On this map you can see that place I went on my first day Dong Ha was even closer still to that line,and in the next few days I would end up so close I could spit on it ,clearly this is not a very safe place to be any troops coming from the north had to pass by where I was to get into the Republic Of South Vietnam.
As for how I ended up on the demilitarized zone was by quirk of fate one of the things my battalion was charged with during our deployment was up grading 27 miles of the main north south highway and building three bridges over rivers along the way, we were charged with making a rather run down two lane road with a lot of bomb craters into a four lane super highway like we have in America.Building roads requires stone there was a quarry On the demilitarized and I happened to be the only one in my unit that took the school on how to set up and operate a mobile rock crusher it arrived with the supply ship that carried all the things that were to big to come with us by air,and when it was trucked to Vinh Di I was ordered to get it set up and running and train a crew to keep it going.This place was so bad that everything was built underground because at night it was bombarded by 102 mm rockets almost constantly, during the day we were able to work because we had Marines protecting us. It took about two weeks to get this massive machine going and train about ten men to operate and maintain the thing before I was released back to the rear for further orders.I was very happy by then to be leaving a place that kept you up all night and scorched you while you worked in the day.
Very soon now I will receive an assignment that will begin to burn thousands of horrible images deep into my brain they are still there like they have been taken by some indelible camera. I wish I had never seen these things but they are part of what will change me for a long time to come.
See you again in part three