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Ricky "Drop Four Meters"

Discussion in 'The VMBB True Story Tellers' started by Guest, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    106RR196LIB
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 154
    (6/26/01 2:10:56 am)
    | Del All Ricky "Drop Four Meters"
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    Ricky was originally a grunt in Charlie Company 4/31.
    My gunjeep had been sent to reinforce the company against an impending attack by a large force of VC with NVA Sappers. The sappers were very good in this area and Charlie company was outnumbered.
    We didn't know the direction and time of the attack.
    A Listening Post ,or LP, would be suicide in this type of attack. The CO decided to send out a one man LP instead of the normal three man LP. It was suicide so he didn't want to waste more than one man.
    He chose Ricky. He was the least valuable man they had and he was unable to understand that they were sending him to die. They gave him a PRC 25 radio and told him to call in when he saw them. Myself and my guncrew listened to the whole thing at our 106RR gunjeep position. We were all scared to death. Remember that this was the group of VC that had tortured the 4/31 POWs to death.
    Ricky got out there and then realized that he was in trouble. He whispered into the handset that they were real close. The CO didn't believe him -- he was ordered to hold his ground. He said he could hear them talking but couldn't see them because it was too dark. He was terrified and began to whimper. He choked back the tears. The CO ordered illumination. This was the kiss of death for Ricky. If he could see them in the glare of the flare then they could see him as well. It was a death sentence. An 81 MM mortar parachute flare was fired on his grid coordinates.
    In the eternity between the WHUMP of the mortar and the POP of the flare 30 seconds later, sheer terror broke Ricky's contact with reality. He said loud and clear that he could see them and then called for a correction on the location of the flare. It lights up 100 square meters as bright as day. An 81 MM mortar has a minimum elevation correction of 25 meters. In the stunning brightness of the flare, Ricky calmly called in a command -- "drop four meters"
    Ricky was trying to shell them with a parachute flare. He was trying to drop the flare right on top of them. We could hear Vietnamese shouting on Ricky's PRC 25 handset. The radio went silent.
    The VC withdrew without an attack -- we never knew why. At dawn, they sent some guys out to find the body.
    We were all astonished to hear he was alive. His bowels had let go and he layed there in his own waste all night, too scared to move or speak. He didn't remember what happened that night, but he was never the same. None of us were ever the same.
    Mike H




    homer4
    Moderator
    Posts: 970
    (6/26/01 5:10:36 am)
    | Del Re: Ricky "Drop Four Meters"
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    Did his job under intense pressure and a death sentence. Bronze Star material Rick is...brave young man. Alot of resolve too.

    Frag the asswipe Co. Shit leader...if you should even call him a leader.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    LarryJK
    Senior Chief Moderator III
    Posts: 267
    (6/26/01 7:00:12 am)
    | Del Re: Ricky "Drop Four Meters"
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    Yeah...Rickey deserves a medal! A freakin' shame...I realize somebody had to do it, but a guy that had a nervous breakdown? Bullshit!!

    mt pari
    Moderator
    Posts: 67
    (6/26/01 12:11:45 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky "Drop Four Meters"
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    It always sickens me to think how dispensible a soldier becomes in a war. Someones child, husband/wife, father/mother and friend, all of a sudden he/she is nothing but a statistic with a number and those times, if your left living, become the night terrors for the rest of your lives.

    33 years later, I still have the memories of the letters, the sad and frightening pictures taken with his 35 mm and the emptiness I felt for 13 long agonizing months worrying whether or not I would be the next widow. Only to receive a stranger when he did come home, with no clue how I could understand or live with him.

    My heart bleeds for all the Rickeys and all the others that had to witness such horrors and more.

    hope6970
    Moderator
    Posts: 456
    (6/26/01 2:51:31 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky "Drop Four Meters"
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    Pari,

    You said it all when you stated "My heart bleeds for all the Rickeys and all the others that had to witness such horrors and more". I will never forget the boy who sat beside me on the plane going over to Nam. As we were landing he put his hands over his face and said "I won't be going back home". My heart has ached over him and a few others that I knew personally didn't make it back. I can't think of them because of the tears and pain that comes rushing back. Not only for them but all the young men who hadn't had the chance to really know what life was all about. - Hope

    dreamcatcher27371
    Member
    Posts: 75
    (6/26/01 3:56:44 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky "Drop Four Meters"
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    Was this the same "Ricky" that had had a previous nervous breakdown in "Ricky and Blain?" Sad story.

    TShooters
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 304
    (6/26/01 10:17:19 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky "Drop Four Meters"
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    Very sad, Mike H. Perhaps the VC thought Ricky was spotting for the upcoming mortar attack on them and GTF out of there.

    Sharon

    homer4
    Moderator
    Posts: 977
    (6/26/01 10:55:26 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky "Drop Four Meters"
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    Mike..is it the same Rick bud? If so...might have to reevaluate some.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    106RR196LIB
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 155
    (6/27/01 1:39:29 am)
    | Del Ricky "Drop Four Meters"
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    Yes guys and gals -- it is the same Ricky from Ricky and Blain.
    While he couldn't remember exactly what happened, I think he understood that he had been devalued in some way. I don't know wether they ordered his transfer out of embarassment for the way he had been treated or because he could no longer function after he got out of the hospital. No medals can be given because it would embarass a commisioned officer.
    He showed up in our platoon ready to make a fresh start. He was often courageous/foolhardy because he couldn't understand the situation. He often didn't know he was in danger until it was too late. Generally, he was a likable guy and a good worker at simple tasks.
    At one point his M16 was taken from him to prevent any accidents. They thought he might go full auto at the wrong time. He was given an M79 thumper and was ordered to keep it unloaded in base camp. This weapons swap later proved to be a very unfortunate mistake.
    When I mention his mental capability please understand that he was doing the best he could. Ricky was not a bad guy/criminal. Mike H


    homer4
    Moderator
    Posts: 979
    (6/27/01 5:19:55 am)
    | Del Re: Ricky "Drop Four Meters"
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    While still finding fault with his recklessness and carelessness for other people in his unit. I 'll give him the benefit of the doubt I suppose and take back my comment about him.

    I've reassessed...but that still leaves one asshole.

    Please don't come up with any thing commendable about him Mike...I don't mind be wrong...but not dead wrong.

    Hehe!
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    hope6970
    Moderator
    Posts: 457
    (6/27/01 11:58:40 am)
    | Del Re: Ricky "Drop Four Meters"
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    Mike,

    I remember seeing quite a few assholes over there, and they were susposed to have more intelligence about them then Ricky had. It was one who put him in that situation. Ricky by the way wasn't one, in his mind he probably thought he was doing his best and in his heart he would hurt because he knew what was happening around him was not right. The life of not being able to fully communicate with others must be a hell in itself.


    Thanks Mike for posting about Ricky it has been very interesting.


    homer4
    Moderator
    Posts: 996
    (6/27/01 8:15:38 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky "Drop Four Meters"
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    Hope makes excellent points Mike...I have taken the comment back...with the further accounting of this man.

    I have since posted elsewhere to this effect.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.
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