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vietnam - Matt Berger Everything We Had Six Soldiers...

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Matt Berger Everything We Had Six Soldiers Representative of Viet Nam 1) David Ross, Medic 1 st Infantry Division, Dec. 1965-July 1967 David Ross writes about an incident that he witnessed while “hanging loose” in front of the main hospital building in his camp. He recalls watching some soldiers who had just gotten to Viet Nam and were waiting to get their medical records checked. They were unsure of what was to come and as a result they were “Joking, smoking cigarettes, playing grab-ass in line…”. Ross continued to watch the new soldiers when four helicopters flew up, dropped bags, and flew away without ever touching down. One of the bags broke and a barely distinguishable human body rolled out. Every new man that was present stopped talking and some even vomited. To end the passage Ross writes, “I said to myself, ‘Welcome to the war, boys.’” This line embodies a right of passage that every combat soldier goes through, that of a harsh reality check. Every new soldier seems to laugh and joke until they see death for the first time; and it is then that they realize war is real. 2) John Muir, Rifleman 2 nd Battalion, 1 st Marines This man’s story is an excellent example of the Marine Corps’ sense of esprit de corps and the kind of action a frontline soldier saw in Viet Nam. The USMC has a reputation for the close bond formed between Marines, and the rescue mission that Muir is part of shows exactly what this bond meant to them. Muir was part of a team that needed to help another Marine division that was taking heavy fire. As they were helping their Marine comrades, he noticed “little puffs of smoke”, which were actually mortar rounds, exploding around them. They only registered in his mind as puffs of smoke because all he could think about was the task at hand and making sure his buddies were safe. This passage also shows the dangers and problems faced on the frontline.
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