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BLACKKNIGHTS 4

ON THE TRAIL TO THE CAV

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"THOUGHTS AND EXPECTATIONS MEET REALITY".....

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Knew it was going to be the worst days of my life....knew it was going to be ugly beyond belief...thought about this and thought about that but never...ever....imagined the brutality of it all.....

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A 2/5 AIR CAV
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Home | BLACKKNIGHTS | ON THE TRAIL TO THE CAV | CAV COUNTRY | TOUR OF DUTY68-69 | OUR FALLEN KNIGHTS | IN THE BUSH | SKYTROOPERS | FACE OF THE ENEMY | THE OTHER SIDE | TIMES AND TUNES | BROTHERS FOREVER | A 2/5 1st CAV KIA's 67-69 | SCRAPBOOK I | MAPS/LINKS

 
I was in great shape when I entered the Army...I trained at Ft.Bragg,N.C.and the physical part was nothing..so the drill sgts...platoon leaders...and even the CO hammered me to go Airborne....no thanks..I want the Cav.......went to AIT at Fort Jackson,SC...once again was hammered....No thanks ...I want the cav.....But son.....there is no guarantee you will get assigned to them...its pot luck......
Went out to Calif. with everyone else...three times a day they'd line us all up and read names and units...on the third day...there it was...First cav div...the stage was set....I was on my way and it felt good....

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This is the captain..do not be alarmed by the jet fighters outside...they are our escort in.....Ahh.....wait......we need an escort......????
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The doors open...Grab your gear and move to the front....That first step off....That first breath taken...I knew then...this was truly a land that time forgot and nothing good will ever come from this....the heat...the air itself...a constant haze...and the smell....it was death....and it was everywhere.

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Coming up on AnKhe....unload  and get your gear....report
in and assigned a place to crash....if your lucky it will be a bunker....but most often a tent and a cot...unless your real lucky and get to pull perimeter guard....."This will be your home till we can get you to your company out in the bush"...meaning...clean
this and move that...pick up this and dig here....and of course....
burn this.........

 

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We loaded onto a plane in Calif. flew to Hawii...Guam and touched down in VietNam...alot of hours in the air..the clouds..the closeness of God...alot of time to put things in perspective...the mood of the whole plane was as such..not alot of talking..singing and such..the clowning around was put on hold..we searched our souls and hearts...the hidden corners of the mind...and reflecting......a few short months ago our biggest worry was where to go after the prom.....Its only for a year...whats so tough about that.......if we only knew.....

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Load into school buses..wire around the windows so the kids you just gave the candy and c-rats to... don't throw a bomb or gernade in...Oh...OK.....head down the road....unload and given a place to stay for the night.....morning comes and it's in the air again........

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A few days go by and then your told to report to the supply sgt.....pick up your weapon...gear... and get to the chopper pad to join your unit in the field....Humm....whats this????...I was trained with the M-14.....

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ONE YEAR
Don Schaffer


WHEN I WAS 17 I WORRIED ABOUT:

learning enough to pass final exams

would I have enough gas for my car

friends going their own way after graduation

having a date on Friday night

losing my girlfriend


WHEN I WAS 18 I WORRIED ABOUT:

learning enough to survive a war, not pass an exam

having enough ammunition for my rifle, rather than gas for my car

my friends being killed, rather than going their own ways

being point man on a Friday night ambush, rather than a date

losing my life, rather than my girlfriend





Don Schaffer

us-ga1.gifSergeant us-ga1.gif

United States Marine Corps

Republic of South Viet Nam

1966 -1968


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