Short story

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Short story

Postby tomfen » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:51 pm

Monsoon Rains

Every once in a while when it rains for a prolonged period of time, I think back to those days, weeks, and months spent in the rain and mud in Southeast Asia..

One remembrance occurred in maybe Sept of 1968. We were out in the western section of the I Corps (northernmost South Vietnam) in the mountains when it began to rain, then it rained some more, and, after that, it rained again.

We were unable to get re-supplied because we were in the clouds and the resupply helicopters were unable to make any visual contact. We ran out of food quickly (was C-rats food?).

After spending 3 drenching days sitting in poncho tents talking about food ('my Mom used to make a pecan pie') and drinking coffee the rain began to subside, But the clouds continued.

Coffee was easy, just put your canteen cup outside the tent and push on the low spot in the poncho and.....whoosh, your cup runnith over. When there was a break in the weather and the clouds cleared the first chopper in brought a very willing work party to assist in the offloading. As the wooden boxes of mortar rounds began coming off followed by more ammo for our rifles there was disbelief. ‘Where’s the chow’?

But wait………there’s a second incoming chopper. Spirits lifted and we once again could almost taste those delicious green entrées. (hard to believe, but true)

The second bird hovered just above the ground and began pushing off cans of………………...............water.

I can still hear the shouts and curses from troops……’where’s the food’?
‘where’s the fuxxxxg chow’?

Ahhh, the memories.
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Re: Short story

Postby AK48 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:40 pm

Hey tomfen, I remember that op well. I believe there was a typhoon nearby for awhile and we got not much resupply. I remember feeling lucky to find a pack of sugar in my pack to get me through the next day. SF Allyn.
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Re: Short story

Postby beeman » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:46 pm

I to remember it . I believe a Marine broke his ankle and had to sit around 4 or 5 days before they got him. I think I like snow anytime over a monsoon..
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Re: Short story

Postby tomfen » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:03 pm

Speaking of chow..............The Food Game

Resupply in the bush………

Sometimes the chopper brought our resupply with a cargo net hooked to the bottom of the fuselage and quickly deposited the food and supplies without touching the ground. Other times there were personnel arrivals, dead/wounded, rotators, or lucky R&R departures which caused the bird to touch down, however briefly. This required those aboard the craft to toss the cases of c-rats (ammo, mortars) very quickly to us, the ’work party’.

Work parties were a hastily arranged group of ‘volunteers’ chose by leadership.
The Platoon Sargent would ‘requisition’ a man from each squad for work. The chosen were usually FNGs, but not always; sometimes special talent was required. The ‘work party’ task could have been a water run to a stream to refill canteens, collecting trash, burning shitters,…….and of course, get and distribute the inbound supplies.

The gunny was the man in charge of this mission. The gunny was always in charge.

After communication between ground and air the big bird came in and made the drop.

The timing here is critical because the moment the gunny is distracted (and believe me it’s only a moment) a full case of C-rats vanishes. Now…… just keep a straight face and continue to unload anything else. Look busy.

He never saw it disappear, but when he has the time to make a count………..he begins to swear loudly. By then that case had been moved to a more secure location and all of us had this ‘wasn’t me Gunny’ look. Eye contact was rough.

Wouldn’t be until later that those with special talents shared peaches and pound cake with a watchful eye for the GUNNY.

This game of ‘get an extra case’ became a challenge and a wonderful escape from the reality that existed. Let’s call it ‘fun for misfits’.

Its memories of times like this that I’ve come to cherish.

Hope you do to.

Smoke em if ya got em………
C rations case.jpg
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