Diary Entry August 16, 1968 Wounded On My Birthday

Today is August 16, and my birthday was on the second of August, but since they just brought us the mail in a helicopter I am just opening my letters. The first one is from my girl friend Janie and she is wishing me a happy and safe birthday. I have another one from some friends of mind and one more letter from my mother. I only have a few minutes to read my letters because we are way out here on a mission. We just finished eating some hot food that was brought to us, we don’t get many days like that. Most of the times we eat out of cans or packaged food from army poaches. We are in the mansoon season whent it rains for three months continuessly and even if they supply us with dry clothes, within the half day we will be soaking wet again.
The letters are wishing me many happy birthday wishes and I guess I’ll lite up this one candle that was sent to me and have my friends here celebrate even if it’s fourteen days late. I haven’t had a day off after so many combat missions so now is as good as any.
Besides, they just spotted some enemy not too far ahead and they are asking for a volunteer group to form a killer team and go seek the enemy and engage. They are too close to our area and we don’t want them hitting our camp area.I didn’t ask for it, but when some of my buddies did, I couldn’t say no to them. We are like one big family that depends on each other for support.
The helicopters are here and we have to load them so that they can drop us off further up north so the enemy will not get a clear view as to where we are at right now. They will watch the helicopters arriving and letting us off while they lay in a low profile to get a fix on us and ambush us later. It’s a game, we know they are there, they know we are coming, it’s just a matter of who ambuses who.
My legs on hanging out from the opening of the helicopter as it vibrates up in the air in the skies. Boy, it’s a lovely sight to see if you like trees and such. I do, and I find beauty even in this hostile enviroment. The hills and the mountain side from here looks like something I have seen in pictures in magazines, but I don’t forget that it is full of hiding places for the Viet-Cong.
I will be the first one to get off the helicopter and I must quickly set myself down and ready to fire my weapon. I must project the ones that will unload after me. I must provide a fire cover if someone begins to shoot at us. I need to put my diary away, make the sign of the cross, say a little prayer and be ready for action. I’ll write later if nothing happens to me.
We landed safetly and we received no resistance from the enemy. They are letting set camp and coming for us tonight when they believe we will be sleeping. It will be an ambush if we allow them, but we have our own plans. We will make ourselves visible to them, they will not attack during the day. They can see how heavily armed we are, they wouldn’t stand a chance on a one to one.
Soon as it gets dark and they have a lock on us, we will move. We will leave a jacket, a shirt, a pair of pants or socks where we were before. It will be a mark for them thinking we are still there in the same position. In the dark, the objects we left will be fresh in their eyesights. They will think it is one of us and they will attack.
We will move swiftly in order to not give away our new positions or be detected that we are countering their moves. We will ambush them instead, but we must be careful not to get caught in a crossfire. It is vital that we pick our secondary positions and know our line of fire. Our claymore mines will be attached to a firing cap with trip wires and all and once they go off, the fight is on. It’s almost dark, I need to stop writing and prepare to move stealtly under the cover of night. If I make it through this night, I shall write about the battle and casualties in the daylight. I have made plans to have this diary given to my girlfriend if and when I die. If you are reading it my love, I love you, forever.

In order not to make the story so long for some of you, I will continue with diary entry august 17, 1968 on another enty. It will give you a chance to walk away without learning more about what happens in a war. Wish you would write a comment to see if it’s worth writing or if I’m just spinning my wheels. I respect your opinion if you find this boring and don’t want to read something too long. However, if only one person is interested, then by all means I will continue writing. Thanks in advance of you opinion, I respect it no matter what.

Copyright© 2008 Oscarelizondo

Diary Entry August 16, 1968 Wounded On My BirthdayHere is another entry from my diary about the war in Viet-nam. I know that many soldiers want to forget, but there might be a few that want to exchange memories because they are embedded in our nightmares and dreams forever. Sorry, if I offend anybody, sorry if some of you are wives that have lost a soldier, sorry if you are a parent of a son that lost his life for our country, and I’m sorry if brings back memories that you want to forget. I live these nightmares all the time, and they are so real.

Part II of A Diary Entry August 17, 1968 Wounded On My Birthday Author: oscarelizondo
Word Count: 574
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Diary Entry August 17

During the night we were engaged in an ambush. Luckily for us our plan worked. When the claymore mines went off a few flares were set off. It lit the area enough where we could see the enemy searching for our trip wires, yes they knew we had some, but since we moved from our prior location, they failed to notice that our flares and claymore mine wires were also moved. We had them stunned, and a few of the claymores took out about six of the Viet-Cong. However, the fighting did not end there.
Our machine gun provided us with a nice line of cover with the bullets piercing the flesh of the enemy. However, the sparks also gave them a hint of our new location. They fired back with deadly shots that started to give us goose bumps from the fierce fighting. They had re-enforcements waiting further back behind the lines and they had gotten the message as to our new position.
Some of the VC’s that had run into our ambush tried to lay down and fire back, but we had them pin downed. The bullets were hitting their mark as we continued to engage in battle for about an hour or so. The barrels on our weapons were getting hot but we waged on. A few of the men that were close to me were shot and killed. I remember them moaning with the agony of pain and the thought of death.
We had a medic with us, but there was too much going on to be able to do something to save them. We were all fighting for our lives as the re-enforcements trickled in. They tried to out flank us, but we dug in and spread out enough to cover more of the on coming troops. They started to hit us with mortar fire as they approach closer to us. We called in for cannon fire and made them land the shells closer as the enemy tried to run us over.
It was more than scarey as we caught more casualties and it reduced our fire power. We set off all our claymores, we through grenades in all directions and we prayed the cannon rounds would not take us down too along with the enemy. Our leader was good, he called those shots in well placed areas and the enemy took quite a hit. We could hear them dragging their own causualties and fleeing the battle.
During the rest of the night they took pot shots at us, but they dare not attack us again. They had a sniper somewhere further up ahead, but with a few more well placed rounds from the cannons that gave us support, it suddenly stopped until day break came. In the morning we secured our area and called in the helicopters to take the dead and wounded. Meanwhile we were ordered to track down those that escaped during the night. There is a trail of blood that is visible and our mission is not done yet. I must stop writting now, before someone catches me writing and get ready to move out. I’ll keep writing as much as I can, if I’m still alive. If my girl friend has gotten this, I loved you all the while and I’m sorry I won’t be coming home alive.

Copyright© 2008 Oscarelizondo

Part III Of A Diary August 18 Wounded On My Birthday Author: oscarelizondo

I’m having someone write this entry of my diary, my hands and arms are useless of this moment. I have been wounded on both arms, my chest, right next to my heart, my legs mobility is coming back and I’ll explain more. I will dictate my entry from my last one on August 17.
After the last firefight, we were ordered to follow the trail of the enemy. They send us four more infantry soldiers to replace some of our losses, but even at that, we are not at full strength. I am the pointman at this moment, my job is to look for booby traps, trip wires, mines and whatever might interfer with our mission. The soldier behind me is my eyes. He watches the enemy while I scan the ground for danger. I’m really scared, I don’t qualify myself as an expert of a pointman, but we all have to do the best of our ability.
I see leaves covered with a lot of blood, foot prints stained in blood, and the flattened weeds are all signs of the enemies retreat. I can tell that they are slowing down, too much lost blood in a concentrated place. I can also detect where they stopped because the wider flatten areas continue to have more blood than when they were dragging their friends. In other places I see different patterns of blood, obviously they are carrying them on their shoulders at certain times. It will be soon when we make a visual contact, I sense it already. It seems as though I have aquired an extra sense because I feel the signs of the enemy nearby.
I have stopped now, my skin has tighten, the enemy is near. I waved at the soldiers behind me because we must be very cautious, they must understand to walk silent. The third man behind me is passing me, what is wrong with him. He is a new soldier and he called me chicken. Yes, I am scared, but not to the point of not doing my job. He is stupid for going off with his little experiece. It’s always the same, new soldiers thinking that what they learned back in bootcamp is enough. If only he knew what I know. He’s walking into a trap, I sense it, I know it.
Stupid, stupid, he just stepped on a booby trap, I would have caught it and disarmed it, but it’s too late, the battle is on. I can hear him screeming, “My legs, my legs, their gone.” They are not gone, I can see him as I am pinned down.
“Shut up, shut, up,” I just told him that. He doesn’t seem to understand that he is giving our position away. The bullets are now right over us and I have to crawled over there and cover his mouth or all of us will be dead. I know he is in pain, but if I don’t do anything none of us will come out of this alive.
I just put my hand over his mouth, poor soldier, he is bleeding bad from his legs. The hidden enemy can no longer detect our position. The bullets are directed somewhere else, I have bought us some time, at least for the moment. I have to bandgage his legs to try and stop the bleeding. I have summons the medic, but he seems to be busy with another soldier. I must hold my position and be alert for the enemy, they know we are in the vicinity.
“Don’t cry soldier, the medic is on his way right now. I can see him, just hold on, don’t worry about your legs, you’re still in one piece. Now, listen to me, I am going to take my hand off of your mouth. You do understand that if I hadn’t done that, those bullets you hear would have found their mark. Bite down on this stick, here’s the medic.
The medic just injected him with some pain killer, I think he’ll be alright for the time being. He will stay with him as we press on. We must move quickly before we become sitting ducks. I hear noises up ahead from the rattling of leaves, their wounded soldiers must be going through hell because they are giving us their locations. We are going to try and flank them. Two soldiers have just left and I can see them at 10:00 oclock high. I must wait for them to be in position.
I have been dictating to the gentlemen that is writing for me. I am weak, my wounds are are sore, and not to mention this guy’s hand from writing so much. As soon I get rested and find somebody else to write for me later, will I continue.

Copyright© 2008 Oscarelizondo

Part IV Of A Diary August 18, 1968 Wounded On My Birthday Author: oscarelizondo

I have found someone to write my diary entry, I’m still worried that someone will tell on me, it’s not easy to keep my diary, I hope to continue writing, so here I go.

The right flank is now ready and in position and we need to leave the wounded with the medic, our commander is giving the hand signals to the men to spread out. We are going to attack. Oh no, another rookie is too far ahead and I need to signal to the rest of the men to fall back, this does not look good at all. In a whisper I say, ” If you guys want to live, get back, that soldier ahead of you is going right into a trap. If I call him back, they will here me. We can’t leave him alone, but we must proceed very cautiously and be ready for the assault. I guarantee you, the enemy knows we are here.”
We have just come into a full view of an opened area. There are no bushes, no trees or anything for us to hide. I know this place, right up ahead are the some bushes and it’s the perfect place for the counter-ambush. I need to signal to the men behind me to give me more spacing or we will all be in the danger zone at the same time. I think they know that I know what I am taking about because they are slowing moving back without retreating.
Just as I said that, that soldier also hit a burried booby trap. He’s legs are very bad as I saw him flip up in the air. Part of the starp metal hit my left arm, but I continue shooting. I’m bleeding and my lower part of my body is parallelized. I can’t move, all I can do is fire my weapon. Oh no, a grenade just fell in front of me. I have to let my body fall down or I will get the full impact of it.
I flipped through the air and landed on my knees. Now my right arm is also bleeding and bullents are flying all around me. One of them hit me on my chest after it ricochette off the red clay on the ground. I finally fall flat on my belly as I see what’s ahead of me but I can’t react. I’m a sitting duck and my vision is getting blurry. I think it’s the sweat or something in my eyes and I feel pain yet I don’t really know from where anymore.
The young soldier that hit the booby trap is screaming in pain and I have to tell him to shut up because the bullets are zeroing in at our fallen positions. He can’t help it, and I can’t seem to help him either. I begin to see black spots in my eyes, but I don’t dare blackout. The medic has been called up and his on his way, and the fighting has stopped.
“Where are you hit man, let me turn you over,” asked another soldier as I lift my head like a turtle in it’s shell.
“No, no, don’t grabbed me from my shoulders, they hurt, ” I told them.
Another soldier grapped me from the neck while another one from my legs and carefully flipped me over. Then I said, I’m okay go see ?( don’t want to mention his name) his legs are really bad, I’m okay.”
The medic arrives and asked, “Where are you hurt?”
I answered, “I don’t know, I don’t know!”
He could see the blood on my shirt and my face, but I couldn’t .
The medic looks at my arms and puts some bandagages and asked me if I wanted something for the pain.
I waved him off and again begged him to go see the guy in front of me that had been screeming. Another soldier picked my head up and placed my helment under it. I told him to wipe the sweat off my face, but he just stared at me and said nothing.
I knew something was wrong, so I said, ” Hey, it’s okay, if it’s blood, please wipe it off because it is getting into my eyes, I’m alright, just do it.!”
It was a relief to be able to see a little more clear. He then asked me if I wanted a cigarette, but I told him that I didn’t smoke and that those things could kill you.

If there’s anyone out there reading, let me know in order to continue, but I think I’m getting boring so if I stop, then you know why there will not be anymore. I seriously understand your opinion. Bye

Copyright© 2008 Oscarelizondo

Part V Of A Diary August 18, 1986 Wounded On My Birthday Author: oscarelizondo

(I’m still dictating for my diary and I found another person to write it for me.)

The medic comes back for me and looks at me again. He is through with the other wounded soldier, he has done all he can for his legs, plus the pain killer has started to work for him. He tells me, ” Okay soldier let me look at your chest area. Dam, you are one lucky son-of-bitch. You have a bullet that struck you right below your heart. If it would have gone deeper, you wouldn’t be talking brother. Now, I’m going to pull it out, so if you feel something let me know. Are you sure you don’t want something to calm you down?”
He pulled it out and there was little pain there, but my arms and face was beginning to hurt. I supposed my body was beginning to wake up from the shock it had recieved. Even my legs were coming back to me as the other two men moved them to see if I had received more serious damage. The medic then said, “Here, I’m going to put this bullet that probably bounced off the hard ground in your hands, but you have to let your weapon go!”
I responded, “What weapon? I don’t feel anything, what are you taking about?”
Two other soldiers came over to help him try to get the “blup”. It was a term we used for the grenade launcher, out of my hands. However, they couldn’t right then because my hands had cruled the fingers around it like a chicken when it dies. My hands were stiff and they had to prior each and every finger one by one until the weapon was loose. By then, I could hear the helicopter arriving to lift the wounded, only this time I was included.
“Can you stand, and walk?” asked the medic.
Somehow the concussion and parallization of my bottom torso was going away. They stood me up and wrapped the shirt around my shoulders. Then they strapped my backpack around my neck and said, “You know we can’t walk you over to the chopper, there are still some boobie traps around, and if we carry you, we might loose more men. I know you understand this! Your other friend will have to be carried, so good luck on you trip back soldier.”
I walked slowing, not because of the fear of hitting a trap, but because I was feeling very weak. I could see the helicopter hovering above the ground, not wanting to land because of the danger. Once I made it to the opened door of the helicopter I tried lifting my right leg to climb, but I couldn’t without the support of my arms. They were hanging down in a rubbery state, I couldn’t control them at the moment.
One of the medics in the helicopter saw me trying to climb in and being unsuccessful so he stuck his hand out and grab me from the back of my neck. He pulled me in as I fell flat on my face and shoulders on the floor of the flying machine. Suddenly my wounds from my shoulders that were covered by the shirt came open and splattered blood on the floor. My face was a mess too and he said, “Oh, I’m sorry soldier, I couldn’t see that you were wounded that bad. Dam, I’m really sorry!”
He was very sencere and I knew I needed to bring comfort to his heart because he though he had hurt me badly. I said, “Hey, it’s not as bad as it looks, just clean me up and I’ll be alright.”
As he was being careful in accessing my wounds I could here Burkhearts talking. He said, “Are you alright, Oscar, are you hurt bad? Listen, I’m sorry I hit that mine, or whatever I hit. I hope nobody got killed.”
I looked at him and just calmly said, “I’m okay, we will both be alright.” I was lieing to him. I could see both of his legs wrapped around tightly and blood seeping through the bandages. I also didn’t tell him about the other soldier that had lost his life. I didn’t have the heart nor the courage to let him know. I knew the guilt would consume him if he felt responsible.
Scoofield had lost his life while trying to get up. He only receive a small puncture in the lung on the backside of his body. However, I saw him get up and say, “I’m alright, I’m and then he fell. If only he would have stayed down and waited for the medic he would be alive today. When he stood up the blood somehow got into his lung and literally chocked him to death. It was a terrible scene to see. He was gasping for air and by the time the medic got to him, in my heart I felt sorry for him.
They tried to revive him, oh, they tried hard, and then I saw them load him in the other chopper. There was a reason he was not with us, there was some room, but I sensed that they wanted to work with him while in flight and away from our eyes. I stared out from helicopter, I had tears from my eyes, but I didn’t want Burkheart to know what had just happened, his pain killer was still working and there was no need to worry him.
I could still remember when he had been brought back into combat, dam them, dam everybody that gave him his orders to return. He only had about a couple of months left of his tour of duty in Viet-Nam. Dam, dam, dam! His wife was having a hard time with the labor of their son. He was in a breach position, and it was thought that his wife and child might die because it was serious enough to get him home .
As it turned out, mother and child had made it. He was so happy that he had brought us all cigars. Now he was dead and the news would soon get back home. I had hopes that back in the hospital things could change. Maybe they had kept him alive in the helicopter and I would see him again. I could be wrong, for all I knew, all that I really knew was what I had seen, maybe I had made a mistake, but when we landed my answers quickly were seen by my own eyes.
Once we touched ground I was able to get off the chopper and I watched them take Brukheart out as I got out of the way. Schofield had also been unloaded and he was ahead of us. I walked behind them as though nothing was wrong with me. My mind was somber as we walked in to the emergency room.
I sad down on a chair and watched what happened next. Schofield laid flat on the bed as they tore his clothes off. They tried to get a heart beat as they pounded on his chest. They massaged his heart, gave him oxygen, mouth to mouth recitation, opened a spot on his chest and stuck something in, but the more they tried, the results did not get better.
Meanwhile, Brukheart legs were already wrapped in some bubble wrap or something. They filled them with air after taking his clothes off and cleaning him up. I missed alot of what they were doing to him because my eyes were glued at the other patient. I remember that they rushed him out to x-rays and then surgery.
As for Scofield, many attempts were made to save him, but they were fruitless. He died, or was already dead, I don’t know the different, only that a babby boy back in the states will never get to meet his father. And there will also be a griefing wife.
I have to stop now, I too am griefing. My eyes are filled with tears, my heart is pounding on my chest, and I need to rest now because I don’t feel well. It’s not my wounds, it’s what I have just described. I’m sorry, I’ll continue with more on my diary when my heart can forgive me from this pain.

Copyright© 2008 Oscarelizondo

Part V Of A Diary August 18, 1986 Wounded On My BirthdayThis part of the diary was so hard to write. If you are reading this for the first time, please go back to chapters I through V. For those still keeping up with me, I wonder if you want to know more. It gets to you in some way or another, and as I stated before, these experiences are unlike you read before. This is the truth, and if you have doubts, then it is better to stop reading because there is still so much to tell. Drop me a line if you are still there. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Copyright© 2008 Oscarelizondo

Part VI Of A Dairy August 18, 1968 Wounded On My Birthday Author: oscarelizondo

While I was watching them work on the other two soldiers I was sitting at a chair. Blood from my shoulders had been dripping on the floor. I was swaying back and forth, but I said nothing. I was worried about my buddies to think about myself. Then I heard some doctors scream, ” Where’s the other one, there were supposed to be three, where is the third one, will some one please find him!”
It was me who they were looking for but my mind was distorted as well as my vision. One person came over to me and ask me for my name. I told him my name and then he said, “Did you come in with the other two wounded soldiers?” I knotted my head as much as I could and then he saw the blood close to his shoes.
He shouted, “He’s over here, he’s over here guys. He’s bleeding, bring me a bed, bring me a bed quick.”
About three of them quickly picked me up and loaded me on the bed and took me under the lights. Scissors quickly tore my clothes off and I was in my birthday suit. They clean my wounds and stuck something in my wounds on my arms. They started removing strap metal as I twitched in agony from the pain. They held me down as I refused any pain killers because I did not want to get addicted to them. I had seem many soldiers using drugs and I did not want to fall in that group.
They soon pushed me out of that room and took my to x-rays. I saw Brurkheart there too. He looked like a cool customer. He tried to say something to me but he was quickly taken away and I didn’t see him that day. I too entered the x-ray room and they had me out very soon. I was sent to the operation room.
There were two men and two woman there. I don’t know who were the doctors or who were the nurses. They put a mask on me and the gas started to take effect. They turned away from me and started to put their gloves on after rinsing their hands. They thought I had already fallen asleep when they turned toward me with those tiny knives they use for surgery.
“Oh no, he’s still awake. Somebody better up his medicines and knock him out, we have work to do on this young soldier,” said one of them. I felt the gas coming out of a machine and my eyes got real heavy. I was out for who know how long. I didn’t feel a thing until I woke up two days later.

Copyright© 2008 Oscarelizondo

There is more, a lot more, but reading this is not always good for some of you. If you want to follow me through my eyes deeper into the secrets of the Vietnam war, them let me know in a bubblemail.

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