LONGHORN 77 LAI KHE & PHU LOI SOUTH VIETNAM
1ST AVIATION BATTALION, 1ST INFANTRY DIVISION
Another view of our crashed huey. What a damn mess! It was shortly after takeoff and we weren't that high. When I realized we were going to crash - and on my side - I locked my machine gun in the 6 o'clock position and sat back as far as I could. When we crashed the ground was so close to my face I could have kissed it. Holy shit!
The army would set up medical tents for the locals to get aid or shots or whatever they needed.
M48 tank crew being inspected by Major General Hay.
Governor Romney and MG Hay. He visited Vietnam sometime in 1967. Unfortunately, I voted for his son in 2012 before I knew what a giant asshole he was.
The infantry. Those that served in this job really deserve all the respect in the world. They fought in crap, they lived in crap, they slept in crap, they ate in crap and they crapped in crap. God bless the infantry.
Read the sign. NO HELMET, NO BLOUSED BOOTS, NO CHOW. Jesus, it's like being in the army or something. Most of the time the infantry ate out of cans, but once in awhile they had the luxury to eat at a fancy Italian restaurant like this.....valet parking in the rear.
And the infantry also had their moments of fun and relaxation, too. Here's a grunt digging a garden in his back yard.
A boy and his dog. Cute and friendly little pets like Buttons here were welcomed and encouraged.
It's not all fighting. Here's some guys in armor trying to decide where to go and have dinner and drinks after work.
An army convoy. It was fun going on road trips. We would sing songs and play games all the way.
This reminds me of the pot holes on Chicago streets.
If I remember correctly, this was a bit of sabotage at Lai Khe. I Think the Viet Cong blew up something or something.... OK, I forgot what happened.
This is back at Phu Loi base camp. Study this picture carefully. Do you know what it is? It's a drunken monkey rolled up in a ball. Yes, we got him drunk. This is what happens when soldiers have too much time on their hands.
Our pilot with his gas mask playing Star Wars. "Luke, I am your father." Yes, I know, the movie wasn't out yet.... This is aircraft commander Capt. (later Major) Ron Piche. I flew with him for several months when I was gunner for Major General Hay. A great guy that put up with a lot of my crap.
Dear Jane. Yes, war is hell. All we do is fight, fight, fight- all day long. We can never let our guard down. Bye for now, I have to go and fight some more. Love, John.
CBS f***ing news. I put these guys in a category just below Jane Fonda. Their view and reporting of the war was always slanted to their twisted liberal way of thinking.
More of these dickless wonders. I have no respect for them at all.
Wow, man- beautiful Vietnam! ....er, no, wait- this is when I went to Hawaii on R&R Looks like something out of a movie, doesn't it?
More Hawaii. I actually threw stones at her to get her attention. She wouldn't turn around. Oh well, she's an old hag now anyhow....
More Hawaii. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and this is their Pacific Ocean view.
More Hawaii. I loved it there and didn't want to leave.
If I remember correctly, this rock is Diamond Head.
Another poor Vietnamese country girl....OK, no, it's still Hawaii, and I had to tell my mother she was just a "friend"....
Still in Hawaii. This is me. Notice the bandages on my shoulder and leg. I go to Hawaii for some rest and a giant wave throws me around on the rocks. My son Tony said I look gay in this photo. Hey! It was the style of the day. I thought I looked hot and irresistible. Notice the bulge.
On my way home for a full 30 days after my first 9 mos. tour of duty in Vietnam. After this leave, I had to go back for another 9 mos. Shit.
Some more "friends" I made on my flight home the first time. I liked making new friends....especially female.
HOME! After my first tour in Vietnam. This is the backyard of our apartment in Chicago. I lived there from birth 'till I came home for the final time.
MOM! No dad. My dad died of heart disease when I was 5 years old. She cried both times I went to Vietnam and left her alone. And back then I didn't understand why.
ELVIS! Nah, just teasing you. It's just me.
Safe at home. I actually kept that stuffed dog for about 40 years. Then one day one of my sons decided to get it cleaned for me- and it fell apart.
I earned the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) when I was in the infantry with the 2/16. I earned my Crew Member's Badge when I became a door gunner. I earned the Air Medal by flying all those heroic, dashing, brave, "disregard for personal safety", "above and beyond the call of duty" and fearless combat hours.
And General Hay himself pinned the American Stud Medal on me when I.... well, I don't want to brag anymore....
PHOTO GROUP THREE
The next time you meet a Vietnam vet ask him what he did there. If he says he was in the infantry, then buy that man dinner. No one had fought or lived harder than the infantry.
Only 25% of US forces in Vietnam were actual combat troops. The rest are support. That's about the average in any war and in any army.