War and History Fiction posted September 19, 2012

This work has reached the exceptional level
The road to hell is paved in blood

Home at last *** Part 1

by G.B. Smith

Story of the Month Contest Winner 

For my Vietnam Brothers and sisters & those who paid the price
Home at last PART I

As I woke up the morning mist had just began to clear. There was newness in the spring air. It had rained all night. As the droplets shimmered in the sun light and as it melted away the mist, Mikelwitzs had just came back in from an early morning "take a look." As he sat down he said, "Man I need a break from this shit." John was a quiet man. He was a Jewish farm boy from Minnesota, but that didn't matter he was one man who never spoke unless he had something to say. I preferred him at my left and Washington at my right.

Today was a good day. We were thirty clicks from the Tansunute Air Base and a five-day furlough lay ahead. Life was good.

There were thirty-nine of us in all; each with his own idea of what he was going to do. I longed for a long, cool shower and a haircut. I never had anything but fuzz growing on my face so a shave lasted a week.

The first thing we did after getting cleaned up was to go to the chow hall. The CIA only had the best, and they had French chefs -- mmmmmm good.
The sunrise seemed more abundant and bright this day and for good reason. We were off for five days; freedom from the war at last.

Breakfast was superb and after we ate, we broke out the footballs, baseballs, and mitts. We were out on the tarmac hooting and hollering because for the past three weeks we were silent as the ice icicle in March hanging from Mom's Porch back home.

The first sign of an attack came when we heard the thump of a mortar round being fired. They came without warning and all sixty-two were fired in the first round. Planes were exploding as airmen desperately tried to find cover. While the mortars were still being fired, the VC (Viet Cong) infantry came running and shooting with World War I and II rifles supplied by the Chinese and AK 47's from the Russians.

One of the greatest heroes of the day was Major James Edwards. He flew an old P-97 fighter from WWII for recon. He began to drop in and pick up several troops on the wings at a time, fly them off to a safe place, and then return for more. He was hit forty-seven times, but nothing undaunted his plane or his resolve. For this courageous man continued to fly until his plane just quit working. He saved 30 men.

As I watched him, I was thinking of the scripture that says, "No greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)

There was a little Thai captain with me. We were taking heavy enemy fire and the VC was gaining much ground. I had been hit several times by small arms fire, when from out of nowhere an enemy solider was before me. They were terrible shots. I thought, as I looked at him, he'd miss; and he did. He fired off four shots. The first three went wide, ah, but the forth hit me square in the chest driving my dog tags into my breast bone.

When this courageous little man saw that I was still standing and alive, he ran at me and stabbed me in my left side with his bayonet.

The sly smirk quickly faded from his face as I pulled the weapon closer and deeper. I did not give a rip that he had stuck me. I felt no pain only rage. With my left hand, I grabbed him by the hair on the back of his head and drew him to me. As I slit his throat from ear to ear, with my ever present double edge knife I could smell the fish on his breath that he had had for breakfast. I thought as I threw him to the ground, "Did he even know why he was there?"

By this time, I had been shot, stabbed, and hit by shrapnel and the worst of it was to come. Captain Gnu had been hit several times as well. He said that since we were going to die there we should go out as warriors and not someone hiding from death.

I grabbed a 60 caliber machine gun and wrapped a towel around the barrel to keep the heat down and help stop the bleeding. Captain Gnu threw line after line of ammunition over his shoulders and kept my gun firing.

There was a group of fifteen scattered about but in plain sight, and I began shooting them. Having finished with them, we concentrated on a mortar nest. We hit their ammo dump, and men and body parts began flying in every direction. Bleeding freely, I dropped the 60 and threw Captain Gnu over my left shoulder heading for the Huey that had just landed at the end of the runway. It seemed to be about 100 yards away.

Running forward, I spied a gook to my left who fired at us. I remember holding out my arm as if to ward off being shot. The bullet hit me in my right forearm and followed the bone up, exited at the top of my shoulder near the base of my neck.

I knew that I had to make it to that chopper. I made sure that the Captain was secure, and I began to beat it out of there.

We were approximately 30 yards from freedom when a mortar shell exploded right behind me throwing me forward. Somehow, I managed to retain my balance and kept running. When we finally got there a gruff-old Sergeant yelled, "Get rid of that shit and get in here."

I was enraged over that remark and looked him squarely in the eyes telling the SOB that this was a man and a good one.

The Sergeant just threw the body to the ground. I looked at the Captain in disbelief. All that was left of him was his upper torso. Had he not been on my back, I would have been killed instead. I had shrapnel in my back and the back of my legs.

I looked inside the chopper and there sat Gifford. He was a Sergeant in the Air Force Police. I was told that I collapsed and died in his arms. The rest of the story is what I've been told.

This continues with Part 2

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For the most part, this is a true story. There have been a few changes made to protect my behind. Give me your reviews and let me know what you HONESTLY think.
Bear This is from Vietnam
My 1St Nam story is on page 4 of my portfolio "stories"
The visions and blessings that are forgotten
There is no hell like the hell of war by Glen Bear Smith
If you'd like to start at the beginning
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