The Things They Carried....

Discussion in 'Vietnam Memories Forum' started by Guest, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Posts: 122
    (5/9/01 12:10:38 am)
    | Del All The Things They Carried....
    The Things They Carried

    They carried P-38 can openers and heat tabs, watches and dog
    tags, insect repellent, gum, cigarettes, Zippo lighters, salt tablets,
    compress bandages, ponchos, Kool-Aid, two or three canteens of
    water, iodine tablets, sterno, LRRP- rations, and C-rations stuffed
    in socks. The carried standard fatigues, jungle boots, bush hats,
    flak jackets and steel pots.

    They carried the M-16 assault rifle. They carried trip flares and
    Claymore mines, M-60 machine guns, the M-70 grenade launcher,
    M-14's, CAR-15's, Stoners, Swedish K's, 66mm Laws, shotguns,.45
    caliber pistols, silencers, the sound of bullets, rockets, and choppers,
    and sometimes the sound of silence. They carried C-4 plastic explo-
    sives, an assortment of hand grenades, PRC-25 radios, knives and machetes.

    Some carried napalm, CBU's and large bombs; some risked their
    lives to rescue others. Some escaped the fear, but dealt with the
    death and damage. Some made very hard decisions, and some just
    tried to survive.

    They carried malaria, dysentery, ringworms and leaches. They
    carried the land itself as it hardened on their boots. They carried
    stationery, pencils, and pictures of their loved ones - real and
    imagined. They carried love for people in the real world and love
    for one another. And sometimes they disguised that love: "Don't
    mean nothin'!"

    They carried memories.

    For the most part, they carried themselves with poise and a
    kind of dignity. Now and then, there were times when panic set in,
    and people squealed - or wanted to, but couldn't; when they
    twitched and made moaning sounds and covered their heads and
    said "Dear God" and hugged the earth and fired their weapons
    blindly and cringed and begged for the noise to stop and went wild
    and made stupid promises to themselves and God and their parents,
    hoping not to die.

    They carried the traditions of the United States military, and
    memories and images of those who served before them. They
    carried grief, terror, longing and their reputations. They carried
    the soldier's greatest fear: the embarrassment of dishonor. They
    crawled into tunnels, walked point, and advanced under fire, so
    as not to die of embarrassment. They were afraid of dying, but
    too afraid to show it. They carried the emotional baggage of men
    and women who might die at any moment. They carried the weight
    of the world.


    Author Unknown
    Remember the Vietnam Veteran

    Senior Chief Moderator III
    Posts: 136
    (5/9/01 6:36:33 am)
    | Del Re: The Things They Carried....

    Posts: 115
    (5/9/01 8:07:50 am)
    | Del Re: The Things They Carried....
    I second that emotion.

    Stan Lambert
    St. Clair Shores, Michigan

    Posts: 270
    (5/9/01 9:11:00 am)
    | Del
    Re: The Things They Carried....
    Ditto the above. Thanks.

    Posts: 39
    (5/9/01 8:02:42 pm)
    | Del carried
    Just a random thought.
    Good God, I am typing this through tears.

    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 478
    (5/9/01 8:09:57 pm)
    | Del Re: carried
    I hear ya Don.......same emotion.

    Posts: 525
    (5/9/01 10:56:25 pm)
    | Del Re: carried
    What a great post Sharon! Would like to meet that Author.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    Posts: 126
    (5/10/01 10:01:43 am)
    | Del Re: carried
    One of the guys on another area attributed that to Tim O'Brien, who has a book by the same name. I bet it's well worth reading.