By James D. Johnson
Chaplain James D. Johnson selected to accompany his males, unarmed, on their day-by-day strive against operations. this is often his chronicle of Vietnam and the aftermath of struggle, of his coming to phrases along with his post-traumatic demons, and his desire for therapeutic and detoxification which led him to revisit Vietnam years later.
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Additional resources for Combat Chaplain: A 30-Year Vietnam Battle
Does the VC computer gunner nonetheless have us in his points of interest and is he expecting us to maneuver? I’ll be aware of in a couple of minutes. i believe so weak. Lieutenant Joe Van Cycle, one of many platoon leaders, swears that the desktop gun that unfolded on me was once a . 50 quality computer gun. yet i do know that can’t be. Had it been a . 50 quality, the rounds may have torn in the course of the dike as though it have been Jell-O, pulverizing me within the discount. yet, regardless, being specified within the open and being helpless sounds like being thrown in a lions den. An hour has passed by because insertion into the touchdown sector. I’m nonetheless anxious yet now not panicky. Like a snake, I’ve slithered as much as a PFC within the dust simply sooner than me and we’re conversing. yet, our dialog isn’t approximately being pinned down in an open rice paddy. It’s small speak, as though we speak about nonsense, we will deny the challenge we’re in. The order is given to collect apparatus and get ready to wake up and circulate out in 5 mins. i've got every thing with me that I loaded up with. quickly, the corporate commander yells in his deep voice that at the count number of 3, we’ll all wake up and run for the tree line the place Charlie corporation is found approximately a hundred meters away. I’m instantly petrified back. Will i've got the heart to wake up and be uncovered to the VC who should be in position and feature me in his points of interest? I’m afraid to maneuver afraid I won’t be ready to. i'll remain right here during this dust for weeks—just don’t make me wake up! while I listen the commander shout, “One,Two,Three: stream! movement! circulation! ” I strength myself to wake up. I totally anticipate to be shot at. I holiday right into a useless run towards the tree line. My middle is pounding. In university, as a soccer take on, i used to be one of many slower avid gamers at the group. this present day, i may were a working again, inspite of the apparatus i'm sporting. After approximately thirty meters, we’ve heard no pictures. all of us gradual from a useless run to a quick stroll. Glee is on all of our faces; we've, rather actually, dodged one other bullet. We don’t recognize the place the VC are, yet so long as they’re now not taking pictures, we don’t care. We make it to the tree line and go through some of Charlie Company’s positions which have been overlaying us. We flow thoroughly one other a hundred meters and forestall to regroup. the second one half the corporate is now inbound and lands with out incident. one of many infantrymen smiles at me, “Chaplain, that was once a few type of crap available in the market, wasn’t it? ” I have the capacity to disguise my terror at the back of my grin, yet am aware that grins don’t cease bullets. i think exhilarated. It’s a miracle nobody is wounded or killed, yet our feelings and worry were significantly assaulted. Having extracted us from September 27, 1967 – November 2, 1967 • seventy nine that terrible obstacle, I’m stunned at my emotions. If pleasure comes from being at the fringe of severe threat, then our excessive is valid. Our emotions speedily switch to extra sober recommendations. We nonetheless need to maneuver to our goal. this is often VC land. We’ve fought him the following a number of instances within the previous few weeks and this his personal again backyard, the Cam Son mystery region.