I was drafted in 1966 and sent to Viet Nam in Jan 1968. I was 20 yrs. old when I arrived in country. I was assigned to the Third Sqdn. Fourth Cavalry, 25th Div. at Cu Chi base camp about ten days or two weeks before the Tet offensive started.
When the Tet offensive started we were sent to Than Son Nhut air base which was about to get over run. Most people in America will never know how close America came to loosing an entire air force base.
We stayed mostly within the Third Corps area of operations. It seemed like the combat was just never ending. Being in the 3/4 cav. we were constantly on the move looking for the enemy. They were never hard to find. The worst day was April 13 and 14 which was Easter Sunday. We started with 32 men in my platoon and when the sun came up on the 14th there was only 3 of us left that could still walk. This was probably the worst day of my life.I still have nightmares about it and still agonize about the lives that were lost for absolutely nothing.
The smell of death, blood, gunsmoke, burned rubber, scorched metal, burned bodies and clothing as well as the sight of all of this will stay with me the rest of my life.
I was once asked if I thought of myself as a hero. I just thought of myself as doing a job which was what I was trained for. However I still think of every one that I served with as heroes many of which were from Texas. They were all heroes in my mind and will always be.
I used to think of myself as lucky to have survived without any serious injuries. This only lasted for a couple of months. Since that time I have always had “survivors guilt”. I have wished for a lot of years that I would never have survived when so many didn’t. This is a difficult thing to overcome.