Vet Ride

Ajax MD

Well-known member
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Location
Mayo, MD
After too long, I fired up my M813 for a maintenance jog.

As I was doing my walkaround, looking for fluids and low tires, I spied this dude walking up my driveway wearing a Vietnam era green jacket with unit patches and pins on it. He asked how long I'd had the truck and I told him. He said that he drove 5-tons in Vietnam. We chatted for a few seconds and I blurted out "Want to ride along?" He agreed and climbed up.

Turns out that this fellow was Airborne. He was there in 1968. He was riding in an M54 when they drove over a large mine. He said it blew the intermediate and rear axles every which-a-way for 25-50 yards. It tore up his back and that was the end of his Airborne service. They kept him in a hospital, in-country until he healed and put him behind the wheel of an M54 for the rest of his time there.

We talked a bit but of course the engine noise was loud. He seemed thoughtful as he rode along. Some little kids were playing in a park alongside the road, and they saluted us so I blew the horn for them. He just loved that. We made the maintenance loop and I dropped him off with the work crew he was supervising in my neighborhood. He said his name is "Golf" like the sport. I told him to come back any time.

Ashamedly, I know the least about Vietnam of the wars we've fought but I've been trying to remedy that even before Golf showed up today. Now I have a million questions. I realize how fortunate I am to have met Golf and I'm grateful that he rode along with me today.

In a nation gone to hell, this was a brief moment of normalcy for me and it lifted my spirits a great deal.
 
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