March 4-10, 1969
COMING IN OR GOING OUT

The previous days had taught me that the enemy was real. There were real people living out in the jungle that wanted to disrupt our lives at LZ Bass. The purpose of a fire base is to put an artillery unit out where it can support or fire on anything within the ranges of their guns. Our purpose was to protect the LZ so the artillery unit could do its job.

LZ Bass had 155 mm howitzers, 8 inch guns, and 175 mm guns. There wasnít an hour day or night that one of these guns was not firing. The 8 inch gun beside our bunker would fire and the ground would shake and dust would fall from the ceiling of our bunker.

When we did sweeps the artillery guns would fire in front of us to unnerve any enemy we might stumble into.

It took awhile, but I learned to take comfort in the sound of an eight inch gun firing next to my bunker. I was even beginning to learn to sleep while the big guns fired.

I had just finished eating when someone stopped and asked if we were OK. "Sure, why wouldnít we be?"

"We just took two 122 rockets. Didnít you hear them?"

I had heard them, but I just thought it was outgoing , I didnít realize it was incoming.


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©1997 C. Warren Gallion
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