“THE BIG PIG”
(undated–around May 3 or 4)
Dear Mom and Dad,
I’m coming home! Looks like mid-May. Nobody’s told us a solid date yet so we don’t know for sure, but it’s gonna happen. I’ll write as soon as I know. Right now it’s about 11 pm (that’s 2300 for you civilians) ha ha, and I’m in the commshack and it’s pretty quite so far. Everybody’s hoping nobody gets dinged before we pull out.
It’s been real busy around here. Some of the CAP’s have been getting hammered. Sgt Tingen out at CAP 6 got hit bad. He was running down a trail after some zips and triggered a 105mm booby trap. He was hurt bad. The Lieutenant says Tingen called in his own medevac with the only part of him that didn’t get hit by metal, his thumb, on the handset. I hope he’ll be all right. Another CAP 6 guy I knew caught an AK round in the chest and nobody knows how he is, but I hear he’s at 1stMed. All this was the other night, I think.
Last night, CAP 6 got hit again around dusk and Lieutenant Grebenstein decided to take the gun-truck on a react, so I climbed up behind the gun and he said “Hofacker, you’re on light duty,” and I said “I’m a gunner, sir,” so he said okay and off we went. He was up front with the radio and the intercom to me, Epley was driving and we went haulin ass down the redline. We got to where we could see tracers flying across the paddies into a treeline and the Lt. told me to open up on the treeline so I hit that butterfly with my thumbs and BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM, man, that big pig really lit up. It was far out. These huge shell casings were flying all around, clanging on the floor of the truck. So the Lt. told me in the headsets where to fire and he was on the radio with CAP 6. So here we are, firing at a treeline about 900 meters away, sitting up on that raised dyke road and all of a sudden WHAM! Morter rounds started coming in at us. The dinks had a morter! And they start walking rounds across the rice paddies at us and I’m like, gee maybe we should start making book (withdrawing) back to CACO but the Lientenant says “lay it on the base of those trees” so I just hunkered down and lowered my barrel a little and got that gun as red hot as I could. The morter rounds were getting closer and FINALLY the Lieutenant gave the word to Epley, he got the truck turning around and we booked our scuzzy young Marine butts back to CACO, up the redline in the dark! And I sure hope that was the last time I get shot at over here.
Anyway, enough of this adventure. I will write you as soon as I get the word on pull-out. It’s almost certain, they’re just not blabbing about the date for security reasons I guess. At least I’m at CACO and pretty safe. SEE YA SOON, GUYS! How about a big steak dinner at Manero’s when I get home?!!