I served with Jack Cunningham in Vietnam (Written 11 years ago)
Burlington Flats, NY 13315... I served with Jack Cunningham in Vietnam, and
I know of no other veteran who has done more, with more heart for his fellow comrads in arms. I ask for your support in this
matter and a successful conclusion.
Regarding the last paragraph,
I feel a short comment on who Jack Cunningham is and why I am here today at 55 instead of dead at 19.
Some time in July 1970, we went on a (daily) patrol that took us farther into enemy
territory than ever before. The temperature this day was in excess of 100 º. With only three (3) Marines and 1 Chou
Hoi, we confiscated a large cache of Vietnamese communist terrorists (V.C) explosives, detonators, documents and battle plans
for upcoming engagements. (This most probably was a small terrorist bobby-trap factory.)
After neutralizing their base camp, we were hit by Viet Cong terrorists’
rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and small arms fire, pinning us down for over an hour. We called for artillery from the
Marine Cops’ 5th Marines Combat base at An Hoa and a react team from our brother CAP team 2-9-1. Return artillery
fire was immediate.
It took CAP 2-9-1
a while to reach us, because as they neared the tree line that we were pinned down in, they were also fired upon.
After about three hours, the V.C. broke contact and both CAP teams started back
to their respective villages. We had to cross a chest deep river, carrying our weapons over our heads, but at least we were
in our own back yard. We stopped on a small knoll for much needed water, since we had run out of water hours before, because
of the intense heat and sun. Two Marines and I filled everyone’s canteens while Jack and the rest of the patrol stood
Returning from the well, I saw Jack
standing cover by himself, as Sgt. Eiford thought the village might be hit and took the rest of the unit back with him in
case of enemy contact. As we made our way to the knoll that Jack was on, we took heavy fire from our right, pinning us down
behind a small rice paddy dike. Jack then exposed himself to enemy fire to try and keep the V.C. away from us, switching
from his own M79 grenade launcher, to my M-16 rifle and one of the Marines’ M-60 machine gun. Jack kept the V.C. off
balance long enough for us to pull ourselves along by the rice stalks until reaching him. The V.C. broke contact, probably
fearing an artillery attack.
Jack, always caring and making sure the people he loved were safe and protected from harm. Jack’s code in life has always
been the same: passion for his family, his country and the Corps. I will always be thankful for being a part of Jack’s