the gate. We had to weave from one side of the road to the other in some areas due to villagers drying peanuts on the hot pavement- talk about being vulnerable/ seems like we had to cross one river on a pontoon bridge because the previous one had been blown up

military_donation.jpg

Re: Speaking of Highway 1 - the most uneasy

[1]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 11:31 PM
 

My first unit, 9th Engineer Battalion, was stationed at Chu Lai. There was a river just past our compound, so that may have been the river since the VC were always blowing it up after we rebuilt it. One month I was the company pay officer and the bulk of our battalion had moved to DaNang. I had to go to back to Chu Lai to pay our guys that were still left there. When we got to the bridge it had been blown up and my guys were standing on the other side. There was about a 12" wide piece of metal, kind of like an I beam laying down sideways that was still being supported across the river about 30' in the air over the water. My only choice was to walk across that beam. As I did so, with a ammo box full of MPC in my hand, my Marines on the other side of the river were very quiet. After, I paid them and started back across the beam, all of them started yelling trying to disturb me and get me to fall into the river. It was pretty funny and I was pleased to disappoint them and make it back without getting wet.

Incidentally, we supported the Army's Americal Division when we were in Chu Lai. My platoon was actually about 15 miles north on Highway 1 in the village of Tam Ky.

military_donation.jpg

We also lost another guy who drowned in that river


Posted: May 29, 2020, 3:43 PM
 

during the Summer of '70. No choppers were available to take us across so they sent us a hemp rope that looked pretty weak. A good swimmer took one end across and secured it around a boulder where the river was narrow near OP-1 if you ever heard of that. But the more narrow the river , the swifter the current and the rope broke with the 1st couple of guys and swept one guy downriver. His body wasn't found for about 3 days. They might have alerted your unit to watch for his body to surface.

military_donation.jpg

Re: Since I was wounded later and went to Walter Reed

[1]
Posted: May 29, 2020, 1:07 PM
 

it should have been that way for all wounded and everyone else as well.anyone who came back was a hero.

2021 orange level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpgmilitary_donation.jpg

Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[4]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 2:26 PM
 

So sorry for your lose!! USA lost such fine young men! Thank you for your service!!!


Thank you for your service!! And, thanks to you and your

[3]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 2:52 PM
 

friends for sacrificing so we can have our freedom.

2021 white level memberbadge-donor-15yr.jpg

"When I was young, I was sure of many things; now there are only two things of which I am sure: one is, that I am a miserable sinner; and the other, that Christ is an all-sufficient Saviour. He is well-taught who learns these two lessons." -John Newton


Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[3]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 3:15 PM
 

Thank you for your service.

2021 orange level member

Thanks for opening up and sharing with us!!!

[3]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 3:48 PM
 

You write well and succinctly . . . I always enjoy your post!

Like so many others, I am indebted to you and all who have . . . and are . . . serving.

2021 white level member

Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[3]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 3:58 PM
 

Thanks for your service. Sorry to hear about your close buddies. Glad you are here now.


Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[4]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 4:00 PM
 

Thank you for this sober reminder of the heavy price paid by so many courageous young men and women. God love you and thank you for your service to this nation. Rest in eternal peace to your friend.

2021 orange level member

Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[3]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 5:27 PM
 

War is a terrible thing......but we would not be free today if not for heroes like you and your buddies who made the ultimate sacrifice for our great country......freedom has not ever and will never be free......thank you for your service......Go Tigers!!!!!


Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[3]
Posted: May 28, 2020, 6:41 PM
 

Thanks for your service along with the others who posted here about theirs. Very sorry for the loss of your friend. A young man, who was a bit older, lived just down the street from us and lost his life serving with a chopper unit. He was the only son among five children.

2021 white level memberbadge-donor-15yr.jpg

the only good politician is a dead politician.


Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[1]
Posted: May 29, 2020, 9:26 AM
 

Thanks for sharing your story and for serving! God bless!


Thank you so much for your service.

[2]
Posted: May 29, 2020, 1:12 PM
 

I cannot imagine the horror of those experiences. Those of us today simply don't understand all that you and your fellow soldiers endured there.

Thank you again.

2021 white level member

Brad Brownell: all-time winningest coach in Clemson men's basketball history, and only coach to beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill.


Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[1]
Posted: May 29, 2020, 4:05 PM
 

welcome home my brother 1st infantry 68-69 lost many friends too never get over it Phil Charles

2021 white level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg

Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[1]
Posted: May 29, 2020, 5:39 PM
 

Grew up with a boy who was a foster kid. He always worked hard to make something of himself. Uncle Sam called and he answered. He flew a medivac in Nam and was shot down three times and managed to survive. When his time was done he had a successful career after attending Clemson!! I might add my brother served his tour in Vietnam Republic Of and to this day has haunting memories.

2021 orange level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg


Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[1]
Posted: May 30, 2020, 12:35 AM
 

I got drafted in Jan.1969 and took basic training at Fort Jackson and then on to AIT @ Fort Lee,VA. We had about 50 guys in my class and when it was over we were waiting on our next assignment. We all waited anxiously for our next orders expecting the worse. The best I remember out of our class about 45 got orders for Vietnam and the rest of us were sent elsewhere. I was sent to Fort Richardson in Anchorage,Alaska in the 19th Aviation Battalion to refuel Huey helicopters after they completed their training missions. I always wondered how many made it back safely.


Welcome back - 1st post after 7 years ....


Posted: May 30, 2020, 7:42 AM
 

gave you a TU but somehow it doesn't register.

military_donation.jpg

Re: 50 years ago today I lost a friend in Viet Nam

[1]
Posted: May 30, 2020, 6:26 AM
 

Thank you for your service and God bless!!


Thank you for sharing this.***

[1]
Posted: May 30, 2020, 6:42 AM
 



2021 orange level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpgringofhonor-francismarion.jpg

"I've played multiple sports and would bet any amount that I'm still more athletic than you at this present time...."


Replies: 44  

TIGER TICKETS

FB GAME: Season Tickets
FOR SALE: 4 season tickets north stands lower deck about the 30 yd line make offer

Buy or Sell CU Tickets and More in Tiger Tickets!

[ Archives - Tiger Boards Archive ]
Start New Topic
3304 people have read this post