And yet, there were some nights when it was quiet for a while, beautiful for a while, and the fishermen floated on the sea between the land and me, standing watch on my warship.
Excerpt for Viet Nam Body Count, Chapter 12:
I had been thinking
about the My Lai massacre when an old, weathered and wrinkled Vietnamese
fisherman attempted to bring his wooden boat alongside of the U.S.S. Trippe as
we patrolled back and forth about a hundred yards from the shore. Standing in
the hot midday sun, on the edge of his rickety boat, the fisherman pulled back
his pointed straw hat and yelled up to those of us on the main deck. We
couldn’t understand what he we saying.
“Stay back! Get
away from our ship!” someone yelled from the Helo deck, above me.
Unfazed, the old
man continued getting closer.
“What the hell does
that gook think he’s doing?” One of the gunners mates asked as he ran to the
machine gun on the Helo deck. “That fuckin Charlie better not be hiding a mine
under his boat.”
I put my hand on my
pistol. Sweat ran down my back. The old man put both his hands up, asking for
something, in Vietnamese. I stared at the boney, bare chested fisherman,
wearing what looked like pajama bottoms. A team of butterflies began taking up
residence in my belly. I pulled my pistol an inch out of it holster, hoping
that he didn’t have a mine or bomb hidden in his little old wooden boat.
Otis donned his
flack jacket and took his position, manning the M60 machine gun on the bow. It
was mounted on a tripod at the edge of the deck with an unobstructed view of
the rickety wooden boat. Otis’s hands were sweating. I could see them clearly.
His palms glimmered with droplets. They were in contrast to his eyes that were
frozen. His grip on the M60 machine gun was so tight it was making me sweat
Barry was summonedover the intercom as the ship slowed to a stop. He
knew how to speak a little Vietnamese, ... My book can be purchased at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Viet-Body-Count-Mushroom-Montoya