Split-second to make a life-or-death decision
I was never a police officer, I can relate to what they go through. When I was 19, I served (24/7) in a Vietnamese peasant-farming
village, under the largely unknown, Marine Corps' Combined Action Program (CAP). Our village had about 2,000 Vietnamese
people. We had on the average of eight (8) Americans living in the poor village. Everyday and every minute was a threat
of life-or-death. Every American had a bounty on his head. Inside or outside the village, an American never really knew
who he was talking to or what their true intentions were. We had no barbed wire. foxholes or even bunkers to protect us.
Daily patrols outside the village at the very least, almost constantly guaranteed snipers and/or booby traps. Often, Americans
had to hold their fire, until the enemy was right on top of them. They couldn't take a chance on hurting a peasant. It's
easy to understand, how these split-second delays cost American lives. Life was stressful living in a peasant
village. Three or four times a week, the communists would funnel through the village's peasants that
they planned large scale attacks to wipeout the entire CAP team. It was mentally exhausting.
was usually very heavy for CAP teams. I was wounded on three separate days and received one Purple Heart. The two other wounds
were too small to receive a Purple Heart. At times, after an attack, less than five Americans would be holding the village
for days. U.S. Marines would never surrender. There were even situations where CAP Teams were killed to the last man. Within
days, another team of Americans would be back in the same village. They never surrendered a village or it's people
to communist terrorists.
Sadly, when we came home, we were greatly unappreciated and even condemned...
We were even called village-burners and baby-killers. ALL Vietnam veterans were labeled and judged in the same disgraceful
manner. You can read some detailed experiences from the village at: http://www.CapVeterans.com
You can also talk to some of my fellow CAP Marines on Facebook at: