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The meeting

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

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    Bill Braniff
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 98
    (8/29/01 12:48:29 pm)
    | Del All The meeting
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    I don't remember when it was, only that it was during the Tet Offensive i maybe April of 68. I think we were in the 'Hobo" woods, aprt of the Michelin Rubber plantation. One of our Company's had been ambused and hit hard. The whole Battalion, was sent in to try and help them. The small details, escape me. My squad got separated from the Company and became pinned down in a small area. We set up a defensive perimiter, and were able to call in Arty for support, which kept the little people from getting too close, but they kept us under constant fire and harrasment.

    This went on all night, and well into the next day, ammunition was natuarally in short supply. Becasue of all the activity around us, other units were being hit, in many cases harder than my little band of merry men, and resupply was difficult at best. We did get the occasional helicopter who would come in low and kick out boxes of M-60, and M-16 ammo along with grenades, claymores etc. We weren't given any rations, and let me tell you we were getting hungry,a s we only had rations for one day when we went out on this foray.

    After two and a half days, we were starved. One of the guys found, waaay down dep in his ruck, a can of crackers and peanut butter, which he shared with ,I think there were nine of us. Damn, it tasted good. The battle went on all through the third night, and into the next day, jsut recieving ammo. On, I think it was th fourth night, a pair of tracks made their way to our position, and set up in our perimiter, bringing with them ammo, food ,a nd yes a couple of COLD beers. Nothing much happened after that, and they took us back to our unit the next day. The track commander in charge was a hel of a nice guy. We had lots of conversation that last night. We went on our ways.

    A few months later, I had just arrived in Japan on a Med Evac, I was walking, and actually going in for an operation in Japan.,,As I was getting off the plane and going into the building, I heard a very feeble voice calling my name. I loked and din't see anyone, just a casualty, lying in a complete body cast. But..then I heard my name again, and looked closeer at the guy in the cast. It was our savior, that night inthe Hobo, from the tracks. I ahd forgotten all about him. Seems, his track had taken an RPG, and he was the only survivor, inside. If you can call being a survivor, in his condition. If i recall right, one or both legs,a nd one arm was gonne, and God alone knew what internal injuries he might have had.

    I have often thought about him, and wondered if he ever made it, and even if he Wanted to make it. Just another entry on the page of heros.

    Bill B

    gorourke
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 100
    (8/29/01 1:47:20 pm)
    | Del Re: The meeting
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    Bill,

    Damn them RPG's, my biggest fear when atop the Hot Box! I hope that TC had the courage to go on.

    P. Gary


    nighthawk
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 278
    (8/29/01 2:11:04 pm)
    | Del Re: The meeting
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    a touching story, Bill,,,thanks for posting it,,

    that type of story puts a "personal" face on what too often becomes "just numbers" to many people. I think that is one of the best aspects of this board,,,we all know the "faces", not just the numbers.

    Stan H ,, nighthawk

    Indybear57
    Moderator
    Posts: 572
    (8/29/01 3:47:48 pm)
    | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: The meeting
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    Bill-thanks for the story. I think Hawk makes a very good point, especially as it regards us non vets. I know that for me Nam was what I had heard on TV and read in newspaper clippings and history books. Then, I found the NBC board and after it shut down, this one. Now, I have names and personalities to put with that "police action" and it has totally changed the way I look at the period in our history. Thank ALL of you vets for being here and for your willingness to share your stories with us. I consider it an honor and a privilege to be allowed into your company. I've said this before, but it can NEVER be said too many times: Welcome home and thank you for your service!

    Bill Braniff
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 101
    (8/29/01 4:40:56 pm)
    | Del Re: The meeting
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    Thanks Indy..I don't mean this as a critisism, but I don't ever recall Vietnam being referred to as a'Police Action.' Korea was called a "Police Action", because of the NATO involvement. Kosivo,even Desert Storm would be known as "Police Actions" Vietnam involved the members of the SEATO treaty. Just in case you are interested.

    Bill B

    Indybear57
    Moderator
    Posts: 573
    (8/29/01 5:08:13 pm)
    | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: The meeting
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    I thought VN qualified as a "police action" because Congress never "officially" declared war on the RVN. Not looking for a pi$$ing contest, just some clarification. After all, I know it was a war and you Vets certainly know it was a war, but a rose by any other name...

    Mike L

    Edited by: Indybear57 at: 8/29/01 6:10:42 pm

    oneknight
    Moderator
    Posts: 1854
    (8/29/01 5:31:12 pm)
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    Bill,

    A very touching story indeed, I'm sure it was hard to tell.

    Thank you for sharing and let me say to you again,

    "WELCOME HOME BILL AND THANK YOU!"



    Donna

    Bill Braniff
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 104
    (8/29/01 6:10:13 pm)
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    I believe that Congress never declared war in Vietnam because the US was only fulfilling it's contractural obligations under the SEATO Treaty. Please if someone out there has more knowledge, please come forward.

    Bill B

    nighthawk
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 287
    (8/29/01 10:51:38 pm)
    | Del Re: The meeting
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    IMHO
    the political situation revolving around Vietnam was, and to a degree still is, so convoluted I doubt we will ever gain full knowledge of it. I do not mean to imply some "vast military-industrial-political conspiracy", I just believe there were too many people behind the scenes to ever get the complete truth of what, why, and how. In the book I mentioned on another post (A Bright Shinning Lie) some of this is identified. Also in McNamara's book, he alludes to this somewhat.

    Just another observation and comment. Hell, I may be off by a million miles,,,

    Stan H,,,nighthawk

    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 1094
    (8/30/01 7:13:49 am)
    | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: The meeting
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    A couple of things..........one is that the 45th Medical Company supported operations in the area you speak of. I was there during Tet 68 and spent a hideous amount of time evacuating soldiers from all sorts of kinds of tracks. Too many people were chewed up by RPG rounds which penetrated the armor of a track.......we had a number of missions each day just pulling mangled bodies out of tracks.

    Second, the mention of Robert "Strange" McNamara makes me sick. He was part and parcel of the problem. As the Sec of Defense, he should have stayed at Ford Motor Company. In his book "In Retrospect" which is nauseating to read, he places the blame on pretty much everyone but himself. One of the things he attributes the Vietnam debacle to is that the American Soldier was not "geopolitically aware" enough. Now please, wasn't that HIS job and not the job of a soldier??????
    If you want to get depressed, read his book and see if you can keep up with all the finger pointing!

    TShooters
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 572
    (8/30/01 9:21:27 am)
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    Bill,

    It must have been hard seeing your good samaritan again
    in his condition. I hope he went on to lead a full, fruitful
    life.

    Sharon

    Robert Harden
    Member
    Posts: 9
    (8/30/01 11:33:57 am)
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    I'm pretty fond of food, I bet that was a tough position to hold. The same ones bringing in ammo, wouldn't drop off MRE's or something? I guess ammo is a priority, but only to a point.

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    Bill Braniff
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 109
    (8/30/01 11:42:32 am)
    | Del Re: The meeting
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    I guess it's pretty hard to imagine, dozens of little groups like mine, being attacked simultaneously. The priority was staying alive, and staying alive meant more ammo. The choppers were taxed as it was, going from position to position, under heavy enemy fire. They had room for ammo not rats. We didn't have mre's, rats, for the most part from the Korean War.

    Bill B

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