Boondocker's Diary: Page 3

Quang Tri - 1967
Boons home sweet home


Mosquitoes were everywhere, you could almost hear 'em saying, shall we eat him here or take him with us. Flying teeth would be a better description for these giant bloodsuckers.

Another ambush, laying on the jungle floor waiting for Charley to wander by. The humidity drenched us and nerves were as tight as a tightrope stretched to the max. As our fail safe mechanism we had our ears and two twigs set in the ground before us as firing guide. To exceed them would be to blow one of our own away. Each of us had ears, the twigs would keep us within our own kill zone. It would also allow us to lay down a crisscross pattern almost impossible to escape if caught in the line of fire.

The blood sucking mosquitoes sounded like bombers, and they were using our exposed flesh as a refueling dump. To slap them could mean death to all of us. I cant explain the feeling of ambush, the anticipation and the waiting was like having your nerves shredded. The darkness and the smell of the jungle enveloped your inner soul. We laid motionless for hours on end waiting for our enemy to show. Needless to say we would not be disappointed if Charley decided to make other plans. We were set to kill...and we would kill if our position was probed.

There is movement. My heart leaped into my throat and I felt as though I was going to jump out of my skin. Slow an methodical was our enemy. They moved as ghosts in the darkness. A rustle here, a pat there, an utterance understandable only to these demons of the night. They were close to us, yet we could not distinguish their position.

We laid there wondering if we had been heard or found. We would know soon by the blast of rifles and the explosion of grenades if it were so. Our hands gripped our weapons, fingers squeezing ever so lightly on the trigger, waiting... waiting... waiting...

Shit, they were passing behind us. To shift our position would give us away. We must freeze and be still, silence, as they pass just yards in back of us. Every footstep they took echoed like a base drum beating in our ears. We could smell them as they passed slowly by. Anticipation mounted, would one of the newbies panic and fire...Hell would I panic and fire? we waited, we listened.

As ghosts they came and as ghosts they vanished into the jungle. Silent and deadly. In an ambush nobody wins, death has no enemy. All are consumed and no one escapes the wrath. Both sides would lose and Red blood flows through all veins no matter what the color of the skin. There is no glory in the taking of life, we do what we have to do. We take no joy in the dispatching of souls. Self preservation and the will to live will turn the most gentle spirit into a life taker. Life takers we must be, to preserve the right. Not tonight, tonight no one dies.

In the years to come we will think and we will listen. We will remember and inside we will die a thousand deaths.


Richard D. Preston

Page created: Saturday, 27 May 2000



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