Cambodi The Collective Understanding Of American Army Soldiers
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The cool thick air whips and slaps against helicopter rotor blades, slicing the quite morning calm into a clamorous chorus of engine wine and rotor clap. In December of 1968, American soldiers were “not” in the jungles of Cambodia (Fluty, 2011). Or so was the collective understanding of American’s. However, for 60 elite American Army soldiers, Cambodia was a breeding ground for North Vietnamese objectives throughout the region (Fluty, 2011). On one such occasion, members of the small and secret MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observation Group [Green Berets]) set out on their warhorses to rendezvous with their Vietnamese counter parts on a mission to rescue an American prisoner of war (Fluty, 2011). Their story…show more content… He was 70 years old and is America’s most decorated forgotten warrior.
The men of SOG stepped into enemy saturated terrain and just after dawn, already dripping wet from due and humidity (Fluty, 2011). Left to their devices, the jungle was hot and oozing with what American GI’s came to call “the funk” (Bogguess, 1969). The next thing Col. Robert Howard, then a Sargent First Class (SFC) can remember is feeling the cool rush of blood over his head and eyes (Fluty, 2011). He was wounded horribly from an ensuing ambush that would instantly kill half the men with him that morning (Feherty, 2010). The men who were still alive ascended into the jungle to take cover and as Col. Howard came back to his senses, he could not see and his physical mobility was all but gone (Fluty, 2011). The next thing he recalls is a deluging and powerful smell of burning fuel and flesh. Col. Howard surmised that in his immobile and blind state that he too would soon burn alive. Then his site returned, soon followed by dexterity in his limbs. It was at that moment he retrieved a fragmentation grenade from his load carrier. The North Vietnamese soldier charring dead American and Vietnamese soldiers with a flamethrower suddenly stopped, nearly standing over Howard when they both realized that he was still a member of the living (Fluty, 2011). Col. Howard enlisted into the Army (July 20, 1956) at the