How You Can Contribute To The Story
I am trying with this site to recapture the experience of Grunts living along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in 1968-9, as experienced by the Bullets, of the 1/8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. I went over a newly commissioned Second Lieutenant, Platoon Leader with B/1/8, third platoon and left after a second tour as a Captain commanding D/1/8. Most of this site started from my memories, aided by my letters home to my parents and some after action reports I found on the web.
I saw the war from an entirely different viewpoint than that of the people I led. I really want to get the other side of the picture. You can help by adding to the site your own memories of those times. Military Orders (Awards, Promotions, Travel)...they all have names, ranks, and units of people, that may not seem significant to you, but might be just the information someone else has been searching for ever since coming back to the world. Printed Newspapers, Flyers, Unit SOP's...all add to the process of bringing that time back to life. Photographs...of course jog your memories, but will also bring back memories to others, who will see and remember details in them that you might not even think significant. All photographs should include descriptions to include unit, names and position in photo, time, at least year, place, and story about when it was taken, or what happened to the people shown. If you scan them, use at least 300 dpi so I can restore those that are damaged. If you send them to me, registered mail, I will scan them, put them on a photo DVD or CD and send you a copy of the CD/DVD when I return your documents, along with reimbursement for the cost of your shipping. Letters Home...are especially valuable. They are most significant if you tell the untold story of what was really happening at the time. I think we all held back some when writing home. Video/Audio...tape recording made in country are priceless. I have also found that a great way bring back my memories has been to get mellow and try tell my wife about those times I can remember, with a tape recorder running. It is surprising how much comes back to me, when I just start talking about it. Daily survival skills, how to heat C-Rations, keep dry, take "just one more step"...etc. These things I find to be my most cherished memories. Battles, yes...but daily occurrences are the most pleasant to recapture.
Think of it as your last chance to help heal those you served with. I found, as I finally came out of my repression and denial of a quarter century, that reading the websites of others who had shared similar experiences, was very healing and therapeutic. I found the most solace in the recounting of the most mundane aspects of daily life. The stories of leeches, insect repellant, choosing C-rations when the carton was first opened upside down, pineapple slices on top of pound cake to make pineapple upside down cake, stew from the unwanted C-rats, cooked in a steel pot...these were the memories that helped the most. The horrors are all to easily remembered in all too vivid detail. It is the shared privations and small comforts that took the edge off the horrors for me. It is also the memories of my comrades who did not make it back to the land of the big PX. I don't EVER, EVER want the world to forget the sacrifices they made for us. Join me...lets get the picture in focus for those, who did not go, but may make the decisions that send future generations into the hell of combat.
If you have enough material to justify it, I may simply setup a page specifically for your materials. I have already set up a photo gallery page for "Arkie" and will probably do more pages like that in the future. I would like this to be more than just my personal site. If you can get the raw information to me, I will gladly edit and put it in an easily readable and viewable format. All units of the 4th Infantry, as well as, units who fought with us or supported us are welcome. The stories of the family members back home and the effect of the war on them is also desired. We all were changed by the war. Let's tell future generations the whole story...
For everyone of us who faced enemy fire on a regular basis, there were a dozen hard working souls in support of our operations. They too, were subject to enemy attack, even though combat was not their primary role. We often gave you dedicated men and women a hard time, calling you "Basecamp Commandos", "Remington Raiders", etc. In fact we knew that our very lives depended on your daily struggle to supply, repair equipment, and care for us in every way. I would love to hear about what you did to keep us safe and sane. Your job contributed just as much to the battles as did our return fires. One of our most sucessful strategies against the enemy was in our ability to take away their support. We need your photos, job descriptions, antedotes, and memories to complete the picture of combat in Vietnam. Thank each and every one of you for your hard work and courage.
If you can get to this area, I would love to sit on the porch
and do an interview with you about your experiences in Vietnam. I
am especially interested in those of us who actually slept in the mud along the
Ho Chi Minh Trail where it came into Vietnam from the Cambodia/Laos border in
the 1968-1970 time frame. Your memories of day to day life in the free
fire zones from Dak To to An Khe during that time frame will help fill out the
picture I have begun on this website. Get in touch with me through the
email address at the bottom of this page. By the way, Swamp_Fox was
my unofficial call sign in Nam. I live just outside of Brevard, North Carolina,
half way between DuPont State Forest and Pisgah Forest and would love to show
you some of the beautiful mountains, waterfalls, and other sites while you are
Thanks... Homer --- aka "SwampFox" your webmaster.
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Webmaster:Homer R. Steedly Jr. (Email: ) Copyright 08/12/1995 - 02/03/20. Commercial Use of material on this site is prohibited.