April 7-9, 1969

I was sent to base camp for a few days to take a class on some new electronic devices that were available for us to use on our SRP missions. Base Camp is made up of all the logistic people necessary to keep us operating in the field. They made sure our broken down tracks, weapons and men were either repaired or replaced. They made sure we got our mail and food to eat. Although we felt alone in the field there was a massive army of people supporting us.

Base Campers lived in luxury. Hot meals were eaten at a table. Hot showers were available. Clothes were clean and boots were polished. Carrying weapons were not even allowed in base camp and, worst of all, they slept between sheets indoors. Therefore, we felt it was our duty to help them understand what it was like to be in the field. Since we couldn’t take them to the field we tried to bring the field to the Base Camp. So they could experience the day to day fears we lived with, we felt justified in describing:

  • our doubts in being able to keep the enemy away from base camp.
  • the new enemy rockets that could reach the center of base camp.
When the classes were over, we were sent from Base Camp to Mary Lou to be picked up by our units. While I was waiting I heard a POW had been captured and was temporarily being held at Mary Lou. I walked down hoping to get a chance to see my enemy eye to eye.

The POW was not put on display so I did not get to see him, but I asked the guard if they had learned anything from him. The guard said "Yes, he said they are bringing Tanks and Air Power into the area." We both laughed because there was no way that could be true.

However, for the next few days the usual secure sounds of diesel engines and aircraft required a visual conformation before the heart would stop racing. Those enemy lies are so cruel.

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Web Page Created 12 Jan 1998
©1997 C. Warren Gallion
eMail: wgal@wgallion.com

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