The cry pierced the air and Marines dropped to the ground hoping to find any little depression they could. Hoping the incoming would not land on them. Hoping they would see home again.
Welcome to Echo Battery, somewhere in the I Corps area just south of the DMZ in South Vietnam. It is 1968 and I have just assumed command of this Artillery Battery assigned to support the 9th Marines.
What is it like to go to a war not of your own choosing. What is it like to be in a Marine artillery battery? How does it feel to drive on bumpy, dust-filled roads not knowing who is your friend or who is your enemy? Hear the wop, wop, wop of choppers coming to claim the wounded. Heat C-rations over a chunk burning C-4. Think about living and think about dying.
It has been 45 years since my last “incoming” and finally I can record some memories of that time. A short, but incredibly intense, thirteen months which molded my character and perspective for the rest of my years.
Paul Clark was born at Fort Jackson, South Carolina in 1943, and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, mostly in Oak Park. He received a BS degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. After college, he married Gretchen Muehlberg and proceeded to serve four years in the United States Marine Corps. Leaving the Corps as a Captain after one tour in Vietnam, they moved to Minnesota where Paul started a carrier at 3M. During 32 years with the company he held a variety of positions in product marketing and business management. Gretchen and Paul have two sons, eight grandchildren and are now retired in Scandia, Minnesota. In addition to several volunteer activities, Paul enjoys writing, gardening, genealogy/family history, photography and travel.
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The Pieces of Paris Published February 26, 2015
Hawai`i Aloha Published February 26, 2015
The Standing People Published February 26, 2015
Hawai`i Aloha Published February 10, 2014
The Pieces of Paris Published February 02, 2014
Cedarcliff in Bloom Published November 10, 2013