The sergeant yelled, “Get down”. Jimmy dropped to the soggy mud and crawled. With his elbows down and his weapon laid in the vee of his arms up and out of the mud, he crawled. The bobbed wire inches from his helmet, the machine gun bullets flew just above the bobbed wire and the tracers lit the night sky above the bullets.
Jimmy crawled up and glued himself to a wall of sandbags, just as a loud explosion rang into his ears. Water splashed over and his brain screamed, what the heck is going on? In the darkness he couldn’t see where he was going, but knew he had to keep going. Reaching the firing line where the machine guns were firing and staring into the face of the drill sergeant, He motioned for Jimmy to get up and move behind him.
Army basic training at Ft. Polk Louisiana is very realistic. Training at Tiger land, the infamous place where the Army infantry trained for jungle warfare for
Vietnam. Although not in the infantry, Jimmy still had to go through some infantry training.
Jimmy volunteered for Vietnam, not anticipating what he would endure. From the start his missions would not only be challenging and scary, they would be very interesting. His physical and emotional limits were pushed to the max; yet he kept focused on his job as a combat helicopter crew chief, supply specialist, company scrounger and other collateral duties. He tells it like it was, from the beginning of his enlistment until the end.
Specialist 5 (Sp-5) Jimmy L. Strait
U.S. Army 1968-1971
Army Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) 67N20
UH-1D (Huey) Helicopter Crew Chief/Door gunner
187th Assault Helicopter Company
Tay Ninh Vietnam 1969-70
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Jimmy L. Strait