Tuesday, October 4, 2011

vietnam journal

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Vietnam Journal

1. 168--6

This morning during breakfast my mother walked in the room with a pale and black look on her face, she was holding an open envelope and paper. I asked her what was wrong, and she handed me the papers she told me that I’m going to war. I didn’t know what she was talking about until I looked at the paper; it was a paper notifying me that I’m being drafted. I didn’t know what to think at first, I’d heard of people being drafted but never thought of it being me. My mother was scared for me and my dad said it’s a good thing and I get to go fight for my country. I don’t know what to think, all I know is that in a week I have to report to the nearest military base.

I don’t know how I’m going to be fighting for “my” country. I’m going to be on the other side of the world fight people I don’t know and fighting to preserve the lives of people I don’t know.

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I’ve spent a month and a half in training now and I’m scared to think about what’s to come next. I miss my friends and family very much. I wish I didn’t half to go fight and kill for a cause I don’t under stand. I found out my best friend back home was drafted a week ago. I feel bad for him but at the same time for some reason I don’t feel quite alone. Hopefully I’ll see him on the field some day and we can talk about old times back home. (god I miss home)

They keep telling me that if I miss my target with the bombs I’ll be dropping and hit the wrong place it could result in the deaths of countless women and children. I don’t want that kind of responsibility and power over so many lives


Today I shot and killed three Vietcong and assisted in the deaths of a family of three that supposedly helped the Vietcong. Killing the dirty Vietcong is not hard at all in fact I’ve started to think of them more of animal than human beings. If I think about it that should scare me that I actually like killing those communists, but maybe I can blame the fact that I’m not scared on my training.

There was an old man, old women, and a girl of about fifteen to sixteen years old in the family we shot, or should I say we murdered today. When my superior told me to “take care of the young women” I froze just looking at him. That was the first time I had ever though about disobeying an order. But after a few seconds my superior said, “that’s an order soldier” and at that note I turned and started firing until she was lying in a puddle of her own blood. As I looked at her dead body with blood still pumping out of the numerous holes I had made I instantly thought about my sister that would be about her age right now and it terrified me. In shock I turned just to see another person in my company shooting the elderly man. With my mind in total shock, flashing images of my sister and my girlfriend and then the look on the girls face as I shot her, I realized I was just staring at the old man with one bullet in has chest trying his hardest for the next breath, I wanted to cry. Then someone yelled that we’re moving out, I swallowed and started to walk wandering how long that moment would haunt me.


(Vietnamese civilian) 168-8-1

an other group of U.S. soldiers were at the village today. So many people say that they are helping us by fighting the Vietcong. They brought the little one sweets and played with them. There is usually no communication between us and the U.S. because there is not very many translators. But their still very nice to us and they looked happy playing with the children.

I have heard stores of entire villages of good people just like our village being leveled by the U.S. troops because they were told they were sympathetic to the Vietcong. All the U.S. troops I’ve seen I couldn’t imagine any of them doing that but those stories still scare me.

I’m scared for my uncle who my grandmother tells me lives in north Vietnam in a small village with his family and wife’s family. They tell us that the Vietcong has complete control of north Vietnam, so we can not travel and see him. I am afraid the communists have killed him and his family, but even worse I am afraid that he as joined the communists and become one of the Vietcong that the U.S. troops have been fighting for so long.

5. 16-1-4

This morning we were doing the usual patrol and my company had the worst attack we’ve ever had by the Vietcong. I didn’t realize how bad it was until it was over, because of my training the hole time I didn’t think past the next shot to take.

There where explosions all around us and bullets going by my head constantly, or so it seemed. Nobody was ever quit sure were the enemy was. Every body was shooting in different direction, maybe that’s because we were surrounded.

I paused for a moment and heard a scream from behind me. Still shooting I ran in the direction of the scream. In all the confusion I almost tripped over my closest friend at the time, I realized he was the one screaming. He had been shot twice in the leg and ones in the belly. As I was carrying him in the direction that I thought was safety he got very quiet but I didn’t dear stop running. Finely I found a couple more troops from the same squad and I put him down and told him that we made it and its alright. Then I say that he was already dead. Filled with sadness and anger I turned around and started swearing to myself that I find the mother fc^#r that did this. Just then two other comrades that I’d been with me grabbed me and carried me back telling me not to kill myself over this. In the state I was in then I would have kill all those communists if I could.

6. 15-6-8

I was told that I’m being sent home today. I was so happy when I heard, I finely get to go home and put all of this behind me. I exchanged addresses and other information with some of the people that I’d been serving with for a long time to try to keep in touch.

On the long ride home I came up with a lot of mixed feeling. I remember learning of WWII and all the war heroes that were greeted with parades and glorified when they came home and I know that none of us are going to be getting any of that treatment. People keep telling me that I’m lucky for surviving because the where so many men that didn’t. I not sure how lucky I really am for surviving. Every one knows of all the families and innocent people we all killed and even if nobody knew but me I’m not sure how I can live with that for the rest of my life. I guess I’m not so luck for surviving the war after all. Maybe it would have been better for me to have died in the war.

I walked off the plane to protesters, people my age screaming at me for spending the past two years risking my life. They called me “baby killer” and they’d spit on me. Its hard enough for me to live with the things I did without them telling me.

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