'MINE EYES HAVE SEEN...'
IP: 70.176.179.40


GOOD MORNING DALE...HERE I AM..ALWAYS THE EARLY RISER...BEEN THAT WAY MY ENTIRE LIFE...THE REASON FOR THE STORY I HAD MENTIONED TELLING WAS PARTLY BECAUSE OF THAT...GETTING UP EARLY...IT WAS THE 8 MARCH 1968 DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE SO-CALLED, TET-OFFENSIVE IN VIET NAM...WAY UP NORTH WITH NAVAL MOBILE CONSTRUCTION BATTALION 5..THE E-AWARD WINNER THAT YEAR...ALMOST DAILY, NORTH VIETNAM GUNNERS ZEROED THOSE US FORCES IN A CONE OF FIRE, SOMETIMES SEEMING, UNIMAGINABLE.. THAT MORNING I WAS CARRYING OUT SOME OF MY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES EARLY...DISTRIBUTING TRAINING MATERIALS OUT TO THE VARIOUS SQUADS AND PLATOONS AS WAS REQUIRED...PROBABLY THAT MORNING SOME FIRST-AID PROCEDURES ABOUT BREATHING, BLEEDING, AND SHOCK.. I WAS NEAR THE FIELD-TYPE HOSPITAL OF THE BATTALION TO GIVE THE HOSPITAL CORPSMAN A TRAINING HANDOUT ABOUT DRUGS CALLED 'MELLOW-YELLOW'...HM2/c SCHNELL WAS THE CORPSMAN WHO WOULD GET THOSE MATERIALS AND CONDUCT THE REQUIRED TRAINING...I HAD BEEN BY THE CHIEF'S MESS AND HAD COFFEE...DAYLIGHT WAS COMING UP LIKE THUNDER
OUT OF CHINA, 'CROST THE BAY....IT BEGAN WITH THE SOUNDS...THE SHRIEKS OF ARTILLERY PASSING THE MICRO-SECOND BEFORE THE HORRIBLE SOUNDS OF DETONATION....THAT COMBINED WITH THE TELL-TALE WOBBLING SOUNDS OF THE 122 MIKE-MIKE ROCKETS...THOSE LITTLE, BANDY-LEGGED BASTARDS WITH THEIR RAG-TAG GEAR WAS 'DOUBLE -DEALING' THIS MORNING...PROBABLY OVER-SHOOTS INTENDED FOR THE DONG-HA MARINE COMBAT BASE ABOUT 2 KLICKS EAST OF US...I HAD SCURRIED TO A SLIT-TRENCH TO HUNKER DOWN UNTIL THE BARRAGE WAS OVER...MERE MINUTES IT WAS OVER AND TO THE SOUTH OF THE SICK BAY A FIRE BURNED IN THE CAMP AREA...A DIRECT HIT FROM ONE OF THOSE WOBBLE-ASS ROCKETS...THE SNOOPY-DOG HOOTCH OF DELTA COMPANY...RELATIVE TIME SEEMS TO HAVE NO BENCH MARK IN TIMES LIKE THESE...MERE SECONDS MAY SEEM LIKE MINUTES OR EVEN HOURS...HUNKERED DOWN TROOPS WERE GETTING OUT OF THEIR SHELTERED SPACES...MEANDERING AROUND, LOOKING AND ATTEMPTING TO GET A 'HANDLE ON STUFF'. THE FIELD AMBULANCE COME BLAZING INTO THE SICK-BAY AREA.....RAPID-FIRE SCENES OF WOUNDED BEING UNLOADED....THERE WERE 3 LITTERS...THE COLLASPIBLE CANVAS STRETCHERS WITH A CORPSMAN ATTENDING TO EACH...ONE OF THE CORPSMAN HELD AN INTRA-VIEN FEEDING BOTTLE UP OVER ONE OF THE STRETCHERS ....I WAS THERE...STANDING AND GAWLKING WHEN THAT CORPSMAN CALLED OUT TO ME, "SENIOR CHIEF, HOLD THIS DEVICE UP OVER THE CASUALTY AS I AM DOING........"! I DON'T RECALL HOW FAR FROM THEM I HAD BEEN, BUT I WAS IMMEDIATELY THERE....I LOOKED INTO THE SMOKE-BLACKENED AND BLOOD SMEARED FACE OF THE WOUNDED MAN...A SIGHT I HAD NEVER SEEN SO UP-CLOSE BEFORE...I THINK I WANTED TO LOOK AWAY...I THINK TOO, THAT I WANTED TO BE SOME PLACE ELSE...THE RUSHING SOUNDS OF THE PASSING BY MEDICAL PERSONNEL...THE MUFFLED SOUNDS OF THEIR JABBER, UNINTENDED FOR MY EARS, BUT STILL DISCERNIBLE...STRANGE HERE, ALMOST 40 YEARS LATER AS I COMPOSE THIS FOR AN OLD FRIEND, TO RECALL SUCH DETAIL...THE DETAIL I RECALL SO VERY MUCH MORE THAN ANY OTHERS I EVER EXPERIENCED WAS THE TITLE I HAD SELECTED MONTHS OR YEARS BEFORE TO TITLE THIS RECOLLECTION....WHAT TO CALL IT...I DID SELECT A TITLE....THIS COMBAT RELATED EVENT THAT HAS ALMOST TAKEN ON A SPIRITUAL QUALITY FOR ME...'mine eyes have seen..........'
PERHAPS IT WAS TO BE THAT SECOND AS I LOOKED ONTO THAT BLACKENED AND BLOOD SMEARED FACE, PROBABLY PAIN-FILLED BEYOND DESCRIPTION, WHEN IT APPEARED TO ME THAT A VEIL WAS PASSED OVER THE MORTALLY WOUNDED MANS FEATURES...I COULD NOT HAVE DESCRIBED IT AS A SMILE, BUT IT WAS THE APPEARANCE OF PEACE AND SATISFACTION...AS IF HE WERE SUDDENLY LOOKING AT ....WHAT COULD IT HAVE BEEN....WHY IS IT I SEEK TO DESCRIBE IT AS I AM DOING HERE NOW...PRESUMABLY,ALL WHO READ THIS ARE CHRISTIANS, OR DO HAVE CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS, AND HAVE HEARD OTHERS AT THE DOORWAY OF DEATH AND BEING TURNED AWAY, DESCRIBE THE HEAVENLY FEATURES THEY WERE TREATED TO OR ABOUT...THE BRIGHT LIGHTS BEYOND DESCRIPTION AND SOMEONE BEING THERE...
.... 'mine eyes have seen the coming of the Lord'...
WHO WILL, OR CAN, DENY....WHO WOULD WANT TO....I DID NOT KNOW THE NAME OF THE CASUALTY I WAS ASKED TO TEND TO THAT MORNING..THE 3 MEN WHO PERISHED DURING THAT ATTACK WAS NEVINS, HARTLAGE, AND BORDERS...ALL YOUNG, ENLISTED NAVY SEA BEES...THE CONSTRUCTION FORCES PERSONNEL...THERE IS A PHOTO OF THE DESTROYED 'SNOOPY DOG HOOTCH' IN THE BATTALION CRUISE BOOK...PAGE 248...CENTRALLY LOCATED IN BACK OF A MOUNTAIN OF SAND-BAGS WAS A CIRCULAR AIR CRAFT WING TANK THE OCCUPANTS OF THE TENT HAD COBBLED TOGETHER TO STORE WATER TO BE WARMED BY THE SUN....PRIOR TO THE HUTS DESTRUCTION, THE OCCUPANTS HAD COBBLED TOGETHER A FIGURE WITH THE APPEARANCE OF CARTOON CHARACTER, SNOOPY-DOG, ASTRADDLE OF THE WING TANK. YES DALE MILLOY, YOU REQUESTED HEARING THIS STORY..ONE THAT HAD THE MOST MEANING FOR ME DURING MY 2 TOURS TO THE VIETNAM AREA OF THE WAR. RECOGNITION OF THE MORTALLY WOUNDED YOUNG MAN WOULD COME LATER WHEN i SAW THE MANS PICTURE IN THE CRUISE BOOK...AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAN NAMED HARTLAGE. RECENTLY I RELATED THIS STORY TO MY SON-IN-LAW AND HE WAS
SO ENTHUSED HE WANTED ME TO TELL HARTLAGE'S KIN LIVING IN THE MICHIGAN ABOUT BEING WITH THEIR SON WHEN HE DIED.

THAT VIEL I ATTEMPTED TO DESCRIBE...JUST PERHAPS I AM THE ONLY PERSON WHO HAS EVER DESCRIBED A PASSING AS SUCH..

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