Mike Company               

Third Battalion, Fifth Marines

RVN, 1966 -1971
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In Country

By Brad Reynolds

I was in Vietnam approximately three hours when myself and 20 other Marines loaded onto a truck and headed north out of Danang. We traveled about an hour when we started to hear small arms fire and artillery slamming into a village at the base of a hill. Vietnamese were walking in single file on both sides of the road carrying what belongings they could. They were heading away from the fighting, toward Danang. I couldn't believe what I was seeing: old men, women and kids running for their lives. The lines of refugees seemed to go on for miles. It still puts a lump in my throat to think about those poor people. Suddenly, we pulled off the road and headed through rolls and rolls of barbed wire to the compound. The men in the compound were wearing flak jackets and carrying weapons and boxes of ammo. The truck stopped, and we piled off. We stood in formation waiting for our orders when we heard helicopters coming in. We were told to help unload the choppers when they landed. I didn't know they were filled with bodies of Marines, the ones we would be replacing. We unloaded approximately 12 bodies that had been blown to shit by who knows what. My new jungle fatigues were stained with the blood of combat. I guess that's when I realized this was no game. When we had finished unloading the helicopters, we were immediately marched up to the command tent where we met our skipper, a young man with a hardened face.
-Brad Reynolds, Incountry Sept. 15, 1967, the day Operation Swift ended.