As I got up one morning I quoted the short timers motto "Iím getting to short for this Sh**".
S/Sgt. Poole ask me "Why do you say that every morning?".
I was confused by the question. First of all everyone understood that if you were going to get wounded or killed in Vietnam it was best to get it out of the way early in your tour. It only added insult to injury to spend a near year in Vietnam and then get hurt or killed at the end of your tour. Second, I wasnít aware of anyone that had served over 300 days in Vietnam that didnít quote the short timers motto.
I only had to survive for a handful of days and I would be able to return to the world. The world was home and completely opposite to everything I knew in Vietnam. In the world there are :
A few days later one of our new replacements ask me why we flew the flag. I told him, of the heritage of the AK3 (A** Kicking 3rd) platoon. I shared with him the battles of LZ Bass, Highway 14, Plei Mrong and the type of men he was replacing like Denton, Shorty, Frederick and Doc that had shed their blood under the AK3 flag. I assured him other black men had served in the squad and platoon with nothing to fear from his fellow soldiers or the flag, because we had a common enemy in the jungle.
My mind went back to the pamphlets I had found in the enemy bunker. I recalled how the enemies strategy was to drive a wedge between the black and white soldier. As I thought about it more. I talked to the other men in the platoon. We retired the flag and wrote down the name of every soldier that had served under the flag. As we wrote down Sgt. Pooleís name on the flag, I wondered why he never questioned the confederate flag we flew so proudly.
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