|About six months after I got out of the Army I began to have a lot of dreams and flashbacks to that night and
others like this one. I found out Benny's address and wrote his parents but I never heard back from them. So
this year I got a hold of his sisters and brother and talked with them about Benny. I have visited the Wall six
times to say good-bye to 12 guys. But his name is always the first name I find and touch.
I arrived in Vietnam on March 23rd and my first ambush patrol was on the evening of March
26th. At 2300 hrs. We left Camp Holloway and walked out about four clicks to set up an ambush
for Viet Cong. There were 12 of us on this patrol. Thank goodness it wasn't hot, about 70 degrees
on a pitch black night. We were about 1/4 of a mile away from an ARVN base camp. All of a
sudden all hell broke loose. The ARVN's had mistaken us for Viet Cong and opened up on us with
M-60 machine guns and M-16's. As soon as we were being shot at the guy next to me pushed me
down. He placed himself where I was just standing. In doing so, he took a gunshot wound to his
right side (he took the round with my name on it). I heard him scream out "I'm hit, I'm hit". I
heard the Platoon Sergeant yell out not to shoot back. He and others started yelling "We are
GI's" over and over.
I crawled over to the guy who got shot and immediately started to put a field dressing on his
wound. I got my and his flashlight on trying to see and bullets are hitting all around me. I turned
him over and looked for an exit wound and couldn't find one. He was awake the whole time and
every time I moved him he screamed out in pain. In about 2 minutes the firing stopped and they
called for transportation to come get us.
Thankfully, he was the only one who got shot. I was brand new and don't know how to call
dust-off. They sent out a deuce and a half. Meanwhile I put together two ponchos and got four
guys to help me place him on it and carry him to the road and load him unto the back of the truck.
I sat with my back to the wall of the truck and placed him against me trying to cushion him from
the bumps. He kept asking me if he was going to die and I told him no that he will be at the doctor
soon. He told me about his wife and his family and I reassured him that he was going to be okay. I
remember praying to myself "please God let him be okay". We got to the aid station and they
placed him on an IV and treated him for shock. He went into surgery. I visited him twice at the
hospital ... 28 days later he died from liver failure. His death has always had a profound impact on
After I got out of the Army I found out Benny's address and wrote his parents but I never heard
back from them. So this year I got a hold of his sisters and brother and talked with them about
Benny. I have visited the Wall six times to say good-bye to 12 guys. But his name is always the
first name I find and touch.