Horror World

The Vietnam Booby Trap
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Author:  dennislatham [ Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:36 pm ]
Post subject:  The Vietnam Booby Trap

Taken from part of my personal writings on Vietnam for a PTSD session

I stepped in the hole and froze. I don't know if it was from training or just self-preservation. We had been keeping 30 foot intervals between each man in the thick jungle terrain, and we were spread out along a sort of beaten path to make better time. You had to keep the others in sight or risk getting lost. If you got lost and captured as an enlisted man, you were going to die. My left foot went into the hole almost past the top of my jungle boot. That's when I froze.

"I'm in a hole," I yelled to the men in front and behind me.

Everyone stopped as word was passed along. They called for an engineer. I was told one would be along shortly, and then I was left to myself as the Marines cleared out to a safe distance around a bend. There was jungle all around me, and I feared ambush at any second. I couldn't see anyone. I assumed they had already written me off as a casualty. Some mines exploded when you stepped on them; others exploded when you took your weight off of them. I didn't know how long I could keep my foot in place without tripping a possible pressure release mine. I wondered if someone would help me. I believed at that moment that I was probably going to die or at least lose my left foot or my leg. I've probably never felt so alone in my life. I can't say I was terrified but I expected to die.

The engineer showed up. He kept me calm and said he had done this before and to try my best for both of us not to move my foot. He helped me ease off my gear and flak jacket. His wrapped his own flak jacket along with mine around my foot and leg. Then, he probed the hole with a bayonet. This guy was brave, no doubt, and I was along for the ride. After several tense moments, he pulled the bayonet out.

"I don't feel anything," he said. "So we're going to have you pull your foot out."

He stayed with me when I did. I figured he was just crazy brave. Nothing exploded in that particular hole, and I had avoided injury or death once again. But the psychological torment of those minutes I stood very still waiting to die have always stayed with me.

Author:  ttzuma [ Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Vietnam Booby Trap

Chilled me right down to my bone. The shit you guys went through is unbelievable.

Author:  dennislatham [ Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Vietnam Booby Trap

Booby traps and mines were very bad, and the damn things were everywhere. I imagine people are still being killed by them in Vietnam.

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