Author's Name: Bill Herbert

Title: "Jeep"

As a member of the United States Air Force, I was stationed at PhanRang Air Force Base in Vietnam from September, 1967 to September, 1968.  My job was refueling aircraft.  I was nearly as safe there as I am here.  I am not and never was any type of hero.  I simply did my job. My tour was uneventful, just as I hope it would be.

I have no war stories to tell.  I will tell what I consider to be a somewhat funny story.  Air Force Jeeps were painted blue.  Each had it's own serial number etc. stenciled on the doors.  Army jeeps were olive drab green with the same notations on the door.  Jeeps were mainly driven by Officers to get them around the very large Air Force Base. We were lowly  E-3 and E-4s

One afternoon, my buddy and I found an Army Jeep left alone with the key in it.   We stold the jeep and took it back to our Air Force side of the base.  After some haggling, we painted the jeep blue and made up some phony serial number etc.  We used the jeep as our own means of transportation for over a month.  One morning we found the Army military police looking over the jeep.  It appeared that they figured out that it has been painted over.  They left the jeep as they had no means of moving it at that time.  After they left, we figured that we should ditch the jeep as soon as possible before we were caught.  I don't recall just how but we met an Army cook who traded us a case of frozen steaks for the jeep.  We took the steaks back to our section and that night we and the rest of the guys all had a feast.  It was not often that we got real steak at the chow hall.

Just a light hearted story in a sea of stories of misery.  The guys in the bush were the true heroes.  The loss of over 58,000 lives to this day upset me greatly.  I will never stop asking "WHY?"