Randy Barnes – Letter #8 – Nov. 28,1968
28 NOV 1968
Today is Thanksgiving. We’re going to have TURKEY, CRANBERRIE SAUCE, ROLLS, PUMPKIN PIE etc. Should be good!
We were supposed to have the day off but due to the fact the V.C. went into a village close to here we had to get up about six and start fixing up Vietnamese civilian’s. At first nothing really serious – minor gunshot wounds cuts, burns etc. We finished about 10:00 AM and were sitting around drinking coffee and bullshitting when we got a bad one.
An old V.N. pulled up in front in a 3 wheeled motorscooter bus (that are around by the 1000’s) In back a kid was screaming his lungs out. We ran out: the kid was literallly floating in a pool of blood. Both of his feet were blown off just above the ankles. Boy, Mom, I just about lost control of my stomach. Just the raw white bone sticking out of red bleeding flesh where his feet should have been.
We rushed him in and began work.- Shot him full of MORPHINE, started giving blood I’d put a touniquet on his leg. He was too far gone for us so we got on the radio and called for a “Dust – off” (that’s a Med-Evac Chopper) By the time we got him down to the chopper-pad, the “Dust Off” was overhead. However, we forgot a smoke grenade so I had to run back to the Aid-Station for one. (a chopper won’t land without a prearranged smoke signal to mark the spot & show its all clear)
When we got the kid loaded we no more than let loose of the handles of the litter when the chopper was off. Those things save alot of lives.
Found out later the kid had stepped on a booby-trap on the road right down from our camp – You just don’t know -Evidently the V.C sneaked in last night & set up the booby-trap – Now the camp is closed until they “sweep” the road for mines.
I’ve been up & down that road a dozen times (Never on Foot.)
That wasn’t too pleasent a story but its all that’s new. I’m fine and safe.