By John Culbertson
"Morning used to be continually a welcome sight to us. It intended issues. the 1st was once that we have been nonetheless alive. . . ."
In 1967, demise used to be the consistent spouse of the Marines of inn corporation, 2/5, as they patrolled the paddy dikes, dust, and mountains of the Arizona Territory southwest of Da Nang. yet John Culbertson and many of the remainder of inn corporation have been an analogous lean, scuffling with Marines who had survived the carnage of Operation Tuscaloosa. Hotel's grunts walked over the enemy, now not round him.
In photograph phrases, John Culbertson describes the day-by-day, harmful lifetime of a soldier battling in a rustic the place the enemy used to be often indistinguishable from the allies, fought tenaciously, and idea not anything of utilizing civilians as a defend. even though he used to be one of many most sensible marksmen in 1st Marine department Sniper university in Da Nang in March 1967--a category of simply eighteen, selected from the division's twenty thousand Marines--Culbertson knew that opposed to the VC and the NVA, solid education and event may well hold you simply to date. yet his company's challenge used to be to discover and have interaction the enemy, regardless of the cost. This riveting, bloody first-person account bargains a stark testimony to the stuff U.S. Marines are made from.
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Extra info for A Sniper in the Arizona: 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines in the Arizona Territory, 1967
And what astounded me was that everybody in the room had a story like that. The common thread was essentially that people were killed for what didn't seem like a good enough reason. And, the one in particular I re- Operation RAW 13 member, the guy was saying it was his first day with his unit, and this old man was coming down the road, and [they] yelled at him in English to halt, and he didn't halt, and they blew him away. " And they turned him over and he had a grenade on him. But they didn't know that [when they shot him].
Ll Despite this shaky start, Cleland did rehabilitate successfully at the VA Hospital. He enjoyed physical therapy and learned to swim. He learned to dress and care for himself, and how to get around in a wheelchair and use artifical limbs-formidable tasks for a triple amputee. By February, 1969, he moved out of the hospital into his own nearby apartment where he could continue his rehabilitation on an outpatient basis. He learned to drive a car. In December, 1969, Peter Lassen, executive director of Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), invited Cleland to accompany him as a witness before a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare.
I gave them R & R for live prisoners. They're worth information. . When . . I saw the torture that went on in my battalion . . I talked with other officers about it. They all told me, "That's the way it is. You can't antagonize the big dragons . . or you're gone. . " [I say] this stuff would stop if we'd hang a couple of senior commanders. If it's no longer condoned, then it will The VVAW strategy of emphasizing atrocities to disparage American military policy in Vietnam-an increasingly favored way to protest the war-aroused more than feelings about the war itself.
A Sniper in the Arizona: 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines in the Arizona Territory, 1967 by John Culbertson