Man when I got to the Nan in Feb of 67, they said don't drink the water or eat the food or mess with the women,.I was like 20 and ready to do the world in, so figured I better get on with the show.
I thought this is stupid I am going to be here for a year living on the ground and I can't eat anything native. I will even now try eating anything once or usually twice just to make sure the first person didn't mess up.
So I strolled over to one of the wagons that served soda's and their sugar water from glasses they never washed (remember how they had fingerprints all over them from being so dirty?) and had me a big glass of sugar water and then I have a French bread sandwich of some sort. Probably monkey meat or water buffalo. hell had dog a few times when I was there to.
We were waiting for orders in Long Binh, well I got so sick, had a fever so bad. I was delirious honestly for the entire processing time. I stayed out of going to sick cal by going to the guard room, every time they changed shifts I would get up and go sleep with the next group. I was shitting and puking. But when I was done after about 4 days I think, I had lost 30 lbs.was mean and lean and could eat dirt and drink anything put in front of me with no problemo. I learned about Saigon Tea later lol... .
I was a Tuff Trooper back in the days when I weighed 180 or so, and could run for miles.
I went to Tiger Land for Infantry training (Ft Knox for Basic ) and they sure had me ready to Kill the Cong (they had billboards all over saying that.)
I was lucky to get in the Cav and was sure glad to stay out of being a straight leg..My MOS was 11C20 81 MM mortars..
Ahh dem was the good old days. Anyone that went to sick call was a sissy and we never turned down a LP or Ambush Patrol.
I also remember seeing guys getting dusted off who didn't take their salt pills and drink enough water, they were wacko from the sun. We had air conditioning on ole' 18 track the Banshee. (don't I wish) . Shit we went through so many tracks we were on Banshee 3 when I left.
Sometime in late 67 myself, Spec 4 Paul Levesque and Spec 4 Pat Bratton were in Lai-Khe when we had pulled in for one of our rare few day maintenance times. Well being full of chit and bored with drinking beers at the EM club, when wandered past the Big Iron Cross Brigade Sign which ironically was not far from a MP station. It was mounted high on angle iron and just high enough so that we could not quite each reach it from the ground. After some careful pondering . "we decided to steal it" It must have been 1 or 2 am, We took turns standing on each other shoulders and by twisting it we broke the welds on it. We had to make each other be quiet we were laughing so hard. We watched the MP's moving in and out of the road by the Monument. Man we were stoked we finally had it and happily dragged it back to our track just across the road in the motor pool.
The next morning as we were getting ready to head towards the gate, the Old man was on the radio making sure we were all in formation and ready to mount Up listening for our sit reps. We were slowly moving toward the gate heading North, when he came on the radio again, I was a acting TC and he said 18 do you have something on the front of your track that should not be there, No Sure I sure don't, I of course replied quickly, thinking oh shit. I listened to him ask each track the same question. We had strung it on the front of the track over the surfboard with a chain, it covered damn near the whole front of the track, we were just splitting a gut as we moved out smirking and grinning. It looked so cool.
Well the Captain said whomever has a Iron Cross on their track I wantit gone NOW!!!! This was a At Large Order, he said the MP's are at the gate looking for it. Oh shit!!! I pulled my CVC off and told my gunner and loader to dump it quick before our asses were in LBJ or some other nasty place. The Iron Cross went bouncing off the side of the road into gook land as we waved bye to the MP's that morning laughing our asses off on the major coup we pulled on the Iron Brigade in Lai-Khe.
Damn war was hell most of the time but being young and dumb did have it's benefits at times back then.
I hope the guys forgive us, like I give a rip, but Hey we had to play around a little bit..Hell I was the oldest guy on the track at 21.
We did manage to get into several other kid games while in the Nam, I look back now and think one minute we were men fighting like demons and a short time later we were back to being very young devil makers.