Jack, those are great pictures from John. I was very intrigued with the photo of "Leghorn" in Laos. I knew it existed, but this is the first time I've ever seen it. I remember all the mysterious flights of one slick and two guns that would fly over us heading west. With one exception (which is a three-beer story unto itself), they never radioed us or stopped in to say howdy. Very cool!
Maybe one of these days, when I've finally retired from the rat race and have the time to gather all my "Year in Vietnam" tales and memorabilia and compose my memoirs. Until then, I sure am thankful you're out there offering old soldiers such as myself a site that tells our story and a means to comment. In the rush to a satisfactory peace agreement at that time, I have often felt that even during the largest, most grindingly brutal offensive of the war, we who were still holding the lines in those waning days of the Vietnam "conflict" were somewhat forgotten. But your site, well, it makes me think...
"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day!" - Wm Shakespeare, Henry V, Act IV, iii
My thanks to "The Bard" and my thanks to you.
Take care lad. Talk to you soon.
Best Regards, An Old Soldier
REFLECTIONS: This is an excerpt from several lengthy e-mails I received from this wonderful "Old Soldier". In this e-mail he talks about helicopters heading west into Laos on "mysterious flights". I remember well on my first tour during late '67 and early '68 making those long flights into Laos and Cambodia, both night and day. It was a "secret" mission in support of the SOG operations flown out of FOB 2. I remember flying over the border doing insertions of small teams as they did reconnaissance on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. I remember those brave Special Forces teams made up of a few Americans and Montagnards stepping into the "Tiger's teeth" against extremely long odds of ever coming out alive. I lived at the FOB during November - December '67 and was flight leader for many of those missions. I remember being dropped off at the communications relay site called "Leghorn" that was at the top of a mountain in Laos after I was shot down trying to extract a bunch of wounded. I remember... Maybe someday "The Old Soldier" and I will tell our own stories... But for now, it is enough to tell the story of others.