The Second and Last Time I Cried in Country

*See attached audio

After eight months in the field as a forward observer, I became the executive officer

of a 105 mm battery.


We were on a fire base north of Hue, just off highway 1.  Beautiful views but piss poor infrastructure.  The gun positions were haphazardly placed around a small hill and what bunkers were there were filthy and rat invested and to top it off we had just been told that this was going to be our home until after the monsoon season.  

The old man was going to Hawaii on R&R and had just left.  I decided to do something about our deplorable working and living conditions.  I displaced the battery to a rearm/refueling pad and got the Seabees who had a compound about three miles down the road from us to bring a dozer up and knock off the top of the hill.  They also lent us a 5 ton truck to haul the supplies we would need to rebuild the gun positions.   

Just prior to this time we had found a stray puppy which was about two months old and adopted it. One day I sent a couple of guys with the 5 ton to pick some materials at the Seabee compound.  Someone decided he was going to take the puppy and as they pulled out they were standing in the back of the 5 ton up against the cab with the puppy on the roof.  As they started down the hill the driver put on the brakes and the puppy tumbled from the roof of the cab onto the hood and then onto the ground.  The fall broke the puppy’s neck and it died instantly. 

That was the second and last time I cried while in country.