A Near Brush With Death

 A Near Brush With Death


(One night, one morning in Vietnam, ’71)

So I’ve heard, a bullet, rocket or shell that hits you, you never hear it upon impact. The reason being, all is over, said and done, and if not you are usually unconscious.

But I personally-for myself 38 super ammo  anyhow, somewhat disagree; I heard every rocket that hit our ammo dump, that evening until morning. Each incoming rocket came with a whistling sound, like a siren in low key, that never reached a roar status until it hit something, like our water tank, or five-ton tuck, or simply the guard shack, or dirt-then crash, and a shower of debris, and broken boards along with this and that, and scraps of metal flying all about, hunks of burning metal soaring by my face, I had seen and heard it all, had I been hit, whose to say what then, you’re dead, and the dead don’t talk, explain, or even question.

And then right after the impact, you listen for the next one to come, if it comes, even if it does not come, you’re waiting for it nonetheless. In such cases of incoming rockets, or shells, there is little to no fighting going on around you-believe it or not, every one around you is racing for some kind of cover, jumping, hiding, digging holes in the ground to cover their heads, sides of their bodies, laying flat and soundless on embankments-as your mind and body remain in a state of alert, high alter-or you freeze or panic (I’ve seen all such cases).

Ammo dumps are not shelled all that often, less often than you’d expect, they are kept usually pretty far behind the main lines of fire, some months there were no shelling at all.



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