BRAVE RIFLE Company ’66
Born May 8, 1941 (President Give them hell Harry’s birthday) in San Francisco bay area.
High school at Balboa High and then Truckee High at lake Tahoe Ca. Then three years Catholic Seminary for the Arch Diocese of Sacramento Ca. Wanted to be a warrior for the Lord; but couldn’t cut the celibacy route after getting reamed out for flirting with the girl next door, while I was on a meditation/rosary walk. Still wanting to be a warrior for the Lord, I decided to fight for His one Nation under God. Ergo the Army, Airborne and the 5th Special Forces.
ETS happened just as I got married …… the 5Th Special Forces became fully deployed to Vietnam shortly thereafter. I was discharged as a buck Sgt. Stayed out for 110 days, in business with my Dad In Reno Nevada (Wholesale Bakery/Grocery Supply). Was fast becoming a basket case, as I would read daily, the names of men I had trained with in the 5th, as the latest KIA’s. Went back in, lost all my rank after a 90 day break in service (it’s different now). Reported to Oakland Terminal and in three days of shots, equipment and a familiar hair cut … Seattle WA. and then Good morning Vietnam.
Ton Son Nuk??? Air Base told me I had thrown myself into a barrel of fish and I wasn’t doing the shooting. I made a pest of myself trying to get to Natrang and the 5th Headquarters. After a week of a grenade in some trooper’s boot that went off two seconds after he took it from the mamason through the 1ft X 1ft hole in the wall (separating us from the people we were there to help) with the white washed inscription above it “Numba 1 Spit Shine 500P’s”…… a VC attempt to blow up an incoming jeep and sporadic incoming rounds …. we were weaponless. I signed up for the 101st Abn. to the comments of “you must be crazy. They get in all kinds of *hit, man.” I didn’t care as long as they were Airborne and in country to fight. (It was that way in 1966, until the “No Win” policy kicked in.)
Off to Phang Rang, outfitted and then forward to Tuy Hoa. Ran into Chaplain Bruno “The Bear” Masotti who was a good friend of my first wife. He took it upon himself to put me under Chief of Chaplains Maj. Barragee who said: “Be my assistant or go to the stockade..” With my training and scores to settle, I wasn’t about to stay out of the fight.
Three days later I set up the good father’s alter on some ammo crates and then grabbed some gear and went out on night ambush with some B Co. guys who said “SF?, saddle up.” They knew SF or any training don’t mean a thing, till it’s refined in combat. They were waiting for the SF guy to wet his pants. The Chaplain put the word out, that I would have to crawl back to him, to get my job back; but I was bonded with the brothers and the only way back before my DEROS was in a body bag. The Chaplain gave the job to a real fine warrior from the O”DUCE, Jack Concannon. He was grateful to get off the line as he was too short to take a chance on not getting home and marrying that sweet young thing he was engaged to. Father Barragee and Jack went down in a Shoonuk helicopter less than a month after Jack took the job. One of the many “WHY?” of the Nam. Father Bruno the Bear’s assistant Charlie Neiszer was Jack’s very close friend in those last days. Knowing Jack, if he thought he was going to die in country … he would have wanted to go out with the O”DUCE. These two men were my spiritual support when I was out in the bush. When I was wounded, they were right there at the aide Station. Charlie kept the support going after Jack was gone. I never had the nerve to ask if he blamed me for Jack’s death. I was too busy dealing with the guilt I felt. I went through three cameras while on the line (River crossings with a pucker factor of 10). Jack replaced my first one, Charlie kept me supplied after that. But it was the pat on the back and the “What can we do for you man? that meant so much from the great guys in the rear. Every man had a job to do and most knew what that job was and did it with as much patriotism as anyone else. The 101st was a real band of brothers. Even the Legs that came to our unit, became AIRBORNE in spirit and pulled their load like every Eagle. As for that ever present 2% airborne and leg screw ups? well that’s another story for another time.
The rest of my time with the Screaming Eagles forged relationships that no time, distance or happening, could break up. After thirty three years of trying to feel that “welcome Home” you hear so often … I met Doc York, (medic for the B Co. Scouts) in South Dakota raising and breaking quarter horses. The relationship picked up from that day in country when Doc DEROSed. You don’t have to do anything and nothing is expected of a combat brother to be a brother, just be who you were in combat, that’s all…. you always know you have a slack man when ever you need him.
The rest of my life after Vietnam is kind of like a post script. A police officer/Vice Detective with the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department. A marriage based on 60’s music (I’ll follow him wherever he may go… Kathy’s clown.) Kathy and I had six wonderful girls … eighteen years was enough and she said good bye for a Med student 10 years her younger. Turned out to be a sex maniac … after my girls. Full justice is yet ahead. My six girls and I spent time in a Hutterite Colony in in SD, got thrown out (I was too honest about the Hypocrites). we went to Lancaster Pa. spent two years as horse and buggy Amish, then hit the road in a Conestoga wagon with three draft horses up front. Traveled the east coast stopping off in DC to see some old friends. Headed south, traveled the Gulf of Mexico. over to Texas (another story or two, I’ll save them for my girl’s book “Little house on the Freeway”), Then back to SD and helped 27 Hutterites leave the Colony and formed what a lot of nosy know it all’s called a Cult. It took five years to acclimate everyone to the greater society. (a hang up from the old SF days of ‘DE OPPRESSO LIBER’ that’s not a Latte drink “Liberator of the oppressed”). Ended up being the Soldier/policeman a young girl dreamed about, who would take her away from the Hutterite oppression. Married this Rose and have four children (Two boys 10 & 7 two girls 9 & 6) Rose turned out to be the girl of My dreams and we now live in SD, in between my political activism; which gets me in jail now and then, test my friendships and clashes with relatives politics …. but give me a great deal of satisfaction, as I get older and realize that the Left’s “In your face Activism” (if your on the left it’s called activism on the right your called a loose cannon or worse.) is really a hoot when you score. An example pictured below, when a certain individual along with six thousand fellow anti-Americans tried to shut down the School of the Americas at Fort Benning GA. The not so nice demonstrators were going to throw what they called “Raspberry Punch” on the MP’s to provoke mass arrests.. ergo Big Headlines. The Raspberry Punch was a concoction of raspberry punch, red paint, feces and urine. The Judge Advocate was unable to use the punch, due to a chain of custody problem, so I put the left’s philosophy of “What goes around, comes around” into practice. I nailed the five in leadership and as a plus got old Danny Berrigan coming out of retirement, just for the occasion. “Comes around” is worth waiting for. My latest foray into Indian country was burning a Taliban Flag on the University of Nebraska (Omaha Campus). I can tell you, confiscating all weapons is not the greatest threat to our liberty …it’s the PC’s legislating from the bench. They will lock up the patriots long before the battle lines are drawn and we go for our guns.
Scoat the Sniper Scout, over and out
James Wainscoat on the right.