Gary Bills

A Company 1966 – 1967
[email protected]

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I arrived in Vietnam on Oct. the 11th ’66 aboard a Continental flight. Landed in Saigon, given the usual orientation and loaded onto those buses with the wire over the windows. Thinking, OH S–T we’re not even safe in town. Then sent to Long Bien waiting orders to Tuy Hoa. When I got to Tuy Hoa I pulled one nights bunker guard, then the next day I was called into supply and issued my web gear (no rucks then, we had to stuff our C-rats in and extra pair of socks and strap them onto those little packs we had then). Then loaded into a Huey. We were all sitting in the doors with our feet hanging out, me in the middle then took off on my very first chopper ride. Right away I knew that I wouldn’t live to see combat. As the chopper banked I KNEW that I was going to fall out as I felt like I was sliding out the door. I’ll bet the guys on either side of me still have my finger prints embedded in their arms. On the second day in the field I got my cherry busted. I was wounded on the 24th of April ’67, later rejoined my company in Duc Pho and the rest is history.”

In Vietnam I saw some beautiful places and some ugly. Sometimes I was bored stiff, sometimes scared shitless. Had good friends die and watched as friends left the field to go home each leaving an empty spot in my soul. In turn, DEROSing myself, with mixed emotions. I spent 30 yrs. trying to forget and the last 5 trying to remember. It seems important now somehow, to bring back to memory the most defining time of my life. To be proud of what we did over there in those steaming jungles and rice paddies. And thanks to the guys that set up and maintain the 327th web site. I have been in touch with people I never thought I would see again and some of those holes in my soul are starting to close though I know some never will.

I wish I had a beer for every glass I raised in memory of A Co., 2nd of the 327th, and if I did, I would invite the whole bunch of them over and we would have one hell of a standdown.

If any of you remember me give me a sit rep. Until then, AIRBORNE FOREVER!!!!

Gary Bills

bills_kontumGary in Tuy Hoa, ’66

bills_tuy_hoaGary in Kontum by the old French Barracks, Dec ’66

bills_lrrpA Company waiting on choppers to help out a LRRP Team in trouble out of Ban Me Thout, early ’67

steinbaugh_vcDon Steinbaugh being “insensitive,” with VC suspects late ’66, Tuy Hoa