We were at Bu Dop, up near Cambodia. We'd been mortared, shot at with Russian 8" mechanized howitzers, 90mm recoilless rifles, and all kinds of small arms weapons. Lots of dead on our side...and lots on theirs, but most of them got hauled off. Ours had to stay until things settled down and we ran the bad guys off, so we could land Medivacs.

We had the dead laid out and the wounded on stretchers, ready to be medivaced. The choppers began to land and the men with the worst injuries were taken first. One of our guys, an E6 black sergeant, looked a lot like Woody Strode in the movies, lay calmly waiting his chance to be taken to get medical care. He had three bottles hanging from hooks near his stretcher, was covered in bandages, was bleeding through most of them, and lay there patiently waiting his turn. It finally came. Two guys came over and picked him up and he told them, "Put me down troopers!" They did and he bent forward in agony, sweat popping out on his forehead, he got one leg under him, and then stood, picking up his bottles as he did so. He looked at the two guys who were willing to carry him to the chopper and said, "No man carries me! I carry my own load!" and calmly walked to the chopper and got in.

I never saw him again. In that moment, he defined all that a real soldier is, tough, self-reliant, proud, and just more guts than I'd seen about anywhere. I never knew his name.





Originally posted on 1st Cavalry Association Guest Book
by, and included here with permission from Steve Richey.

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