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Binh-Thuy Air Base Patch photo 239b_1_b-1.jpg

It's been fifty one years ago I went to war
On Nov.14, 1968 I began my own Asian Vacation
That is what we had called our tours of duty

But I can tell you for sure it was no vacation
From the minute I set my boots on the ground
Till the very day that I left to go back home

That journey was not a pleasant one for anyone
As young boys we had to grow up too fast there
And it was not like all those John Wayne films

Rally round the flag boys lets win for Uncle Sam
Oh we were gun-ho and we thought we were brave
Some guys even thought that they were invincible

But I know when that first enemy attack came in on us
The explosions rocked more than our gun-ho facades
Knocking me on my ass it was a real wake up call indeed

Brave young airman you are going to die over here
There was confusion and instant panic in your mind
Where was the bunker they said to run to if attacked?

Suddenly the ground was heaving from the explosions
Within minutes it was over as fast as it had started
My heart and mind were still racing after it was over

I had no clue where to go or what to do in the aftermath
I hadn't even had a chance to check in with my unit yet
Some buck Sargent came by and asked if I was a new guy

I Looked up all dazed and confused I said I just got in
Well he said first thing you might want to do is get up
The attack is over now so let's go get you your ride

He'd looked and acted like nothing had happened at all
Yet he could see how terrified I was from this welcome
He said don't worry buddy you'll get used to it in time

Terry Sasek - Alwaysawarrior - all rights reserved.

This was my welcome to Vietnam just after I had arrived
from up in Saigon, we had flown down to Binh-Thuy AB in
the early afternoon but couldn't land there as the base
was expecting an attack at any time so we flew about 8
miles over to the Army Airfield at Can-Tho to wait to get
a ride over to Binh-Thuy Air Base so we could report in
with our own unit there. It was late afternoon before we
got a ride over to our new assignment at Binh-Thuy. Right
after landing at Can Tho Army Airfield we got short little
speech about their base and what to do if we were attacked
and where to go to get to a bunker. It was about an hour
later when the base siren blared like a screaming banshee
wailing it's warning and we ran outside to see just what
was going on when suddenly there was an explosion and I
flattened myself to the ground to avoid the shrapnel and
the concussion blasts. I was dazed and very confused and
I wanted to get up and make a run but couldn't so I just
crawled over behind this big box looking thing and tried
to stay as low as I possible could and I started digging
in the sand trying to make a hole big enough to crawl in.
After the last round had exploded some Army Sargent came
over to me as if nothing had happened and asked if I was
one of the new guys that had come in and was waiting for
a jeep from Binh-Thuy air base to give me a ride there
and I said yes and he said to get up and follow him and
we'll get you over to your unit. As we walked over to the
office he said that the next time there's a mortar attack
you might want to run to one of those sand bagged bunkers
instead of trying to dig your way to China in that sand,
besides he said to me that the box that you were trying
to hide behind was one of their rubber bladder tanks that
holds the aviation jet fuel they used for the planes and
their helicopters. He told me that if it was hit by a hot
piece of shrapnel ripping through it, that I would have
become what they call a crispy critter if you were next
to it when all that jet fuel blew up. I still had a full
year left yet to serve down there in the Mekong Delta at
Binh-Thuy AB, I kept thinking to myself that things were
not looking very promising to me at that point and I also
kept asking myself what the hell was I thinking about when
I had volunteered to serve over there in South Vietnam.

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