9:32 | Richard Hauner realized quickly how much of a learning process being in Vietnam was. The many challenges that they had to face were quickly surmountable with smarts and a good bit of luck.
Keywords : booby trap hunting mindset thinking ambush disarmed
Richard Hauner remembers growing up in a small town and his interest in history at an early age that eventually led him to want to join the service.
Being drafted to go to Vietnam meant that Hauner had to get accustomed to training and the military lifestyle quickly. One particular encounter with some fellow soldiers at basic training left him rattled.
After his basic training, Richard Hauner shipped off to Alaska and had to face the elements there. After arriving in Dong Tam, Richard Hauner was immersed quickly into the Vietnam lifestyle.
Daily life at camp and during warfare always came with complications for Hauner and his division. Though his division wasn't explicitly an infantry division, they did a lot of the same tasks that infantry did, making them learn quickly.
When reporters and entertainers came to Vietnam, they were often kept away from the actual elements of war. Richard Hauner had some funny stories from interactions he had when they came to experience real war.
Richard Hauner tells of his experience with the Tet Offensive, facing mortar fire and having to coordinate troop positioning. He managed to get on an aircraft to Bearcat where he cleared his post.
After leaving Vietnam, Hauner and his division felt euphoric to make it home safely. For a few years after, he had some problems with PTSD that started to go away with the help of a psychiatrist.
Richard Hauner gives his insight into the consequences of war. He tells leaders to make war the last result because it is so draining on a country.
While heading home from Vietnam, the U.S.S. Manley made its way across the Indian Ocean and up through North Africa. While at port, they had a close encounter maneuvering the ship out into the correct direction but ended up having a smooth trip back to Charleston.
He made Buck Sergeant about the time he figured out that he and his buddies were basically fighting for each other and for no other reason. They were taking a large bunker complex and when two others were under fire, he went out to get them. After the fight was over, he was disturbed to learn what his superiors intended to do about the enemy base.
As Marine Captain Ron Christmas fought to regain the city of Hue, he found the enemy adept at concealment and surprise. Every soldier in a spider hole was armed with a rifle and a RPG launcher. He also encountered a nun with an AK-47. His action during this time earned him the Navy Cross.
In a letter home, Tommy Clack expressed his worry that something bad was going to happen and it did when his unit engaged the NVA near the Cambodian border. He saw the enemy soldier stand and fire the RPG that changed his life forever.
The RPG that severed Joe McDonald’s foot didn’t kill him. The machine gun fire that hit him as he still tried to help others didn’t kill him. The grenade taped to his hand might have killed him if the VC had found his hiding place.
Sardo Sanchez always wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, a WWII marine veteran... but his combat experiences have profound and lasting effects on his relationship with his parents, his siblings and his wife.
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.
With great difficulty, Sardo Sanchez recounts critical events that prove both devastating and fortunate. After taking the life of a VC soldier, he is hit by a sniper and told he may never walk again. In a state of shock, he narrowly avoids a fatal miscalculation.
On his second tour, Sanchez is assigned to a CAP unit, where he develops a close bond with fellow soldiers, along with some of the villagers he protects. Under the leadership of a distant but dedicated sergeant, his platoon learns to survive day by day.
After returning home, Joe Ponds found a pretty hostile response for his fellow soldiers. They even had to deal with some increased problems because American politicians took actions that harmed their position. The purpose of a war needed to be a devoted commitment to something, which he feels was not in place during the Vietnam War.
Now stateside, Kramer navigates the restrictions his injury has placed on his military career. Thanks to his administrative skills, he lands a government job and works his way up through the ranks, but becomes frustrated with the apathy of the reservists he oversees. He offers sober advice to future war vets.
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.