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Topic: 50 years ago -Vietnam sometime in July - LEECHES
Replies: 21   Last Post: Aug 23, 2020 8:15 PM by: BloodbeOrange®
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50 years ago -Vietnam sometime in July - LEECHES

emoji_events [35]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 9:43 AM
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Not sure of exact date (have posted partially before omitted the main part of this). Our Company was choppered so far inland that we had to stop at a firebase to re-fuel - could have been Cambodia but we will never know. We were left in triple canopy jungle where we were greeted by loud monkeys swinging through the trees - maybe gibbons but haven't researched. I don't know if this was officially classified as a rain forest but the ground was covered with wet leaves. So wet that the kind of leeches we only see in lakes and rivers around here were living on the ground. The soldiers at the front of the 100 person single file only saw a few, but us guys at the rear had to fight off dozens of them as they sensed our presence and came for their next meal. They moved like the "inchworms" we have in the South - straightening their bodies by moving their heads first and then "inching" their tails forward to form an arched body. But these dudes were from an inch and one half to two inches long so they covered more ground than an inch with each movement. If we stepped over them, they would raise up on their rear ends, wiggle a little to figure out which way we had gone and change direction to follow us. Several guys had numerous bites and would continue to bleed for a while after they were removed due to the anti-coagulant enzymes these things inject so they can feed more easily. The best way to remove them without damaging more skin was to sprinkle them with ordinary salt that came with C-rations - it would kill them and make them shrivel up. In an earlier post, I told about how I spent the night - I placed my mosquito net on the ground, sat in the center of it, grabbed all 4 corners, curled into a ball and pulled all the edges of the net into a position within my hand so any leeches would have had to crawl through a maze of fabric and my clenched fist to get to me. Other guys used other methods that did not work so well and woke up quite bloody and had to salt down lots of leeches. I know this is getting long but the reason I wanted to re-post this story was to include this part that I omitted previously - one guy started screaming for the medic shortly after waking up that morning after finding a large leech trying to enter his body by way of the most unacceptable pathway. It was already halfway inside him and he was gripping the tail end of the leech with one hand and squeezing his private organ with the other hand hoping to prevent some sort of morbid bestial loss of virginity and whatever problems that would have caused. (He later said he had never feared the enemy as much as he feared having that thing disappear into his thing.) Anyway, the medic found a packet of salt that we were running short of by that time, sprinkled it on the leech snd it succumbed, losing its death grip and was easy to remove. I bet he still has nightmares about that day. Sometimes the worst things about war is not war itself.

Message was edited by: clover65®


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The old saying is that WAR IS H-ELL. Everything that I have

emoji_events [9]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 9:50 AM
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ever seen or read about the weather in Viet Nam alone would make that statement true. I once again salute you for your service. I wouldn't have wanted to be over there even without the fact that Charlie was trying to kill you in all sorts of ghoulish ways. Glad you made it back, relatively in one piece. Although, since you said in a previous post that your first stop was Walter Reed, I suspect that there was some physical damage.

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Re: 50 years ago -Vietnam sometime in July - LEECHES

emoji_events [7]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 9:56 AM
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God love you for all you and others endured on behalf of this nation. Ghoulish stories like this remind us how blessed we are in our country every day. We have people like you to thank for that and we need never forget it.

2020 orange level member

God Bless you Clover65 and all men and women who have served

emoji_events [8]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 10:08 AM
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for the US! All your sacrifices make the disrespect being shown today in the US even that much more disgusting.

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I remember visiting a friend up in West Georgia when I was

emoji_events [6]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 10:17 AM
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about 13 and we paddle on a large pond most of the day. At the end of the day we went to the tail race of the small ### to cool off. My friend jumped in first and when he rose up out of the water he was covered with about three dozen leeches. Looked like something out of a horror movie he was screamin' like a little girl beggin' for me to help him get them off. We didn't have any salt with of us course, and it took a little while, but luckily they hadn't had any time to really latch on.

Wish I had a picture of his face when he looked down and saw all those creatures on him.


Re: I remember visiting a friend up in West Georgia when I was

[4]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 11:14 AM
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It’s kind of funny how something not so funny is really funny to the other person involved

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Thanks for your service, I lost my dear Brother

emoji_events [10]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 11:28 AM
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Barry Alexander, who some on this board remember, as we went to D.W. Daniel. He was a helicopter pilot with 2 weeks left 2 days after his 22nd Birthday. He was on a medivac mission, and had already been injured, however he was ordered to go and tragically, landed right on top of tunnels filled with Cong. YouTube on his death, Body bags and dogtags, to tribute to CWO Barry Alexander

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Sorry for your loss - I have posted several times

emoji_events [8]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 11:34 AM
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that the medivac pilots were the bravest guys over there - one got me off that mountain 2 days before my 22nd birthday or I wouldn't have had a 23rd.

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Re: Sorry for your loss - I have posted several times

emoji_events [7]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 3:01 PM
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Clover, you call we haul!

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Re: Sorry for your loss - I have posted several times

emoji_events [8]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 4:56 PM
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Yessiree .... those little pimple faced CWOs trained right out of high school and flying those choppers had no fear. Even us Marines knew who to call if we really wanted to get our of a jam. Our Marine pilots were great, but a little m0ore cautions than those young bucks.

I spent and evening on a mountain top that we had used as an observation post overlooking Elephant Valley after we had rigged it with about 4 tons of explosives, as we were deserting the OP and blowing up everything that could be of use to the VC/NVA. It was a nervous night as one well placed mortar round would have blown all of us to bits. The next morning we called for choppers to pick us up and they radioed back that the ceiling was too low and they were not flying. This went on almost all day as we continued to call. We were monitoring the air traffic channel and we knew that they were flying, but still would not pick us up. Finally I had it with them and radioed my battalion commander and told him that we were not going to spend another night on the mountain and that we were going to blow up our 106 Recoilless Rifle and our water buffalo (storage for drinking water) and march down the to the bottom of the mountain. Right before it was starting to get dark we heard a CH-46 coming. Everyone climbed aboard, we pulled the fuse lighters, ascended to several thousand feet and watched the top of the hill blow up.


Re: Thanks for your service, I lost my dear Brother

[3]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 2:56 PM
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Thanks for sharing your story. I gave you a like on YouTube

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Re: Thanks for your service, I lost my dear Brother

[2]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 4:43 PM
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That video sorta tore me up a little bit. The pain in your voice is obvious. I will revisit it from time to time... he will not be forgotten. You have made sure of that.

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I'm just trying to keep Anna Lee company.


Re: Thanks for your service, I lost my dear Brother

[2]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 4:58 PM
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I'm sorry that you had to lose a brother. As many of have said before, the ones that did not come back are the real heroes. None of us ever wanted to have to write a letter home to a family who had lost a son. I promise that your brother has not been forgotten by those of us who were lucky enough to come home.


Re: Thanks for your service, I lost my dear Brother

[1]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 7:42 PM
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Thank you for sharing this story. 21 Gun Salute to Barry Alexander! ????????????

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Wow! Thank you for sharing this.***

[2]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 2:11 PM
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Once again... I got nothing. Words always fail me whenever

[2]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 4:48 PM
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I read or hear the recollections of soldiers in war. Nothing but respect for you and others like you.

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I'm just trying to keep Anna Lee company.


Re: 50 years ago -Vietnam sometime in July - LEECHES

[3]
Posted: Aug 22, 2020 7:37 PM
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That is a great story but it also showed what our Vietnam Veterans has to endure. Then they come Home to the the United States only to be treated like crap from so many of these anti-war nut jobs. You did not start the war but you had the courage and guts to go when called.

Thank you for serving our country and for fighting for those who without our country may never know a life of freedom.

It’s just to bad LBJ tried to run the war instead of allowing our military leaders to unleash the full might of our US military onto North Vietnam. This includes all of those people who were in the Vietnam War just for pure profit. IMO LBJ because of his war policies and controlling personality, was responsible for at least 50 to 60 percent of our Air Force and Ground Force
casualties.

Please keep the stories coming. You, Joe and others on Tigernet who served in the Military should get together and write a book.

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Re: 50 years ago -Vietnam sometime in July - LEECHES

[1]
Posted: Aug 23, 2020 5:38 PM
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Thanks for the stories Clover65 they really help bring to light what it was like over there. I thank each and everyone who served in that crazy war. TigerRon, I'm sorry about your Brother. I know you are proud of him. I seen something the other day that was so true. It was a tombstone that said something like "We gave Today so You could have tomorrow". God Bless each and everyone who served our great Nation.

2020 orange level member

Thanks for your SERVICE and sharing your experiences!

[1]
Posted: Aug 23, 2020 6:58 PM
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keep 'em coming!

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As a physician who has seen leaches used in wound healing

[1]
Posted: Aug 23, 2020 7:22 PM
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Your story made my day. Hilarious in an odd way

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Re: 50 years ago -Vietnam sometime in July - LEECHES

[4]
Posted: Aug 23, 2020 7:39 PM
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Nice account sir . I was born in June of 69 in the Portsmouth Naval Hospital , the son of a Torpedoman . .
Thank you so much for the sacrifice to our greater good in this land .
You and others like you make my soul proud to be here today with you , because of the likes of you .

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DB23


Re: 50 years ago -Vietnam sometime in July - LEECHES

[1]
Posted: Aug 23, 2020 8:15 PM
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Well put Tigerdug23®

2020 white level member

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