Vietnam 1st Battalion
Mike (Birdman) Chesmore
H & H (TF) Company
I got off the slick when the Tigers were being re-supplied and the Grey Ghost asked me for my MOS.. I replied, O5B2P and he said, you’re my new RTO.. at which time his RTO took off his Prc’k and handed it to me.. I took off my ruck and put the prc’k on and the ol’ man said, “wait a minute.. you forgot your ruck. I picked up both the ruck and the radio, looked up at those mountains and said,, “no disrespect sir, because of my size/weight.. I can’t carry both up that mountain, so if you will.. send me to LBJ or put me in any position that all I have to carry, is my rifle and ruck. He said, “you’re no longer an 05B2P, you’re infantry.. go see Winston.”
I pulled duties with the point-team and tunnel work. Several months after Winston was hit, I.. along with Jessie Sepulvado were hit by incoming mortar fire.. I have heard that the rounds were friendly.. .. I and I’m sure Jessie and whom ever else was injured, will tell you.. there is nothing friendly about any f—‘ round that hits you.
I got out in Jan. 1970 Tried to work at several jobs and kept getting fired. I asked the VA to help me and they said, “We have no record of you being in VN.” I got that straightened out and told them I was having memory problems and a list of other shit. They said, “We have no record of your injury in VN,” I got that straightened out too. They said, “you’re schizophrenic and that is not a service-related injury, good bye!
I went fishing to settle my mind and forgot to do much of anything else. I have a son 31, that I didn’t get to watch grow-up.. and a daughter 9, that I have full custody and love her with my all. We do lots of things together and after my mother gets into a community of silver foxes.. my daughter and I will pursue a life!
I was service-connected in 1991 PTSD and in 1996 Orginac Brain Syndrome/dementia. Some of you that are in the CRS Club, I’m sure belong in the CRAFTMAN club!
I am going to take this moment to give thanks to all of you that I have had the honor to have worked, laughed, defended and everything else we managed to do together.. that one day, we might meet again, under less exciting situations. God bless ALL of you! ATR & NS!