Memories of a Vietnam Vet

I was over there from 1970 to 1971.  It wasn’t that bad, but wasn’t a picnic either.  It was better than boot camp.  Looking back on it, I think I was too young to be over there fighting.  I really didn’t have a lot of sense.  I was lucky to make it out alive.  I can truly say God was watching out for me.  I had so many close calls—bullets flying near me; a guy stepped on a land mine right in front of me; and I could have died from hook worms, twice. 

About four months into my tour I applied for a transfer into a village.  I wanted to get to know the Vietnamese people better and help protect them from the constant raids of the VC. Thinking back on it, I think I just wanted more action.  I was like that—stupid!  Well about a week or so after I got transferred, the hill I was transferred from got overrun, and I think some of those I knew died.  I’m not sure which ones.  Wow, that was definitely God watching out for me.  I couldn’t help have the feeling that God was protecting me, keeping me alive for some reason—though I had no idea what that would be. Maybe just to be a Christian light in a dark world—ha ha. 

Ya, I was a gung hoe marine, but I remember a real scary night.  The nights over there were pitch black, even in the village where I was.  Anyway, one night, setting up on my watch in the village, I thought I saw someone moving out in the rice patties. But it was so dark I couldn’t get a clear fix on him.  Then later that evening I heard something near one of the hutches.  But yet I didn’t see anything.  I had to do something.  Couldn’t just sit and wait.  So I took my 45 off safety, and in the ready position moved slowly around the hutch.  I went all the way around it—and nothing.  Yet I still heard something.  Was he doing the same thing, following me?  I went the other way, ready to shoot the first thing I saw.  Nothing.

That morning I discovered there was a friendly Vietnamese soldier home on leave in the hutch—moving around.  To think if I had seen him that night I may have shot him.  What a crazy war that was. 

 Memorial Day is to remember those who died.  But today I want to remember someone else.  I want to remember God who kept me alive and who has kept countless others alive for His own special purpose.  And for those who died, they died for a purpose too.  Today I want to give God glory for working out that purpose.

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About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.
This entry was posted in Poems, Prayers, Ramblings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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