We were on patrol east of camp Caroll in Vietnam some month in 1968. I was a forward observer radio operator for artillery. I don’t remember the month but do remember a leach that got on the inside of my trousers when we crossed a small stream. I could feel the leach crawling up my leg and was about to pull down my trousers and remove it when we made contact and came under small arms fire. As we were rushing up the side of a hill my attention was torn between getting shot at and the leach which was steadily crawling up my leg. The higher that leach climbed the inside of my leg the less I thought about getting shot. That leach was pretty high up my leg when we reached the top of the hill. We spotted a hand full of the enemy who had been shooting at us running over the top of another hill. I radioed the co ordinance of the fire mission to the artillery at camp Caroll as I was dropping my trousers. I bent over, back side facing the marines still charging up the hill behind us. I had a lit cigarette by this time and was in the process of burning that leach off. The leach by this time had gotten to close to where I didn’t want him to be. The leach and the enemy were no longer a threat to me. Our guys were shooting at the retreating enemy so the men rushing up behind us didn’t know what was going on as they came into view of me bending over. In true marine spirit under fire and fear the first man to see this sight said “Tex it’s bad enough that I’m getting shot at but do you have to moon me too?” The leach removed, I pulled up my trousers and adjusted the artillery on to the hills beyond. That marine never broke stride as he moved on up past me to the line.
USMC toured Nam 10/67-10/68
2nd battalion 9th marines 3rd marine division