Vietnam: Why U.S. Popular Opinion Shifted Larry Tyler October 24th, 2018 Uncategorized 1 Comment Posted byLarry TylerI am a Marine combat veteran who served in Vietnam from January 1969 - January 1970. I live in Santa Clarita, California.Larry Tyler has posted 8 articles Previous articleOur Dear Friend Barney Harbin 1 Comment firstname.lastname@example.org Author July 12, 2020 (1:11 am) One of my most memorial days spent in the battle for Hue City, Feb 1968, was the night my assist gunner, Marcus, and I were sent across the Phu Cam Canal, to the enemy’s side, as part of a three-member LP. The third member was a radioman who neither of us knew well. We spent the night in a dilapidated hut about two blocks up from the bridge. There was just enough light coming through the tattered roof to occasionally see a huge rat (the body was about a foot long!) that kept bumping against us. We spent the rest of the night more worried about it than the enemy who seemed to be roaming about searching for us. We made it through the night, but that is when things took a turn for the worse. Just as the sun was beginning to break, the NVA blew up the bridge. A few minutes later, three NVA soldiers showed up in the alley behind the house. One checked the gate, changed his mind, then the three came back and opened the entrance to the back yard. Despite the noise, I had no choice but to dispatch them with my M60, thereby giving away our location. We quickly abandoned that spot and began hiding in adjacent buildings. The radioman received instructions from our lieutenant to make our way to the next closest bridge, about half-mile away. We were in another house when we came across an older man in a backroom. When he saw us, it scared him, and he started freaking out. Marcus grabbed his bayonet to cut the man’s throat, but I motioned for him to wait. When the man saw that was his last chance to live, he stopped groaning and calmed down. That is when this beautiful Vietnamese girl, about 19-years-old, opened a closet door. She saw that we saved her father’s life and told us she could help us. While I was trying to decide if we could trust her, she mentioned she was a student at Hue University, whose members were also high on the NVA’s kill list, and that gave me the confidence to trust her. With the two’s help, we made it to the next bridge without a few hours. That location was crawling with even more NVA, and it seemed a suicide mission to attempt to cross the bridge, although we had no viable alternative. That is when the girl said her father was willing to go up a half-block to distract them. I said no, it would be too dangerous. The plan was to have our side open fire to keep heads down as we came across. We said our goodbyes, and I hoped someday we would meet again. They both left, and as we entered the last building before the bridge, there was a commotion and yelling up the street. We saw some NVA soldiers running in that direction, and that was our chance. The three of us ran with all our might to cross the bridge. Even though I was carrying a machine gun and extra ammo, I still managed to stay up with the other two. Somehow, we made it. Hundreds of rounds were going in both directions, but none of them hit us. Once across, the firing stopped. A few minutes later, we heard two single shots. In the pit of my stomach, I knew what must have happened. Our lieutenant allowed us to go back across with the platoon that stationed at that bridge. Marines attempting to clear the enemy from that side of the canal occurred daily and had only been delayed waiting for us. My worst fears were realized. Both the girl and her father lie crumpled on the roadway with single gunshots to their heads. We received permission to carry their bodies back to our side for burial. Even today, there is no doubt that we would have never made it across that bridge without their help. Although Marcus was later killed in action, and I don’t know about the radioman, I know that both had to be just as grateful as me for the extraordinary bravery of those two. I have a tender spot in my heart for the Vietnamese people to this day. Log in to reply. Leave a Comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.