Vietnam 1st Battalion
Gary S. Henderson
C Company 1968 – 1969
I arrived In Country 11 Aug. 68 and 10 days later arrived at Eagle. After a couple of nights on the berm I was assigned to Cobra Company, handed 80 or 90 pounds of equipment and a ruck I knew absolutely nothing about packing, and told to go to the pad, and catch the first slick for Bastogne. Using my extensive 16 weeks of military training I ascertained I should go down to where all the choppers were landing and catch a ride for somewhere called Bastogne. Most likely not in France.
After arriving at FSB Bastogne some helpful grunts helped me re-pack my ruck before going out to the bush. The thing was a lot lighter without all those cans of fruit, pound cake, beans & franks, boned chicken or sundry packs.
I was assigned to Lt. Ed Fricks 3rd Plt. I walked Slack for the next few months and thanks to P.J. and Trease made it thru my CHERRY months. I became squad leader in ’69 and was W.I.A. on 23 Mar. ’69. Seems Slack Man was my calling because I was walking slack the night I was wounded.
No Freedom Bird for me but a C-141 Star Lifter back to the world was just as good. Have to say A SPECIAL THANKS to the Air Force wives in Alaska who came out at 2 AM to hand out hamburgers and cokes and said Thank You and Welcome Home.
Ended up at Campbell where I started. I wandered the endless halls of Ft. Campbell Army Hosp. for the next 17 months before being boarded out on a Med. So ended my military career and I can say never could a person live so much in such a short time or been more PROUD to have served with the best soldiers and comrades a person could have.
Sgt. Gary S. Henderson
ABOVE THE REST