ANNOTATED TALKING SOLDIER “IN COUNTRY”




Three annotations about the challenges you faced in guerilla warfare
-We had to be careful and watch out for enemy booby traps such as barbed spike plates, bamboo stakes, spike pits, trap bridges, and bamboo whips. They were very well hidden and could be deadly.
-Our packs are extremely heavy, sometimes up to 90lbs!
-We were terribly outnumbered, and like Ho said, even if we kill ten Viet Congs and they only kill one American, we will still lose.

Two annotations describing the enemy (the Viet Cong and/or NVA)
-By 1960, most of the Viet Cong force were armed with the Chinese version of the Russian sub machine gun. Heavy machine guns were used to shoot down our helicopters
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Many of their weapons, including their booby traps and mines were home made from scraps.
-The Viet Cong's priority was creating safe base areas. They served as headquarters as well as a secure place for cover if things should go badly for them.

One annotation describing the tunnels
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In the tunnels, there were a series of different entrances, trap doors and rooms, they had everything from an arms factory to a kitchen, sleeping chamber and hospital.
-Tunnels were not in straight lines. They created corners between 60 and 120 degrees, making shooting inside those tunnels impossible.
-Tunnel rats were among the bravest in the Vietnam War. Tunnel rats were exposed to horrifying danger, their job was to clear out the Viet Cong's tunnels. They were armed with only a pistol or knife and a flashlight. They faced a variety of booby traps such as punji stake pits, bats, snakes, scorpions, and spiders.

One annotation describing the use of chemicals by the military
-Agent Orange was the code name for a herbicide that was developed to get rid of the dense trees and shrubbery that served as concealment for the enemy. This was one of our more controversial tactics.

Two annotations describing search and destroy missions
-These search and destroy operations were planned to find the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong's base because the enemy filtration depended on these bases.
-The search and destroy missions were relatively short operations in South Vietnam.

Two annotations describing the Tet Offensive
-The Tet Offensive had a huge, negative effect on the Americans at home. They began to believe that any further fighting in Vietnam would be futile.
-Only about 3,500 South Vietnamese perished while about 33, 200 North Vietnamese died in the Tet Offensive.

One annotation describing escalation
-Despite Johnson's promise to keep us "American boys" out of Vietnam, Operation Rolling Thunder led to a major escalation in the conflict, resulting in the arrival of my fellow American troops and me in Vietnam in 1965.

One annotation describing the draft
-When my name was picked to serve in Vietnam, I thought it would be nothing I couldn't handle. It turns out I was wrong.

One annotation describing your feelings as a soldier
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I've been in Vietnam for months, I have grown weary of backpacking in this intense heat and watching my fellow soldiers die due to booby traps.