posted on May, 25 2009 @ 04:45 PM
This day, I am compelled to remember, even some things I'd give anything to have never happened. I have more regrets than the law allows, some
things that will haunt me till the day I pass.
We had a Yaqui in our group, built like a brick, as kind and soft spoken as anyone you'd ever want to meet, yet a man who was as tough as steel named
After seven of us had unwittingly attacked the 33rd NVA Regiment, a nearby platoon snugged up to us and we really kicked over a hornet's nest.
I had grabbed an M203 - an M-16 with a 40mm grenade launcher mounted underneath, and I was running out of grenades. I yelled someone get me another
vest. Val yelled, "I'll get 'em."
This firefight continued, everyone up front was wounded to some degree including me, and I was running on pure adrenaline. I yelled and cursed again
and again that I needed more ******* grenades.
Finally I hear Val behind me yelling he got some and was coming.
A minute or so later, I am out of grenades and scream to Val, "***dammit Val, what's the ******* holdup . . . " as I turn around to see where he
is, and he's dragging himself along the ground, his rifle sling in the crook of his arm that held the vest of grenades against his belly, trying to
keep the other half of his intestines from falling out as he's slowly pushing himself to me on the one elbow, guts trailing.
I damn near died.
I think I said, "Jesus Val, I didn't . . . " and he interrupted, "Sorry, I tried to hurry . . ."
I stripped off his shirt, gathered his intestines up, dirt, debris, and all, put them in the shirt, tied the shirt behind his back, told him to leave
his weapon, and took out his canteen.
"You gotta keep these wet. Do NOT let them dry out!"
I had to turn around and help keep them from overrunning us, and it went on seemed like forever.
I found him after the shooting died down, and since I couldn't carry him, told him I'd help, but he'd have to walk a couple hundred meters to the
We were strictly task-oriented, he was in a lot of pain, therefore, we didn't talk.
I'd give anything in the world to take back those biting words, cursing him to hurry up.
But some things you don't get a do-over.
Since then, I try to understand before I go bat**** on someone.
Those hard lessons are those best learned.
And I cringe every time I remember this one.