Boondocker's Diary: Page 5


Another hole, another stand in Vietnam. The liquid humidity wrapped itself around us as though it wanted to smother us. The smell of the red dirt was thick and heavy in the air and fear filled each and every one of us this night, because Charley was on the move. It is a helpless feeling when all one has to do is wait, the darkness seems to magnify the loneliness and intensity of any given situation. The sounds echo in your head like the beat of a steel drum while your eyes frantically search and your heart does flip flops to the beat. If were possible the flesh would crawl off your bones and seep into the cracks and crevices of the earth. We had no where to go, so we waited and the sweat poured while we anticipated the attack.

The reports were coming in staggered, Viet Cong were seen advancing towards our position. The silence and the concentration of each and every Marine in the perimeter was an awesome sight to experience. From time to time you could hear the sounds of M-14 bolts sliding home, piercing the silence. A muffled cough or the mumbling of a prayer could be heard also as we prepared for the siege. We were sitting on a potential powder keg that was getting ready to explode. Each one of us had our hand on the plunger ready to detonate in an instant, without remorse or without conscience.

Hope came in the form of a dragon. We called it Puff. It had been summoned to help us out. It had been here for us in the past and it was not an unfamiliar sight to see it breathing fire in the sky. I hoped that tonight it would manifest it's presence, a needed show of force to deter our enemy from it's objective and purpose.

War deals with death, it's sole purpose is to destroy life, maim, cripple and intimidate the opposing force. It is a machine that uses human beings as fuel, it draws us in and burns us up then spits us out. Refuelling itself with an endless supply of living breathing entities who are willing to be spent for the cause of freedom. In the aftermath we find that the waste was nothing more than a toxic means to an end. A necessary evil, for the advancement of peace.

Devastation has never been displayed in any other form that equals Puff the Magic Dragon. It is here. We watch as the magnificent beast groans out it's power. The Dragon breathes fire in the distance and nothing can stop it's utter and complete domination of the air and ground. Tracer rounds light up the sky as a red sheet of rounds twist to the ground as a tornado, covering in it's wake, the area the size of a football field. It drops one round in every square foot of jungle. It deals out death swiftly and conquers all under its wings. Then it devours the souls and moves silently through the night, as the grim reaper rides his nightmare returning to hell.

We breath again... The advance has stopped. The jungle is silent, no movement is seen.

It is ironic how relief is found in terror, and in death life is gained.

War! It is understandable how it is so misunderstood.


Richard D. Preston

Page created: Sunday, 28 May 2000



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