6thofthe31st.com's Timeline

Jun 1, 1970

John Bullock letter

“Ben Luc. …better get to work and write. I slowed down somewhere. These people are trying to make Ben Luc into stateside. Everyday it’s something else. First they said we couldn’t keep weapons in the barracks. We have to turn them into the arms room. Then they said 24 hours after we came in from an op we have to wear boots (shined) and full uniform. Now they say on stand down we have to fill sand bags in the afternoon and pull battalion detail in the morning. We might as well stay in the field, because when we come in we aren’t going to get any time off. Guess they figure they aren’t getting their money’s worth out of the grunts. Got the cake Mom sent, cookies and fudge after that. They stayed fresh through the trip, but Mom sure is spending a lot on postage. We don’t burn the villages in Vietnam as a rule. We burned them in Cambodia. If we did it here we would be up to our necks in trouble. If a house got burned the U.S. would have to pay for it and the officer in charge would be very lucky if he didn’t get a court martial. If we kill a water buffalo we have to pay for that, too. People here are suppose to be pacified. The higher ups don’t like to antagonize the people anymore than necessary. A truck can go from here to Tan An or Saigon without everyone being armed or fear of getting hit. Life’s almost as unaffected by the war here as the states. ….certain spots in the boonies where small bands of enemy hide out. They occasionally motor some place, ….don’t have the strength to give us much trouble anymore. Tell Mom I finally got the certificate to my purple heart mailed off today. Bob McCoy mailed it in Tan An. Tried to mail it here, but they couldn’t weigh it so said I had to take it to Tan An. There they mailed it free because it was a certificate for a medal. Got my C.I.B. (combat infantryman’s badge) today. Our C.O. Captain Lavazzin pinned it on. He’s leaving for home before long. The badge we get for being in a firefight or being in here in a war zone for 1 month. I got mine for a firefight. “

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