I was shot at during a jeep run from Hawk hill to Chu Lie. I missed by several minutes on two different occasions chopper rides that I was scheduled to be on that were shot out of the sky with no survivors. In another mission where I was visiting sites to conduct religious services, my chopper had taken a number of rounds in the side of the chopper. I know God was protecting me from death. In still another incident, my S-5 had invited me to go to an orphanage on a Saturday morning. I felt I needed to work some more on my sermon and declined. Several hours laer work arrived that the shopper had been shot down with no survivors.

My first 10 days at Hawk Hill, I experienced continuous attacks on Hawk Hill. Sapper attacks at night an rocket attacks during day light hours. During this time, I found my Commander to be a man off compassion for each of the soldiers he commanded. He was an outstanding leader. There were many nights when he or Battalion Surgeon, and I would met to discuss the events of the day, the loss of life the unit experienced, wounded men to be visited in Da Nam or back at Division Headquarters, and letters that needed to be written to loved ones back home who had lost loved ones.

He mentioned that one of the hardest parts of being a Commander in combat is sending troops into combat knowing that some of those men would not return alive or would be captured or wounded. This Commander had a compassionate heart.

In reviewing my efficiency Report, he notes that I performed my duties in a combat environment in an outstanding manner. He noted my intense interest in the welfare morals and religious convictions of personal in the Squadron is the finest I have observed anywhere. It was my practice to interview every man as they arrived in the unit and share with them hope in the midst of a hopeless situation. All the men knew that I was available 24 hours in a day to care and share with them Christian values and beliefs that would help them cope. I Would fly with the Commander to the various locations where or tans were located and spend a few minutes with the men, lending them in a short devotion and prayer, before we would fly to another location. The Americal area of Operation was one of the largest in Viet Nam during my stay. The 1st Cav. covered the entire AO, plus the defense of Hawk Hill.

I provided counseling, brief religious services, at the various locations of the tank crews. I would fly with the commander to the various locations and conduct those field services, while the Commander visited with Officer in charge. Mail was also delivered during these visits. I provided Chapel services on Sundays, and small informal sessions with the troops before sunset whenever it as possible. You need to remember, Hawk Hill was attacked nearly every night just before Sundown and during the day time. Men didn't venture out but stayed in their hooches. One of my duties was to be at the first aid station as the wounded arrived fro the field I recall one fire fight in which several of or soldiers were serious wounded. I was at the 1st Aid station as the men were being transferred from the Chopper to the aid station. One of the soldiers was in very serious condition and while the medics were desperately trying to save his life, he reached out his hand to me and ask that I pray for him that his life be spared so that he could be with his wife and little girl. I don't know if this soldier made it or not. Seriously wounded men were stabilized at the aid station, then shipped to Japan and then to the States. If they died the bodies were flown to Da Nam morgue, then on the CA where the body would be met by an escort NCO or Officer then they would be flown to the burial destination. I was an Escort for one of my friends, Captain Wayne Spragins, a military police Company Commander, who was killed by one of his soldiers, who was high on pot. The soldier also killed the 1st Sgt. and then committed suicide. Captain Spragins is buried in the San Diego National Cemetery. Thirty years later the Captain's only daughter found me and I shared with her my last conversations with her dad and his dream for a new vocation once he left Vietnam. Many tears were shed that day in Springfield, MO. My Commander was very protective of his chaplain. He did not want me riding aboard a Tank track and get ambushed. Brief field services were provided before a platoon would go on patrol upon Their request. One-on-one




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