THE THINGS THEY CARRIED: ....THIS....GRUNT....WEBPAGE....
They carried P-38 can openers and heat tabs,
watches and dog tags, insect repellent, gum, cigarettes, Zippo
lighters, salt tablets, compress bandages, ponchos, Kool-Aid, two or three
canteens of water, iodine tablets, sterno, LRRP- rations, and C-rations
stuffed in socks. The carried standard fatigues, jungle boots, bush hats,
flak jackets, and steel pots. They carried the M-16 assault rifles.
They carried trip flares and Claymore mines, M-60 machine guns, the M-70
grenade launcher, M-14's, CAR-15's, Stoners, Swedish K's, 66mm Laws,
shotguns, .45 caliber pistols, silencers, the sound of bullets, rockets, and
choppers, and sometimes the sound of silence. They carried C-4 plastic
explosives, an assortment of hand grenades, PRC-25 radios, knives and machetes.
Some carried napalm, CBU's, and large bombs; some risked their lives
to rescue others. Some escaped the fear, but dealt with the death
and damage. Some made very hard decisions, and some just tried to survive.
They carried malaria, dysentery, ringworms, and leeches. They carried
the land itself as it hardened on their boots.
They carried stationery, pencils, and pictures of their loved
ones - real and imagined. They carried love for people in the real world, and
love for one another. And sometimes they disguised that love: "Don't mean nothin'!"
They carried memories!
For the most part, they carried themselves with poise and a kind of
dignity. Now and then, there were times when panic set in, and people
squealed, or wanted to, but couldn't; when they twitched and made
moaning sounds and covered their heads and said "Dear God", and
hugged the earth and fired their weapons blindly, and cringed and
begged for the noise to stop, and went wild and made stupid promises to
themselves and God and their parents, hoping not to die.
They carried the traditions of the United States military, and
memories and images of those who served before them. They carried grief,
terror, longing, and their reputations.
They carried the soldier's greatest fear: the embarrassment of dishonor.
They crawled into tunnels, walked point, and advanced under fire, so as not
to die of embarrassment.
They were afraid of dying, but too afraid to show it. They carried
the emotional baggage of men and women who might die at any moment.
They carried the weight of the world, and the weight of every free
citizen of America.
THEY CARRIED EACH OTHER!
Author By Tim O'Brien
3rd Platoon, A Co., 5th Batt. 46th Inf
Remember them every Memorial Day
- May 28th -
IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY
THE 229TH AVB BN WEBSITE