50th anneversary January 12th, 1969 Cai Nua

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Randyw
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50th anneversary January 12th, 1969 Cai Nua

Postby Randyw » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:32 am

A couple of days late, however, I would be remiss if I failed to remember, on this forum, that January 12th, 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Cai Nua firefight. Not a lot to say that hasn't already been said, still, it is a time to remind ourselves of the losses of some great young men. While those of us who were able to survive that encounter with our enemy back in January of 1969, our numbers continue to dwindle, age, sickness, succumbing to old wounds, both mental and physical; what once were robust fellow soldiers, are getting older. Still, on a number of occasions, I remember that evening, and I remember those who fell, those who could not come home and live a full, partial, or even a tormented life due to their service to their country. When I reminisce I often wonder; did I live a life worthy of my fallen comrades? I doubt it, I am guessing that most of us, good, bad, or ugly, moved forward, tried to make the most of what was placed in front of us and did our best. It's probably all we could do, I know it's all I could do.

Over the past 50 years some of those survivors have passed on, some real hero's of January 12th, 1969 have moved on and I know it's just an old soldiers thoughts, still, I hope, like the beloved pet you hope to see again when you die after heading for the bright light, I hope, there will be a gathering of old friends, who, like the book said, who were soldiers once, and young, will meet up, swap stories, and take up where they left off so many years ago. I know I would like that. I don't speak much about Vietnam, never have, however, this forum has given me the opportunity to say and share memories that I would not normally talk about and for that I am grateful. While I am not that active on this site either, I am glad it exists, because I still do remember and if I couldn't share what I am feeling about that night with others who understand, I know I would be worse off for it. So thanks again to all of you.

Again, a couple of days late, so please take some time, maybe re-visit the wall on this site and just remember those who are not with us today, those who gave all, who perished on January 12th, 1969, those who gave some, and survived and have since passed away, and those of us who are still kickin, I hope we all meet up; young, healthy, and full of piss and vinegar, somewhere down the road. Let's not hurry that along, still a lot of living I need to do, I hope all of you do as well.
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Niner Alpha
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Re: 50th anneversary January 12th, 1969 Cai Nua

Postby Niner Alpha » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:18 am

Randy, that is a touching comment. Sometimes I think this site has no purpose any longer. I pinned your message to the top of each forum to remind myself that maybe it does.
Randyw
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Re: 50th anneversary January 12th, 1969 Cai Nua

Postby Randyw » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:28 pm

Niner,

I certainly cannot speak for others, however, for myself, this site has been a non-judgmental hostel where I could stay as long or as short as I wanted, it was filled with individuals who, even when quiet and in the background, I knew were there, whether I knew them or not, I knew they had shared a similar experience as me and there quiet support was paramount to my well-being. I found a refuge and a quiet place on your site that let me say what I needed to say rambling on occasion and sometimes coherent, then I could leave again without a sound. There were always those who were quick to offer assistance, their own experience, and I believed understood where I was coming from. For me your site has been and continues to be invaluable. I do hope you do not take it down. Perhaps, there are others who have found refuge here as well, even if they have never posted a single word.
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Niner Delta
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Re: 50th anneversary January 12th, 1969 Cai Nua

Postby Niner Delta » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:46 pm

That day in January was before I came out to the 6/31st, I was still in the Artillery unit at that
time. Although there is a slim possibility we fired support for you guys that day, I'll never know
because we never knew what we were firing at, or for who. FDC knew who and what, but us
guys on the guns seldom found out.
I have kept up with your posts on dealing with the VA and am glad to hear of the progress. As I have
mentioned before, you are one of the few men I actually remember.

.
Vern.
Randyw
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Re: 50th anneversary January 12th, 1969 Cai Nua

Postby Randyw » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:49 am

Vern,

It's always good to be remembered. You may have sent out marking rounds from your artillery unit in the days leading up to our encounter on January 12th, however, during the firefight, there was a duty officers back in Dong Tam that either did not believe we were in such dire straits, or refused to deviate from following current in-country engagement protocols; by not allowing artillery support because we were too close to a village. Even though, the officer was repeatedly told, we were the only ones who were in the village area, no civilians, who had already un-assed the area prior to our fight, and, of course "Charlie". Would have loved to have had your guns come to our aid though. Either way, I hope you have a great New Year.
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Delta75
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Re: 50th anneversary January 12th, 1969 Cai Nua

Postby Delta75 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:49 pm

Randy I had many of these same thoughts as I walked the 1st platoon, 2nd platoon and HQ positions during my visit to the Cai Nua battle site in my return to Vietnam in 2011. Luckily Niner had located someone who was able to convert Mac's grid coordinates to Google Earth coordinates thus making it easy to print the maps from Google Earth that permitted me to find the locations of each element. The 1st and HQ positions were not hard to locate; however, the 2nd platoon position was more difficult. A 90 year old man took us to what he said had been the 2nd platoon position, but I don't believe that he was correct. Based on later discussions with 2nd platoon men, I believe that I now know where they were.

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