24 SEP 1968
Dear Mom and Dad,
Well I finally got settled here on firebase-29, after several days of confusion and anxiety.
The hill, itself, is not the most easily defended piece of ground I've seen. Add to this the idiotic placement of
the bunkers and you really have a problem. I am really trying to build up my defenses, cause I know that some
time soon "Charlie" is going to try for 29 again. This time I don't intend to let him make even one step up that
slope without thinking twice about it.
We run patrols out of here for three days, using four man recon teams. These men leave here with 40 lb. packs or
more, plus weapons, grenades, etc. and then chop, push, and climb six to seven kilometers through 800, 900, 1000 ft.
jungle covered mountains in 80 to 95 degree or more heat, and sleep in the cold night rain, fight mosquitoes and
leeches in enemy territory for 80 or more hours straight, then almost crawl back, only to find C-rations, guard, and
details waiting for them. Most of these guys back in the states would be called truthfully "good for nothing or lazy
teenagers", some "foolish young men", but they show degrees of courage and determination over here that wouldn't be
believed by anyone who hasn't seen it. These young men are really a tribute to our country. I wish you could see
for yourself what the "hopeless younger generation" can do when treated as men, not children. It's really heart
breaking sometimes to walk up to a "bone tired", sweat drenched, sleepy troop and have to tell him he can't sleep
yet because we have to do this or that. What makes it worse is the fact that no matter how tired he really is, you
know he's going to do what you say anyway. Why does he push himself past even his own limits? It's because of a strange pride in himself, a pride that just won't let him give up, as long as "Doc" or the Lieutenant, or Sarge, or even John is still "hanging in there". They have to prove to them self that they're as good as the next man and they do an outstanding job.
Meeting in 10 min.
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