Author's Name: Joe McCarthy
Title: "12/17/69"I landed in Vietnam on December 7th, 1969; Pearl Harbor Day - how ironic!. After in-processing and spending a week in the 1st Infantry Division jungle school (teaching us how not to get killed), I got picked for guard duty on December 16th, the night before we were to ship out to our unit.
I spent the night pulling several 2 hour shifts in a bunker on the perimeter of the base camp.
The next morning, as we all stood around waiting for our orders and departure information, the Sergeant called my name "McCarthy". I responded "here'. He then asked me "Is today your birthday". I replied that it was. He said that if I would have mentioned it the night before I could have gotten out of guard duty.
That would have been nice to know, because as midnight approached and my birthday arrived, I thought to myself "I'm spending my 19th birthday sitting behind a machine gun in Vietnam".