8 JUL 1967

No salutation or closing, just two yellow notebook pad pages of text.

54th Company had a full fledged funeral and mock military burial for a cockroach yesterday. The whole company wore towels on their heads and played drums on their trash cans, as they and 13 pall bearers carried the corpse in a match box suspended by strings. Then came burial and last prayers. Really!

Had a 36 hour problem last night. Got no sleep at all. We were in swampy mud hip deep much of the time. Got lost for about 2 hours in the swamp (our sleep time). That machine gun got me stuck in the mud several times, and it took quite a while to get pulled out. My squad leader on the ambush patrol got hurt, with a trip wire grenade (practice), when it blew off part of the tree it was tied to. Killed two snakes and on guy fell and sprained a leg during an aircraft smoke attack. Had myself almost deafened when some dunce fired his "supposedly" empty rifle in the helicopter during our helicopter evacuation. I also got into the lead armored personnel carrier (like they show at the clear pond) when the dumb squad leader accidentally pulled a smoke grenade and nearly choked us before I got it and threw it out the gunners hatch (burned my hand doing it, even through the steel pot). They declared our vehicle disabled and I had to guard it for an hour in the hot sun until they set up camp and returned for it.

We saw a mad minute last night. A rifle company in the defense using all it's fire power to repel an extra large enemy force at night. The fired all tracer ammunition and had a helicopter and jets giving fire support with bombs and napalm. Quite beautiful, awe inspiring, and noisy. Only trouble is it lasted almost all night. There were about 2,500 people there. There were three convoy's and I never saw the end or lead of ours. Some 47 trucks I heard. Boy what dust, when we hit the dirt roads.

We have been firing mortars all week. I got paid yesterday, and I'm going to get these uniforms to you as soon as I can. I have to go to classes now, so I'll send this letter and the synapses of my past few training periods anyhow.

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