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.....VIETNAM!! Some called it "The Land of the Little People". I Always Called It "The Land of Accidents".

When in Nam, Guard Duty was pulled 4 Nights in a Row, Unless one was on 'Flight Status'. Here is what happened exactly as I remember it, as if it was last week. My First and Only night of duty before I was to start Flying as Crewchief.

The scene, approximately 01:00-02:00 Hours, middle of the Night. Pitch Dark, with only Huge Flood Lights mounted on poles, along a 'Cyclone' fence pointing directly towards the Jungle Line...50+ Meters away. I had been working on the team all afternoon, just finishing up THIS fence. There are 3 rows of Constantina/Razor wire fencing, after and between the jungle. If the enemy should blow the Generators, all would be in Total Darkness.

I was stationed down at the Can-Tho air-base. Yes! It was known as Not being very 'Hot' (VC Action) in the south of Vietnam. But some Viet-Cong would Come Over the Cambodian Border, to Mortar and Rocket, Us. Rumer had it, we were due to be 'Over-Ran', in the week of 1970. A Psychic had predicted, All those with the number '8' in their Service Number would be killed. I had (2) in Mine, Lovely.

On that night Spc-4 Marlin Jack....Lucky, was designated as the 'Point' Guard. That is the Position, Farthest out from the Base, Period! Deepest towards the Jungle; The Farthest Corner formed by two fences. Probably 100 Yards from the Next Guard posting. I am the First Man Killed, First Man Down and Over-Ran. They will have to go through Me to get to the Cobras! Those that read the First Chapter, will know I am an Expert with any Rifle. I can put a Bullet anywhere I want It! If I can See It, I can Hit It!

The scene was serial as in a Movie, right down to the Blown-out Church just 100 feet outside the last wire. The Jungle was dense and Black. The Night was Silent! In the Razor wire were Claymore Mines, Grenades, Booby Traps.

As my station was near the Flightline of Chinooks, There were rows of Reventments, A 10 foot tall earth filled, 2 foot wide Wall; to keep fire from a Blown-Up Chinook from spreading to the next aircraft. The Adjacent row of Cobra Gunships were parked in file and had no Reventments! A Sapper* would gladly and Proudly give up his life, to only Destroy One Cobra Gunship.

I go on Duty at Twilight. Wearing Steel Helmet, I carry a M-16, Fully Armed, I only carry 4 Magazines. I Stand in the Shadows of the Last Reventment. I Stand ALL Night, so there is NO Chance of Me falling Asleep. I Never Sit! In The Shadows...Unseen is Undetected! My Rifle is Fully Loaded, One in the Bore, 19 in the Mag**. Rifle is Cocked, on FULL Automatic, Safety OFF! and My Finger ON THE TRIGGER...all Night Long!! If I should 'Go-Down'...Sniped, Knifed or over ran, the very least I can do is Empty the Magazine as a Warning Shot, Heard up the Line of Guard Posts.

My Standing Orders are..."Shoot on Sight". "Shoot to Kill". "Shoot anything that even Moves!". I am 18 and I feel as if I am Judge, Jury and Executioner. But I am Responsible!

The Night is Silent, the Jungle is Black.....Then,...They had already come out from behind the Burned out Church, heading My way they were Zig-Zagging in the first rows of Razor wire. I was Amazed! A Young Girl perhaps 19 in a Long white/yellow silk dress to the ground. Two children following, a Little Boy and Girl, around 7-9 years of age. I could'nt quit believe, they are making it through all of the Explosives! No Question, The Women Knew the 'Escape' Route through the Wire.

I Stepped out of the Shadows, Advanced and Immediately Gave My Warning. At the Top of My Lungs, as Loud as is Humanly Possible, for great fear of the Next Guard Running up to shoot them Dead!! I wanted to be Heard all the way up the 'Line'. "Forewarned is Forearmed" One must completely understand, I was Pissed-Off! How Dare You put Me into this situation, where I must make a Instant Life or Death Decision!?

I Yelled, I Screamed...with the Most Commanding Voice!

YOU Get The Mother F***er Off of MY TURF!!! You Didi-Mou the F*** off of My Turf! Loudly and Repeating. The three of them, quickly came closer, I could see She was carrying a Box the size of a 'Shoebox', I'am thinking
'a Bomb'. She advanced with children in tow, following, right up to the Last Cyclone fence, 30 Feet in front of Me, disregarding My Warnings. Then She turned and began to leave, but left the box at the Base of the Fence. I Ordered her "Take that with You!!". She returned, picked up the box, and the three of them left back through the Lines of Razer wire. They disappeared back where they came from, and were gone.

NOT five minutes later, NOW I 'going to get it'! A Jeep approaches, headlights Off, pulls-up and stops. Out of the passenger seat, a officer gets out. I could identify his rank in the Faint glint of light. A Captain, Officer of the Day, Captain of the Guard. The conversation went as follows:

"what the hell is all the Noise about down here?" At Attention, and port arms, I reply, "Sir, we had an Intruder". A women and two children. "You Did Not Shoot them?" NO Sir! "Why Not?". "Because I have to Answer to a Higher Authority!"

The officer said nothing. Turned around, got back in the Jeep and left. I Never again saw who the officer was, nor heard back as to any repercussions to My In-Action.

At 18, I knew some day I would be bouncing My own little girl on My Knee, and I would be able to look her in the Eyes, without any shame, but with pride. Three Lives Spared!

Back on the Guard, Standing the rest of the Night. Sleep well My Brothers, Marlin watches over You! The next day, I'am Flying Missions.


P.S. Days Later, I heard the Rumer of the 'usual' Soldier who pulls guard at that post, had a 'Deal' going with the Young girl to purchase Cigarettes off the Black Market. Two Boxes of them. He could have gotten her killed.



** Keeping a Full 20 rounds in the Magazine was proven to cause 'Feeding' Problems, on the first round. So we just put the first round, Chambered.

* A 'Sapper' is an VC infiltrator carrying a Satchel Charge, Explosives, who is an Expert at getting through any kind of wire fencing or obstacle. They can move at One Foot in One Hour, and they WILL get there, and You will Never see them coming! You are Dead!

The next Chapter 3 'The Showers'. This is a Good One! Every Word True, as it Happened.

Other Chapters:

'2 minute delayed Suicide Mission to Cambodia'/ 'Airborne Qualifying' our Mascot 'Buck and a Half' a Dog/ a Care Package/

The Photo...'Spc-4 Marlin Jack reports for Guard Duty'.PXL_20231226_232818340.MP - Copy


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  • PXL_20231226_232818340.MP - Copy
Last edited by marlinjack
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...The French are some of the Most Brave Soldiers!

As You know some Vietnamese words are 'Part' French influenced. Such as, what the 'Hooch Maids' affectionately called Me... You "Beaucoup Dinky-Dow!" (Lot of Crazy)

We all lost Comrades over there. Never to be Forgotten.

Thank You for Your input.


P.S. great workmanship on Your Pantera, Rene. Well Done!

Last edited by marlinjack

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