Friday, August 21, 2015

First Brush With Death...A Date With Vietnam

The day I was first shot at and the Vietnamese guy I was
transporting in the vehicle next to me had a bullet hole in his
head, I tried not to panic. I looked at him and very quickly
sprung into survival mode. I didn't relish dying here, on the
side of a remote road, but for the first time, I realized it was a
possibility. I was thinking what my parents back home would
say when they got my death notice. Strange how those ideas
run through your head when in a life or death situation. I didn't die that day, but I would come damned near closer to it several times more than I'd have cared to before leaving The Nam. 

In Nam it almost seemed like The World and family didn't exist anymore, sometimes. Holidays were spent in this foreign country and you forgot what family gatherings were even like. It all seemed so damned far away after a while. But I had my reasons for joining the Army. After I quit school, I made a promise to myself and a date with Vietnam, I intended to keep them both.

It was not like I was totally naive about what the military, war
and even what death was, sort of. Even though I had only seen dead people maybe two or three times in my life, up to this point.  But I thought I knew a lot about death
at the ripe old age of 16. I didn't realize it then, but I would
experience and learn much more, in war, concerning the subject of death.