A Plan Turns Into A Renewed Hope

During the night a killer team made up of eight well armed American soldiers had been ambushed by a patrol of thirty or more NVA soldiers somewhere in a swamp area of Vietnam. Three were left to fight it out as the remaining five were either dead or so badly wounded that they could no longer fire their weapons. The call came over the radio, “This is Rat Team, we are taking heavy casualties, we need help. We are surrounded, no way out!”We could hear the intense battle over the voices on the CB radio. They could be heard saying they were going to die because they were being squeezed in by the mighty force surrounding them. The navy ships couldn’t get a direct location to deliver their firepower without wiping everybody out. Mortar support was out of reach and no present American force was near to help them. It was a matter of time before they would all die because even a rescue team was at the mercy of the enemy.Our unit was the closes to them and any large force was totally a suicide mission because the swamp provided the perfect scenario for a slaughter of greater proportions. Our commander allowed us to hear the intensity of the voices on the radio and called out to us. “Men, we have some friends out there and you have heard their call for help. I need a few volunteers that understand the circumstances with no questions asked. The time limit is short, I can get a helicopter to drop you in and make yourself over to them, if they are still alive. You will be dropped about a couple of clicks of the area. Your mission is to get them out, those still alive. A bigger force will arrive later to take out the dead. You have a couple of minutes to volunteer before I give the orders. Hope to see three of you in my tent at 23 hundred hours.”Three of us showed up on time and within minutes the helicopter arrived with detailed information about the location while a plan was given to us on how to approach from the rear. Our commander turned the radio on and in a secret code radioed some renewed hope to them that help was on the way. The response from them did not sound well received because they knew how dangerous it was going to be in a dark swamp that the enemy knew how to maneuver as their native land. They wanted out, however, they were aware that the odds were against a success with time running out.We landed far away to elude capture or being ambushed, but they knew we were coming with the sound of the helicopter. Within minutes we dispersed from our landing site to avoid the confrontation. Our mission was not to be detected before their response because we didn’t want to abort our objectives. We were successful for the time being until we could find our course of action in the middle of the night. There were no surprises other than the enemy believing that we had sent a greater force for the on slaughter they had hope to put on us.Our American comrades continued defending themselves with the few weapons and ammunition they had left. We waited to hear the M-16’s verses the AK-47’s that the enemy possessed in order to figure out which way to go. We cut some bamboo shoots to use as breathing tubes in order to get down as low in the water as possible as we pulled our equipment. Our painted skin helped hide our detection as we used the plants in the swamp to cover as much detail of our presence.The enemy was spooked about not being able to hear a large force arriving. Their hope of another ambush was making them loose grip of a well conceived plan because they widened their search further out believing that the whole force had not made their way in yet. It gave us the prefect time to slowly work ourselves towards our comrades, but even that was going to be dangerous. We had to rely on them trusting that it was us coming to rescue them. Using low voices and passwords could easily be misconstrued for the enemy.Before taking off for the little swamp island our American GI’s were defending, we had set up some claymore mines with trip wires. There were plenty of them attached to blasting caps and a couple of ammunition cases of M-16 bullets. Our plan was to devise a distraction by blowing up the mines and the bullets going off with the intense heat from the C-4 that was wrapped around some of the rounds. We wanted them to believe they were being fired at, better yet, tricking them into believing that they were being attacked by a large force.The scared American soldiers had the guts and patience to wait for us to identify ourselves without firing their weapons at us. They were happy to see us as a renewed hope came over them when they heard about our plan. We were able to assemble the dead and the wounded into one group and each one of us had a plan of caring a fellow soldier with us. Nobody was going to stay behind.Our plan worked to perfection as the hundreds of bullets popped out of control all over the area. Some of them came close to hitting us, but we were aware of the rounds possibility coming our way. I set my grenade launcher up high to deliver some rounds at the enemy without them realizing that they were coming from us as we made our way out. With some bounding Betty’s landing and exploding and exploding after the next bounce we were able to retreat to a waiting area as the sounds of the enemies weapons honed in where we were not. We knew it was only a matter of minutes before they would find out they had been out-hustled, but we moved on.Our commander had already planned for the Navy guns to reach the site and deliver a clear message to the enemy. At the twenty-four hundred hour the swamp was being plummet by those rounds. We set out a perimeter to defend knowing the rounds that were being delivered were devised to chase them away from the area, but the reaction of being out-hustled could back fire on us, so we were prepared.

Some of the NVA enemy soldiers did come in our direction, but we were more than ready.
Unknown to us was the fact that some gunship helicopters had secretly been sent to help us. We had prevailed in slowing the enemy and the rest of the fighting was taken over from the tremendous support. A rescue helicopter was waiting for us as another team arrived to lead us there. A plan within a plan had taken place and a Renewed Hope entered our hearts and minds.

A Plan Turns Into A Renewed Hope


Harlingen, United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

A recuse operation brings renewed hope to a group of soldiers that believe death awaits all of them.


hope renewed

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