4:45 | The bullet barely missed wrecking his knee. Jack Jeter was in for some hospital time before he could go home. Once he did, he was amazed at the blase attitude of his friends about Vietnam. Part 3 of 3. (Caution: strong language.)
Keywords : Jack Jeter Vietnam Bien Hoa Fort Hood
Jack Jeter was a little older when he was drafted, 23 years old. His training was at Fort Polk, over the hot Louisiana summer of 1968. He didn't think any place could be hotter or more miserable. Then he got to the jungles of Southeast Asia. (Caution: strong language.)
After settling in and meeting the company, Jack Jeter was amazed at how little action was occurring where they were. Then the unit moved further south and his platoon set out on a short sweep. The point man spotted a trail and the platoon leader decided to follow it; a very bad idea. Part 1 of 2.
Following a trail while on patrol, Jack Jeter's platoon veered off to the left and walked right into an enemy base camp. Luckily, most of them were further down the trail, waiting to ambush the Americans. Left on their own in a ferocious firefight, they were surprised when the company commander arrived on the scene. Part 2 of 2.
Saddle up! The call went out and Jack Jeter's platoon headed out to reinforce another unit caught in a firefight with the NVA. As they reached the scene, his buddy Snag Johnson was hit in the leg but kept on firing. They got out of there and and began an exhausting trek with Snag on a stretcher. (Caution: strong language.)
The day Jack Jeter was wounded was the third day of serious firefights. His commanding officer, Captain Barry McCaffrey, was wounded on the first day and the temporary replacement had his own ideas about how to proceed. That led the unit right into big trouble. Part 1 of 3. (Caution: strong language.)
In the middle of the firefight in which Jack Jeter was wounded, someone ran out and picked up a wounded man and got him to safety. It would be decades before the issue was settled. Exactly who was that? Part 2 of 3.
After leaving the Army, Vietnam war veteran Jack Jeter got fulfillment from an old hobby, racing motorcycles. He built a successful business and was getting on with his life when he got a strange phone call. It was time to reconnect. (Caution: strong language.)
Once Jack Jeter was contacted by one of his buddies from his unit in Vietnam, he caught the reunion bug. It became his mission to find guys and reconnect.
What do you want future generations to remember about the Vietnam War? Jack Jeter has a definite idea about that. (Caution: strong language.)
Once he arrived in Vietnam, Seybold was ordered to go down to Can Tho. There his job mainly consisted of flying support missions for advisers from the ARVN. As he spent more time there, he noticed how much he disliked being in the Army and wanted to transfer somewhere else. Later on, it was discovered that he had never graduated high school and so he was forced to get his GED through the University of Maryland.
After his special forces training Sar Phouthasack was taken by two CIA operatives in plainclothes to a headquarters set up in an ordinary house in Laos. They soon moved to Thailand, where a US air presence was building. The main task of the Laotian Special Guerrilla Unit was to operate road watch teams on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
After his first tour was up, John Parker was allowed to come home to the US. Since he was returning with newfound knowledge on how to fly Cobras, he was instructed to go to Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia to be a Cobra School training officer. In November of 1969, he was married and afterwards had his first son. This was quite interesting timing because this happened right before his second tour in Vietnam began.
It started in the bar at Udorn. A group of pilots listened to a CIA operative describe a problem the Hmong army was having in Laos, mainly too many North Vietnamese troops. They came up with a plan to hit their camp with wave after wave of cluster bombs.
A very memorable mission for Parker was the time he had to help save a total of 10 Air Force men from a dangerous North Vietnamese attack. They were trapped in a hole in Cambodian territory, and it was up to him to fly over and pull them out. He had to try multiple methods in order to keep the NVA's heads down during the rescue.
While in combat on the ground, Saunders would often get air support from Air Force helicopters and planes. There was a firefight he recalls that lasted for an entire day, in which he and the other men witnessed heavy casualties. Some time after he came home, he discovered that he only remembers bits and pieces of what happened because a military friend of his described parts he was involved in that he had no recollection of.
You were supposed to get your choice of assignments during a second tour. That's what F-4 pilot Ron Schuh kept telling the sergeant on the other end of the phone. He finally got his assignment to Thailand, but it wasn't his old squadron, so he figured out a way to get there. The wing commander at the time was not very good so the guys harassed him.
His father had served with French paratroopers at Dien Bien Phu. Sar Phouthasack remembers playing around the air base there as a child. He and his mother and brother were sent home to Laos before the famous battle. By the time he was eighteen, Sar was training with his father in the CIA backed Special Guerrilla Units.
Parker remembers his interactions he had with civilians, including those of the Montagnard. There was a village that they took care of, and one time there were threats of a Viet Cong attack. To combat this, Parker went with a few other men to spend the night in the village and keep watch for any VC. While that incident never resulted in the VC coming, there was another time that there was a full scale attack of that village.
Ron Schuh kept a tape recorder in the cockpit of his F-4 and it was only recently that he digitized the tapes and began to relive his missions over Southeast Asia. One of them was air support for the Son Tay raid, which failed to find the POW's to be rescued.
The Paris Peace Accords brought immediate changes to the war in Laos. All of the CIA backed Special Guerrilla Units were absorbed into the Royal Lao Army. Sar Phouthasack was sent to Vientiane where he started another secret assignment monitoring enemy radio transmissions.
Laurie Druyor grew up in Methuen, Massachusetts. Her dad was a mechanic and her brother was in the Navy before her, so joining herself didn't seem like a bad idea. After joining, she began her orientation for the Navy Medical Corps and went to Great Lakes Naval Hospital. When it came time to choose where she wanted to go, she chose Vietnam. (Interview conducted at, and with the assistance of, the Military Heritage Museum- https://freedomisntfree.org/.)
After completing flight school and advanced training, Parker went over on a plane to Vietnam. Although he was qualified to fly OH-23 Helicopters, he preferred to fly Hueys. On one occasion, he was helping the gun platoon drop CS and ended up staying with them in Ban Me Thuot for a few weeks. During this, on the night of his 25th birthday, there was a rocket attack and Parker never left his tent. Another time he shot a UFO with a minigun, and it turned out to be an Army Mohawk pilot that had forgotten to clear himself.
While flying medevac missions, Moore was shot at a great deal as his team was in the air. He talks about two times he and his helicopter were hit, one of those times his helmet was hit and it was right by his left eye, and he thought he had been blinded from it. He spent five days in the hospital as a result.
As the Pathet Lao continued to hammer Lao government forces, Sar Phouthasack had to move his secret listening post from Vientiane to Thailand. He was starting to be concerned about his family, so he asked his boss about going with them to America.
After her medical training for the Navy, Druyor went aboard the USS Sanctuary Hospital Ship to Da Nang, Vietnam. While in Da Nang and on the ship, she cared for a cluster of badly damaged patients, some were even burned from nasty landmine explosions. The worst part for her was that many of the patients were also children. (Interview conducted at, and with the assistance of, the Military Heritage Museum- https://freedomisntfree.org/.)
The CIA offered to send Sar Phouthasack to Special Forces training and the young Laotian jumped at the chance. His father had been a paratrooper and it was his dream to follow in his footsteps. It was a long two years, not just jump school but leadership and medical training. He was among the first in his class to be deployed.
Sadly, at one point Maier lost his flight lead from another mission, named Ron Bond. He talks about how this happened even though he wasn't there to witness it, as well as another mission he flew with Ron when he was still on active duty that was also during the heat of the Tet Offensive.
Druyor talks about what it was like working aboard a sizable hospital ship rather than a hospital on land, and expands on seeing the awful effects of war on the children. At a few instances she would go into Da Nang to operate remotely on patients, but those times were few and far in between. Fortunately, she and the other medical personnel experienced no close calls while they were doing their jobs. (Interview conducted at, and with the assistance of, the Military Heritage Museum- https://freedomisntfree.org/.)
Debby Moore will never forget the mortar attacks she heard off in the distance. It eventually became so common that she began to easily tell the difference between incoming and outgoing mortars. When they got a new doctor, she had to help him calm down when he thought outgoing mortars were incoming. She also talks about the dangers facing women in country, which people often don't know about.
Bob Wolfe's two children were both born while he was far from home on assignment. He asked the Air Force for a more family friendly job and he got it, flying navigator on C-124's out of Hawaii. Unfortunately, the Vietnam War was heating up, so he was still away a lot, flying between Hawaii and Vietnam. Eventually, it was his time to go to the combat, as a forward air controller.
While in Vietnam, Debby Moore worked with plenty of orphans, some of whom she got fairly attached to. She remembers one tragic moment when she encountered a young girl who had her hands cut off. She was told that the Viet Cong did that to her after her family said they had no rice to give them.
After a while of fighting back the NVA, the end of the Battle of An Loc was upon Parker and his men. It was at this point that a lot of US troops had started to come home, and he was instructed to go to Da Nang to help support the effort over there. By the time the 1st Cavalry Division was instructed to return home, Parker didn't have enough points yet so he joined up with the 17th Cavalry Division instead.
It was wonderful being home from Vietnam for Bob Wolfe. His assignment at Military Airlift Command meant he could be home with his family, quite a change. He continued on for a twenty year career in the Air Force, but what still gets him excited is getting that catapult shot from the deck of a carrier back in Vietnam.
Although John Parker was born in Taylor, Texas, his family was always moving around because his father was in the Army for over 20 years. Despite this, Parker never really thought about joining and was instead drafted for Vietnam. He went to Fort Sill for Artillery Officer Candidate School, and went to flight school at Fort Wolters.
There was no contact with Team G. The road watch team along the Ho Chi Minh Trail had gone silent, no radio contact. Sar Phouthasack was part of the CIA operation that put the teams in the field and he was the volunteer who parachuted into North Vietnam to locate the missing men.