Third Battalion, Fifth Marines
Here We Come!
by Brad Reynolds
It's probably one of the scariest times in a grunt's life-when
you stand up on line, and walk toward a village that is supposed to be HOT. The average
village was protected by high bamboo grass, or what we called "elephant grass,"
that sliced through your skin like little razor blades, and by thick hedgerows of
"wait-a-minute vines" that tore at your clothes and your flesh. Pungi stakes
were often hidden in the hedgerows, along with the enemy we called VC. To reach the
village, we had to cross terrain of soggy rice paddies and gooey mud, firing our weapons
as we advanced. When you stepped up on a rice paddy, the muzzle of your gun would rise,
and when you stepped into a hole it would lower, causing your bullets to hit the water in
front of you. As you looked up and down the line of men sweeping toward the village and
saw bullets hitting close to them, you couldn't tell if you were being fired upon, or if
it was your own bullets flying. At that point, someone gets scared, or maybe it's the
adrenaline, but he begins to scream and run toward the village. All hell breaks out, and
everybody starts running and firing at anything that moves.