Letter Home
9 OCT 1968

Dear Mom and Dad,

I've really been bush this last week, that's why I haven't written yet. It began last Saturday night, but before I tell you what happened I have to tell you what a Claymore Mine is like. It is a plastic cased mine about 10" long 6" wide and 2" thick shaped like...sketched shape drawn here...It has 700 steel buck shot in it , which are propelled forward by a couple of pounds of C4, plastic high explosive. The mine has a kill zone of 50 meters in front of the bunkers.

Last Saturday night we got a real heavy rain with plenty of lightning, not real good on an 800' hill. I was in my bunker just about asleep (just about 2200 hrs.), when a large explosion threw me out of my bed roll. I ran outside to see what it was, cause it didn't sound like "in coming". What had happened was lightening struck the hill and set off about 30 claymores (equivalent to about 100 lbs of TNT). My two people on LP (listening post) reported they had been shaken pretty bad, but were unhurt. Later we found out that two claymores in front of them had gone off and that was what shook them so much.

About the time things settled down, I was called to TOC (Tactical Operations Center) and told that my company would make a CA (Combat Assault) at 0830 the next day, Sunday. I ran back and gave a frag order to the squad leaders to start packing for the CA, then briefed the other platoon leader here at firebase-29. Then we got a call from the Company Commander at FB32 and Capt Brennan gave us the entire operations order. His two platoons and the Company Headquarters at FB32 would go in first and then the choppers would pick up me and the other platoon at FB29.

After packing most of the night, I got the squad leaders together and issued my own operations order. At 0700 we we e on the chopper pad in full field gear ready to go. We waited there ready, till 1230, when the copters finally got there. The CA itself was hot, tiring, sweaty, work, but my people really made a good show, we landed third, but were the first platoon to secure their section of the company perimeter, first to clear fields of fire, first to dig fighting positions, first to send out our patrol, and first to get our OP (Observation Post) out.

The battalion commander "Bullet", really praised the CA and the chopper pilot leader, who does nothing but lead CA's said it was the best he had seen in Vietnam.

We saw no NVA on this CA, but "Bullet" promised us a "hot LZ" next time. (in parenthesis below the terms...Enemy ire LZ landing zone)

My flash light batteries are weak and going out quick, so I better write fast. I got your letter from f24 Sept. yesterday. I need to know how much money I have in the bank now and the date of the balance. I also need to know the total amount of deposits and debits for August and for September....(scratched through was...checks cashed in both August, Sept, and the total amount deposited in Aug. each Sept.)...

Thought I'd never word that right. I got a real nice letter from Professor Park my college math teacher. He got my address from the Hemingways. I'll drop him a line soon as I can. Sure was nice to hear from him.

Got to run,


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