How a Cup of Hot Chocolate May Have Saved My Life
What do you do when you suddenly get the urge to do something, do you move on it or just blow it off? What if that “urge” was a signal from an unworldly source trying to warn you? In this case, that’s just what it may have been.
Dinh Binh Valley, South Vietnam
On that date, Company C left the relatively safe environs of An Khe and made an air assault to this valley late in the afternoon. This was fairly early in my Vietnam tour. It was an absolutely gloomy, rainy day. The company patrolled up the valley along a hard dirt trail that ran past abandoned thatch huts standing in ruins.
Soon evening darkness began to set in and the company called a halt to its movement and established a perimeter for the night. One of the other Third Squad members and I joined two ponchos together to make a small hooch. I blew up an air mattress and lay down on it. The other guy went to the foxhole to take the first watch.
My partner and others alerted by the sound were puzzled. No one had fired a weapon. Then I happened to glance into the hooch and saw it was covered with mud. Then I noticed my air mattress. It had a gaping hole in the center and was all scrunched into the ground. Then, someone figured out what had happened. An artillery forward observer had been calling in smoke marking rounds around the company’s perimeter in order to get artillery registered for the night, in case we came under attack.