6thofthe31st.com's Timeline

Apr 26, 1970

John Bullock letter

“Thought I would tell you first I got shrapnel wound and wasn’t seriously hurt. I figured if Mom heard it in a letter she would pass out before she got far enough to read I’m all right….were in IV Corp area around Dang An yesterday morning….our squad’s pointman, Y, ran into a V.C. Y got him…our M-79 man lobbed gernades in to any more V.C….a piece of shrapnel from…grenade hit Y in the leg. We pulled out a little ways to a clearing (it was real thick brush and trees there) and called a chopper…dusted Y off….squad moved back to area to check body of dead V.C. My platoon sergeant, a squad leader and a radioman moved up, an M-16 (American) rifle went off. We thought someone let their weapon go off. M-16 rounds started flying around us. We thought another squad moved up in front of us and taken us for V.C. We yelled and yelled …they kept firing, so we realized was a V.C. with M-16. We opened up with grenade rounds and machine gun fire….took awhile to pin him down…brush so thick couldn’t see him…he was in a bunker. One M-16 round hit the ground near me and splintered. A piece went through my upper lip and part way into my lower lip, stopping as it hit my teeth. Another G.I. at the same time got shrapnel in the leg. We pulled back…called Cobra gunships. They fired rockets and machine guns..turned the area upside down. Another G.I. got injured then from shrapnel from a rocket. In a few minutes, they had pounded the area …3 of us with shrapnel wounds dusted off by chopper. Guess they got the V.C. Three of us here together and Y here, too. They shaved my mustache, pulled the shrapnel from my upper lip and stitched up the hole. A brigadier general ….gave us a purple heart. I got a medal, a ribbon and a miniature ribbon in a little case….a folder with a certificate and copies of the orders awarding me the decoration. Lt. Hall, my platoon leader, and Lt. Morgon, Alpha Co.’s executive officer, came…brought mail…letter from you and Mom dated the 20th. They are going to get us cigarettes and a radio. Lt. Morgon left us $20 in case we wanted to buy something. People from the 9th div. keep coming to check on us. My lip looks like somebody belted me a good one and knocked a tooth through my lip. Anyway made it to Saigon. Won’t get to see the city. I can walk fine, but they took my clothes. …don’t think I can sneak past the guards in blue pajamas and white slippers….watching for infection….be back in Ben Luc in a day or so. A P.X. here, movies, a club (patients can’t buy beer) and a library. Ward has t.v., books and magazines and games in library…going to listen to recorded tapes…food good and I get a few days out of the field. Thanks for the calendar. Small pocket calendar I had…soaked in the Mekong Delta along with my wallet. Found out we can call from here but costs $14 for first three minutes. Don’t figure it would be worth that. Sending certificate for medal home…going to keep vest, since I can wear the ribbon on R & R. …should be getting the C.I.B. So I have a little color to wear on my uniform. Will send Mom a letter after you get this first. Tell them I’m fine, no sweat and all that. I walked out and am still walking. “

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