C Company 1967 – 1969
I enlisted in the Army in 1966 and spent my Basic Training in Fort Lewis, Washington. Went to Infantry AIT in Fort Ord, California then right off to Benning for Jump School. From there I went to the Bragg, 82nd, 2/504 Airborne. Man was that boring. We blasted for everyone that was retiring or graduating from something. I 1049ed to Nam, 101st. So off to Ft. Campbell for jungle orientation and then off to Nam.
I arrived in country in Bien Hoa until I could be transported to Phan Rang, 1st brigade base camp. From there it was just a short helo ride to my unit in the field or jungle? I was with my unit in the field for about 5 weeks when I was hit the first time. Went to a field hospital and then to Da Nang hospital. When they released me I returned to the field and contracted Malaria, so back to the hospital. When released back to my unit this time it seemed like we were all over the country with TET and all the rest of the crap that was going on. And you guessed it, hit again and back to the evac hospital I went. Wasn’t bad though, we actually had air conditioning there. From there I went stateside for a 30 day extension leave and then back to Nam. During the next 6 month stay I was hit again and finally went to the rear camp in Bien Hoa to finish my in country time!!!
After that home to the states. Took an early out in ’69 to return to school and became a Cop. Felt it wasn’t that far of a stretch from being in the brush???
L: John and Eric Swagger
Ben Hoa after Tet Awards Ceremony. Front row SSGT Poole left, 3rd person Sarno, 7th person Dave Gray
Bill Madden and John during Tet outside Bien Hoa when they brought us south for the festivities