Many of you you are probably aware of a statistic that was recently released regarding the number of days that a combat infantryman experienced comparing WWII and Vietnam. In WWII the average infantryman faced 34 days of combat. The Vietnam infantryman saw 240 days. Now to understand these numbers, what they are saying is that those fighting men were in the field , exposed to the potential of engagement with the enemy. In the case of you men of our brigade the number is a startling 355 days. Yea , 355 days of humping those mountains.I didn’t think about it back in the day, now I do. As you all know, you were expected to go well beyond what would be expected even of paratroopers. A year of that, now that I look back on it, well I just don’t know how you did it. My respect and now my love for you is what I will carry with me always.
In all likelihood there is not a day that we don’t give thought to the men we didn’t get home. Today , more so than other days, I know you are thinking of them. The following are those of our company that offered and gave their lives in ’68.
Steve Patterson, Airborne & Rangers Lead the Way