“Doc” Doggett gets wounded
A couple of hours later, as I sat by the radio on watch I heard the unmistakable sound of a spoon detaching itself from a hand grenade and then a thump on the ground two or three feet in front of me. As I dove for cover I remember thinking “I’m dead.” Fortunately, there was a furrow or some other hump in the ground between me and the grenade and all I received was fragments in the shoulder, one in the face and one in my back. Everyone jumped up and waited to see what was next, but nothing else happened. I had jumped up and had my M-16 ready to fire but had no target.
I remember Roch (Thornton) looking at me later, shaking his head, and asking me why I hadn’t set off the daisy chain of claymores out in front of our position. The only excuse I had was that the explosion had left me a little dazed, deaf, and confused (my usual state according to some of the Marines). Actually I had thought of it but it occurred to me that if Charlie was that close the claymores might now be pointing AT me rather than at THEM. Willie started to call for a medevac, but I told him to cancel not wanting to risk a Dustoff for what I considered to be minor wounds.
The next morning I walked back to our day haven and then up to the red line where a jeep from CACO picked me up to take me to lst Med. On the way they stopped at CACO to pick up something and while I was there, the company gunny came by. There I was, covered with blood after having waited all night for treatment and he made me get out of the jeep and go shave before I could go the the med battallion. It took me quite a while to scrub the caked-on blood from the two or three whiskers that I had (I was pretty much of a baby face), so that I could use the “company razor” and make myself presentable. In the Marines, I discovered, you were only allowed to be wounded if you were squared away.
So much for hygiene.