Constricted Tightened Perimeter Outer edge of their position Shrapnel Shell

Constricted tightened perimeter outer edge of their

This preview shows page 186 - 188 out of 263 pages.

Constricted: Tightened. Perimeter: Outer edge of their position. Shrapnel: Shell fragments from an explosive weapon. Fire-team: Squad of combat soldiers. Ambush-detonated: Explosion that is triggered by a nearby ambusher. Corpsman: Soldier trained in giving medical treatment. Dress: Bandage. Paddy: Rice field.
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face had been so peppered with shrapnel that I hardly recognized him. Except for his eyes. The fragments had somehow missed his eyes. He was unconscious and his eyes were half closed; two white slits in a mass of raspberry red. Sanchez looked as if he had been clawed by some invisible beast. . . . I slid down the embankment and splashed over to where the corpsman, Doc Kaiser, was working to save Corporal Rodella. There were gauze and com- presses all over his chest and abdomen. One dressing, covering the hole the shrapnel had torn in one of his lungs, was soaked in blood. With each breath he took, pink bubbles of blood formed and burst around the hole. . . . I tried talking to him, but he could not say anything because his windpipe would fill with blood. Rodella, who had been twice wounded before, was now in danger of drowning in his own blood. It was his eyes that troubled me most. They were the hurt, dumb eyes of a child who has been severely beaten and does not know why. It was his eyes and his silence and the foamy blood and the gurgling, wheezing sound in his chest that aroused in me a sorrow so deep and a rage so strong that I could not distinguish the one emotion from the other. I helped the corpsman carry Rodella to the landing zone. His comrades were around him, but he was alone. We could see the look of separation in his eyes. He was alone in the world of the badly wounded, isolated by a pain none could share with him and by the terror of the darkness that was threatening to envelop him. Then we got the last one, Corporal Greeley, a machine-gunner whose left arm was hanging by a few strands of muscle; all the rest was a scarlet mush. . . . Carrying him, I felt my own anger, a very cold, 160 Vietnam War: Primary Sources Compresses: A soft bandage that is used to control bleeding. Landing zone: An area that can be used by aircraft to land and take off. Envelop: Cover or bury. A Helicopter Pilot Talks about Evacuating Wounded Soldiers In 1966 Glenn Munson published a collection of letters written by American soldiers who served in Vietnam. This book, Letters from Vietnam, included the following letter written by airman Glen Kemak to his family: It’s no fun carrying 50 or 60 guys who are laid out on a stretcher moaning and crying and bleeding all over the place. It’s a good thing that I am not home now, after all the bad stuff that I’ve seen over here. If anyone ever started talking about our position in Vietnam, and burning their draft cards, and all these protest marches—I swear I would kill him.
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