Vietnam. A place in the hearts of every veteran that has every participated in this brutal civil war.
A time of terror, and a time of anguish. Vietnam will be remembered as a place where survival of the smartest and the luckiest will live while the stupid and luckiest men will find themselves six feet under. I was drafted on the date of December 1, 1969. The United States began a new method of drafting young men to fight the war in Vietnam: It held a lottery. It worked like this: Each day of the year was printed on a piece of paper. These pieces of paper, representing each potential draftee’s birthday, were placed in blue plastic capsules which were then placed into a large glass jar. As millions watched on TV or listened on radio, the capsules were drawn from the jar, one by one.
I being born on December 7th was picked as the 12th draft. This guaranteed that I would most certainly be serving in Vietnam. As I packed up my bags I hugged my teary eyed mother and went on to the recruiting offices.
We were to ship out tomorrow morning We entered boot camp with an uneasy feeling fearing that the worst is yet to come. We were forced to do these drills which were physically demanding on our bodies. We climbed up ropes, did a fair amount of running, and all kinds of drills that weren;t only used to condition us physically but mentally as well. This boot camp lasted for several months. Giving us a strong mentality and a positive attitude we felt as if we could conquer the world. Boy was I wrong.
The jungle was quiet and unsettling. Fear overcame the weak while the strong stayed alive and lived through another day of this. Men on recon walked through the shady Vietnam forest floor and basked upon a journey that would soon test their will in survival. My name is Jim Gilbert and I am a soldier in this hell hole they call Vietnam.
The squad contains a few good men, Jon Woods squad leader, Rick Campo, and Ben Avery just to name a few….