That offal shit sakē.

On the right side of this photo just before the forward Marines is a small tree. I have found booby traps there before. One night we had set up a ambush sight covering this section of rice patty dikes. In the middle of the night we had someone trip our trip flare and we fired on the area. In the morning we found blood.

That same night 3-Alfa opened up about 1000 yards to our east. They killed one VCand also found blood trails.

I remember the next morning, early when the sun was just coming up and the fog was just lifting. While it was still dark and damp out. 3-Alfa had this dead VC tied to a bamboo pole, Kerry Reinbold and another Marine were carrying the VC body out between them. They walked passed us on the way out. They where taking him into the vill to see if he could be identified.

It's funny how some memories etch them self's in your mind. These memories can play back like a movie in living color and in slow motion. Other memories are just vague or forgotten. Then of course there are still the memories that have a way of returning when least expected. Some good, some bad.

Here is a funny example. I think.

The other night I was at the neighbors house for a pool party . All the men where in the kitchen talking about their favorite beer, and their worst drink. The conversation came round to me and I was asked what my favorite beer was. I said "I have no favorite". I was ask what my worst drink was. I told them "they're all the same". The men briefly discus my reply then one man said to me that I can't possibly like sakē, the Japans rice wine. I reply "Oh yes I do, sakē may be my favorite drink!" He said why is that. I said "one day I was in the bush in Vietnam, the next day I was on RR in Taiwan, drinking sakē!" The point is, doing anything out of Vietnam has to be better than what you where doing in Vietnam, even if that means drinking that offal shit sakē. I think for a Vietnam veteran what I said would of been funny. For a none vet what I said wouldn't make any since at all. All the men at this pool party just look at me as if I came from a different planet. I guess they just weren't veterans.

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Copyright 2002 by Billy Joe Churchwell.