Michael Rand, is an Author, Architect, Artist, Aviator, Photographer and Music Composer who lives in Frederick, Maryland
by Michael Rand
by Michael Rand
Published Feb 24, 2018
Genre: HISTORY / Military / Vietnam War
This book is written so that my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren hopefully will better understand my experience in the Viet Nam WAR. War is evil and life altering, everyone who has experienced war is mentally and physically effected by war for the rest of their lives. This book will give a written description of the History of war, however only emotional, heartbreaking, actual experience of war is the only way to truly understand how traumatic war is to its soldiers. “There are no unwounded soldiers in WAR.” The greatest General of all times is SUN TZU, a Military General and Strategist who live in the 5th Century AD, he died in 470 BC. Many or the successful battles in the history of WAR were won by using SUN TZUs guidelines and teachings. In the history of earth many of the Nations or Countries have been the most feared and powerful on earth at one time it is constantly changing and evolving and will continue to do so. First it was the Chinees, then the Persians, the Greeks, the Mangolds, Romans, Germans and the Americans. Warfare is taught and sometimes it is not taught well this is when many soldiers die without reason! On November the 23th 1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated the world as we new it changed forever, the safety and security changed. “Older men declare war but it is the youth and the poor that must fight and Die.” Herbert Hoover. In the American Civil war rather than be drafted the rich could pay 300 Dollars and they did not have to go to war. In the Viet Nam war if your family was rich they could have their sons serve in the National Guard and they did not have to serve in combat. Many things that are taught to a soldier are complete wrong and will get you killed, if you stand up and charge and ambush, you will die. If You charge up a hill to take a hill, you will die. If Stand up in a fire fight, you will die. If You pick up anything in a war zone, you will die. If you charge a machine gun, you will die. If you step on a boobie trap or trip wire, you will die. If you fall to get down when you here the word incoming, you will die. You will need to learn these and many more examples of how not to die! The Vietnamese Army soldiers was brave, fearless and had been fighting war his or her entire life. They were seasoned, hardcore veterans and 100% believed in what they were fighting for unlike the American Soldier who had trained for 180 days and did not know or believe in why they were in Viet Nam they just wanted to finish their tour and rotate out of Viet Nam back to the United States. Landing in Vietnam, our plane landed at Tan Son Nhat air base in February 1968. I lined up to get off the plane a little scared and nervous not knowing what to expect. I walked out the door of the aircraft and I was immediately hit by the heat and humidity, I struggled to breath. The first think I saw was 150 soldiers waiting to get on the plane. All of the soldiers were very thin, they had a look in their eyes that I later learned was called the thousand-mile stare. The next thing I saw was luggage cards being pulled by trams, the carts were caring caskets of dead soldiers. The same planes that flew soldiers home also fly dead soldiers home in the luggage compartment in the bottom of the plane. A few days later I was told I was assigned to The First Air Cavalry Airmobile Division, 2nd of the 5th, Bravo Company Second platoon second squad. In a few more days I was flown out to meet with my Platoon. I was introduced to my squad leader Sargent Rust Strab, Sargent Strab was cooking rice and fish it smelled uneatable it was Vietnamese army food, he ate the same food as the Viet Cong ate. His clothes and skin were the color of the dirt brown earth he looked as if he had never bathed in his life, he smelled like the jungle. He spoke pure war slang He spoke quickly to me in Vietnamese De De Mow, and pointed to a fox hole about twenty yards away from his. He never told me anything that would help me survive the war. I later learned that no soldier wonted to meet a new soldier in country as they could be dead in hours or days and they did not need to think about a new guy. All new soldiers were called FNGs. Fucking New Guys. At dawn I was told to pack up we were to flying out at 0700 hours, Strab stopped by my foxhole and looked thru my back pack. He threw away my soap, tooth paste, cigarettes and deodorant. These actions keep me alive and taught me not to smell like an American. Strab again spoke to me DE DE MOW FNG, I humped over to the LZ and stood next to Second Squad no one spoke to me. The Hueys started to landing and six soldiers climbed on each bird. Interesting no seats, no seat belts. Some soldiers just sat in the opening of the helicopter with their feet dangling out the side………….