5:14 | McMahon becomes part of the Combined Action Program (CAP), working with Vietnamese militia to protect villages from Viet Cong thugs. On one occasion, the village is spared from enemy attack by an army artillery unit acting without orders. He and the villagers develop a bond that would last for decades.
Keywords : Combined Action Program (CAP) Viet Cong (VC) villagers mortar fire Tax collectors Rice collectors Nghia Quan citizen soldiers twin 40mm anti aircraft gun army dusters Nuoc Mam Vietnamese food LtCol William R. Corson
17-year-old Charlie McMahon is sent to the Mediterranean to train as a US Marine. Under the tutelage of hard-as-nails Vietnam vets, he learns the lessons that will save his life.
Charlie McMahon leads a convoy into Hue, unaware that the Tet Offensive has begun. Upon discovering a city occupied by stubborn North Vietnamese forces, he and his team tread carefully, battling the entrenched army street-by-street, house-by-house.
On the road to Hue, McMahon encounters legendary war correspondent Catherine Leroy, who surrenders herself to North Vietnamese occupiers for her now famous article "The Enemy Lets Me Take His Picture". Years later, the two reconnect.
While chasing down the enemy following the Battle of Hue, McMahon is wounded by a surprise grenade attack. He remains in combat, and sees out the war with a hunk of shrapnel in his leg that remains to this day.
After being knocked unconscious by mortar fire, McMahon finds himself stateside with nothing but his hospital pajamas. His postwar life includes schooling and a career with Amtrak.
Charlie McMahon reflects on the struggles of Vietnam vets returning to hostile war sentiment in the US. He volunteers with the VA, helping younger vets returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Racial tensions in Vietnam were very high between black and white soldiers, which John Harms was tasked with helping resolve. On one particular mission, he and his battalion came across a lost NVA company that they laid pretty heavy fire on.
After getting new orders to fly a combat helicopter designed to draw enemy fire, Joe Ponds started to patrol the Vietnam-Cambodia border. Later in life, he found out that his patrols may have led to intel that resulted in the invasion of Cambodia.
After getting his Master's degree at the University of Virginia, John Harms moved to the headquarters of the Marine Corps for the Assault Amphibian Vehicle command. Here he worked to get the tanks pattern painted for better reconnaissance, thanks a lot to his efforts.
Brice Barnes remembers having a dinner with a Vietnamese Chief during the Tet celebrations, which led to a good relationship throughout the war. Coordinating with local agriculture was important for him as he tried to get help for the Vietnamese people.
Kramer must rely on his resilience and inventiveness to overcome the challenges of Khe Sanh Combat Base. After a precarious landing, his unit spends several months under intense artillery fire in a dusty, war-torn camp with limited food, water and sleep.
Early Christmas morning, Franklin Mendez and his battalion loaded up to head to sea from Okinawa. Seeing the size of the Navy fleet he was in, he started to realize that it wasn't just a training exercise and that they were heading somewhere with a purpose.
After enlisting and going to basic at Quantico, John Harms left the States to go to Okinawa. From there, he served as a captain in Taiwan for almost 3 years. Serving there, he made great friends that lasted for many years after.
Cooperating with local forces was very important to the success of Marines in Vietnam. Maintaining health while on the ground was also a necessity, as disease spread quickly among open wounds and less than ideal climates.