As for owing you guys a beer, ‘not sure if you know how desperate we were when you guys arrived. Ammo and working M-16’s almost all expended, wounded everywhere, no water and the heat was kicking everyone’s ass. The NVA had just started manovering up the trail from the south, which meant we were totally cut off. Then you guys [and some grunts] broke through. Another 5-10 minutes and it would have been another Alamo, or Custer thing.
Not sure if you tankers realize that there was no way for just grunts to move the wounded back to the LZ. It takes at least four to move one casualty using a poncho for a stretcher and with the distance involved there was no way exhausted troops could fight ’em off and get that done. With you guys help we got the wounded back, not all of them made it, but they at least had a chance of making it thanks to y’all. The collection of the dead came latter.
I remember a tank being disabled on the east side of the trail [I think while we were moving the wounded]. There was a couple of guys out looking it over with nothing but boots and trousers on. I wasn’t sure if they were crazy, they didn’t know what was going on out there, or they were incredably brave.
Late that evening we were told that anyone left with Bravo was to mount the tanks and move back to Con Thien. I was on one that was being towed and loaded with dead.
That was the longest day of my life. Thank you guys for 44 more years.