Monday, June 11, 2012
John Douglas Graham
Vietnam 1968-1969 We were out of artillery range so this Lieutenant told me to pop smoke so jets could come in and they’d know where we were at. There were a bunch of dead soldiers out in this opening, all shot in the head by snipers in the trees. But as soon as I popped the smoke and threw it out into the opening, the Lieutenant took cover behind a tree and says “God no! That’s where they’re gonna drop those bombs!” I says, “You dumb bastard,” and ran out into the opening but the only thing I could do to hide the smoke was cover it up with my helmet. As soon as I took it off and covered the grenade a bullet glanced off my forehead, knocking me backwards. It felt like someone hit me across the head with a baseball bat. I could barely see through all the blood. But I couldn’t just stop in the middle of a firefight so I crawled back to the trees, wrapped a rag around my head, took some ammo to a couple guys who were running out and kept fighting. The next day they counted 700-something dead NVA [North Vietnamese Army]. There was a whole company of us, about 120 men. Only 32 of us walked out.