Purple Candy

Discussion in 'Vietnam Memories Forum' started by Admin, Mar 15, 2003.

  1. Admin

    Admin Active Member Staff Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 174
    (4/9/02 2:43:49 pm)
    Purple Candy
    Another true story in the life of a combat Marine during time spent In Country. Now this may come as a bit of a shock to some of you or you may tend to feel that this particular scenario is somewhat inhumane but you need to try to understand that in combat there are absolutley no rules.

    At this time I do not wish to dwell on the various emotions and circumstances that drive one to do something that I am about to explain here but believe me when I tell you ... There are simply times when a combat soldier has "had enough" so to speak and simply does whatever is necessary to eliminate whatever it is that may be annoying him.

    Take for example the annoying flies that were "constantly" bothering you during the day ... And if you think they will go away (for even one stinking second) during the hours of darkness ... They Do! ... But then guess what ... It's time for them big skeeters to come out ... So (just to give you an example) there was ALWAYS a "constant annoyance" of some kind and what does one do as far as the flies and skeeters are concerned ... Terminate ... With extreme prejudice.

    Now this also applies for any "thing or object" and for that matter any "person" whether it be a male, female, adult or child. Dog, cat or even a water buffalo. Makes no difference here when your out in the bushes .... If it is an annoyance then it must be terminated ... simply put ... eliminate it!

    The elderly poppasons & mommasons as well as the children (no matter what kind of pictures you might see of troops together with villagers having what appears to be a great time) could ("in reality now") NEVER be trusted and I have observed many a Marine expire at the hands and doings of those I have just mentioned ... So to be perfectly honest and frank with all of you here, I would just as soon terminate without hesitation before we have to call in the medivac choppers. This is war ... This is Combat ... It's either you or them ... Period!

    Now before I tell you about the distribution of Purple Candy I would like for you to put yourself in my boots for just a second here if you can picture this in your mind. Your searching a ville and you walk into a hut and your attention is drawn towards various lighting which is coming from these innovative little candle thingys they use to make (probably with shot down aircraft material and stuff like that) and they even made these cute little lamp shades for them. I'll call them "lamp" type but they had no actual electricity in most of the villes (that I was in anyway). As you investigate further you can see what appears to be etchings or drawings of some kind on these little shades and the closer you look you finally come to grips with exactly "what" this is that you are looking at. The drawings are actually tattoos that were taken off of dead GIs (skinned so to speak) and the skinned tattoos were then made into lamp shades. Soooooooooooo ... With this in mind I don't think that you would expect me to simply throw "any of these people" a big party or buy them a gift. I will however show them an example of my esteem friendship and appreciation for allowing me the opportunity to assist them in their fight for freedom in this Godforsaken country while they sympathize with my (and it should be theirs too) enemy.

    If you recall ... Somewhere on this board I had posted a topic along with a picture of villagers with buckets and cans held high as they attempted to retrieve our "slop" from garbage cans so that will give you an idea of just how hungry these people really are. In our C-Rations we use to also have a little olive drab aluminum foil package which contained (excuse the spelling here but I will try) a little trioxylin "heat tab". This was used primarily for lighting and heating your goodies that came in those olive drab little cans. If you hunkered down over your canned food (if thats what ya want to call this stuff) in order to get a whif ... It normally sent off a gas odor that would bring a tear to your eyes and the flame was somewhat invisible. These little heat tabs were that of compressed trioxylin gas and rectangular in shape with a real pretty purple (or lavender) color to them.

    Okay folks ... We used to walk along and become surrounded by all these "annoying" little people and the majority of the time we were DEFINATELY not in the mood for being annoyed and especially after seeing something like I mentioned a bit earlier ... as in "shades". Not only were we not in any kind of mood for this but the mere fact that they are all over us tends to make ya a bit leary as to whether one of them just might have a frag or something to take lives with so ya have to be extra cautious here. The light bulb comes on ......

    Lets pass out some "candy" ... So ya break these little jewels out and start passing them out and throwing them away from your immediate location to draw their attention to what they believe to be "sweets for the sweets" and they can't wait to get 'em opened and pop 'em in. Course ... We had to encourage them by making false oral intake gestures like it was the next best thing to a chocolate bar. Did'nt take long and they were down .....

    Now we certainly did not win their hearts and minds with ongoings like this and we went from being "Numba 1" to a fast "Numba 10" but then they did'nt win our hearts and minds either with a display of light shades made from the skinned tattoos of our Brothers. YEP! War IS definately Hell.....

    "What more can I say ..... I was at the wrong place at the wrong time"

    Edited by: SixTGunr at: 4/9/02 3:51:04 pm

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 177
    (4/9/02 6:33:01 pm)
    Re: Purple Candy
    Whataya think ..... Should we give 'em some candy or let 'em go so that they can sneak out after the sun goes down with poppason and give us some of their candy. Not meaning to sound overly cruel here but just telling ya like it is when YOUR life is at stake .....


    "What more can I say ..... I was at the wrong place at the wrong time"

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 186
    (4/10/02 10:09:35 pm)
    Re: Purple Candy
    I had an opportunity to converse with another Hue City Brother and I must say it was indeed a pleasureable experience as we carried on longer than we both expected initially but then we had a good time comparing notes and talking of our expeiences.

    I had mentioned to Mith the fact about my "Purple Candy" post (which he read) and that I had taken a considerable amount of time before I had posted such a story which exposed myself and others to what some of you may consider inhumane and animalisitc. None-the -less it is very real and very true.

    These were very bad times and horrific things took place way back in the bushes and we did what we had to do in order to survive. In any case I wanted to bring this out to those who were not there with the intentions of enlightening those to exactly WHAT went on in a combat riddled country. I for one happen to be an individual that deals in reality as opposed to fantasies. Maybe I was involved with and observed way more than I bargained for but then a Marine combat fighting machine back then was not promised a rose garden. If that were the case I would be telling you about soft, scented and cuddly rose petals.

    Thinking about things such as this today as we look back I'd have to say that I was not exactly proud of some of the things I and my Brothers had to do but then we were'nt invited to an ice cream social. Merely wanted you all to know that we did'nt do things like this "simply for the hell of it" and most of us are alive today because of our actions. Six

    "What more can I say ..... I was at the wrong place at the wrong time"

    *VMBB Staff*
    Posts: 35
    (4/11/02 8:03:58 am)

    Re: Purple Candy
    Hey Six -

    It was either them or you -the basic instinct is survival- I'm glad you survived and got to return.

    semper fi, my friend.

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 743
    (4/11/02 9:02:02 am)
    Re: Purple Candy
    "It was either them or you - the basic instinct is survival"


    Always Faithful

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 218
    (4/21/02 7:19:15 pm)
    Re: Purple Candy
    Generally, I got along better with the Vietnamese than most of my brothers. The villagers were caught between a rock and a hard place, unfortunately, so were we.
    When we were first dropped in to the area aroung An Hoa it was depressing. There was a two story concrete building that had been started by the French. It was still not finished. This was in 1968! We were encamped next to some Nung Chinese mercenaries. We thought there tactics were too brutal on civilians.
    Later we found the civilians in this area to be among the most hateful and bitter we had ever met. There was virtually no one in the unit who could tolerate them.
    If this was your first exposure to Vietnamese civilans, you would be forever jaded. This area is pro north but the NVA hated them anyway. Poisoning civilians who were begging for food is probably not going to be a popular thing in any culture.
    Our first civilian contact was with an elderly female who offered a free coke to a platoon member. He wisely refused
    the offer but she thrust it at him and it spilled on his jungle boots. It burned through the boots. The medics said it was battery acid. He was too busy getting his boots off to shoot.
    The people in that area are unusual at best.
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