Blood Trails: The Combat Diary of a Foot Soldier in Vietnam

BAPTISM by way of FIRE

Chris Ronnau volunteered for the military and was once despatched to Vietnam in January 1967, armed with an M-14 rifle and American convey traveler’s tests. however the latter quickly proved rather unnecessary because the inner most top quality discovered himself within the thick of 2 pivotal, fiercely fought immense purple One operations, going head-to-head opposed to crack Viet cong and NVA troops within the infamous Iron Triangle and alongside the treacherous Cambodian border close to Tay Ninh.

Patrols, ambushes, plunging down VC tunnels, seek and spoil missions–there have been many ways to force the enemy from his personal yard, as Ronnau quick chanced on. in keeping with the magazine Ronnau saved in Vietnam, Blood Trails captures the hellish jungle conflict in all its stark life-and-death immediacy. This wrenching chronicle is usually stirring testimony to the quiet braveness of these unsung American heroes, many no longer but twenty-one, who had a task to do and did it with no complaint–fighting, sacrificing, and loss of life for his or her nation.

Includes 16 pages of infrequent and never-before-seen wrestle photographs

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He advised me the fee, I gave him the cash, he lower back with the batteries, and saved his fee. Kim additionally obtained our laundry performed. He hauled our baggage of soiled outfits into the village and lower back with them in smartly folded batches for a buck or worthy of piasters. He might even get them starched if we would have liked, yet no longer many folks did. again on the bunker line, I proudly displayed my new radio. curiosity ran excessive on the prospect of a few finger-snapping, toe-tapping musical leisure. after all, every person used to be watching for their very own model of sounds, be it rock ‘n’ roll, nation and western shitkicker, blues, or whatever else.

There has been a letter from normal William DePuy, the department commander, being handed out. It acknowledged that even though we hadn’t killed as many VC as on comparable huge operations, we had captured even more booty than anticipated and we should always all be very happy with ourselves. within the afternoon, we have been despatched to protect Bravo Company’s line. that they had been despatched in other places. This activity was once a fair lazier man’s paradise. there have been 4 or 5 folks at every one bunker. Haifa case of hot Korean beer lay within the airborne dirt and dust at our place.

We known as it jungle juice. It was once too candy, too tart, and had an aftertaste like heartburn. I constantly rinsed my mouth out with water later on simply because i used to be afraid that it should consume the teeth off my the teeth. still, I drank gallons of the stuff over the years whilst i used to be close to dying from dehydration and that i used to be thankful to have it. After breakfast, we headed towards the sting of the camp and the beginning of my first strive against patrol. A slim course from the corporate sector to the bunker line undergone a maze of shrubbery.

He appeared apologetic as he informed me that he used to be out of clinical offers. My most sensible wager, he stated, used to be for me to aim to hoof it out to the LZ. He then pointed me within the correct course. whereas strolling towards the helicopter i may pay attention my jaw, which used to be damaged on each side, bouncing up and down in order that my enamel made clip-clop noises like a horse’s hooves on a urban road. The sound used to be visceral and sickening. Wrapping my bloody blouse less than my chin and over my head like a headscarf splinted the jaw a little and stopped the pony noises, which made me believe larger.

Our touchdown west of Trai Bi, a couple of mortar shot’s distance from Cambodia, used to be uneventful. 5 helicopters ferrying different troops to different touchdown zones, besides the fact that, have been shot down the 1st day. We additionally heard that 5 armored cars have been blown up in the course of their deployment. Charlie corporation unfolded like a centipede down an extended stretch of road four working via a thickly woodland. It extra adequately must have been known as path four. I’d been in grocery store aisles that have been wider than it used to be in a few areas.

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