July 4th – 50th Anniversary of 11th Infantry slog in Vietnam

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(This is another installment of one of our sponsors, Mike Collins, and still swaps stories with this mates from the old unit. Reunions and much beer involved.-VB)

This is the 50th Anniversary of our slog to build LZ Karen.

On the 4th we were OPCON to 3/21st Inf but were dropped off in the wrong place without right maps and wrong radio frequencies and/or were  out of radio range. This was smack in the middle of the Que Son valley.
I remember Patterson and McDonald climbed up to a PF camp, trying to find out where we were.They managed to find that out and got a general idea where everyone else was supposed to be.
Then we had hump all those klicks to rejoin the artillery and the rest of the unit, most of the way without commo and not knowing where we were until we got back on the maps we did have. Cluster Fuck.  We hunkered down for the night with the tracks and arty. Remember watching the firebases in the area celebrating the 4th with some serious wasting of ammo. (Emphasis mine-VB)
Next day we did that miserable, all-day hump into the Heip Duc Valley. Got to LZ Karen location at sundown and dug foxholes all night with those 175 mm and 8″ guns blasting away continuously. Memorable.
Oh! Did I mention it was also stinking hot both days.

About the Author:

Vietnam era Army JAG, Asia, 17-yr Cold Warrior in Soviet-China Bloc green zone, Been shot at and hit, but in crime, not war; twice-broken nose for lying (same fellow) hence good law school candidate; Could have been Somebody in Corporate world and politics, but at every crossroad chose to be a man with a tawdry past instead. Gave up law and am now a redeemed American.
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