A Marine’s Memoir: My Vietnam Story by Allan D Pederson, USMC (Ret)

Allan Pederson

This is Allan today.

I recently made a new friend via social media – Facebook to be exact – his name is Allan Pederson and he shared his Vietnam story with me – I told him his story needed to be shared. Below is his personal account of his time in Vietnam, his experiences in country as well as in hospital. It’s an amazing memoir, one that he gave me permission to share as long as I didn’t change it. I hope you’ll take a moment or two to read Allan’s words.

My Vietnam Story
Allan D Pederson, USMC (Ret)

In February 1970, I went to Vietnam as a US Marine Infantryman (a “grunt”). On the TWA flight over, we joked and were fairly cocky. I thought (and I think most of the others thought) that I would most likely be fine. That it was “the other guy” who would be killed. I also naively believed that small arms fire would be our greatest threat. Anyway, when the jet was dropping down to the runway at Danang, the plane became silent and the reality of the situation somewhat hit home.

We boarded a flatbed tractor trailer for the ride to the 5th Marine Regiment which was about 20 miles southeast of Danang at An Hoa. This truck was part of a large convoy which went to An Hoa every day. The road would be swept manually for mines at the front of this convoy and needless to say, the 20 miles took quite a while. Two Marines with metal detectors walked at the front of the convoy, one in front of each tire.

At An Hoa I was finally issued my rifle and sent out to my Company (H Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, or, as called in the jargon: Hotel-2-5 or H 2-5 written as H 2/5). One of the first days I was with my Company I met a Sergeant who had been in-country for nine months. He was shaking like a leaf. I wondered whether I would be that nervous after I had been there nine months? Little did I realize then that the odds of me making it nine months were virtually nil.

I was 19 years old. I had stood on the yellow footprints the evening of August 19, 1969. I had enlisted in the US Marine Corps as I did not want to be a draftee. I had scored in the top four, of 360 recruits in my series. Us four were told that we had scored high enough to apply for Officers Candidate School (OCS), but we had to be 19 ½ to apply, 20 to be accepted. I was not old enough, not that I was sure I even wanted to apply.

I was in the Company Commander’s CP (command post) for a few days after arrival. This area was only about a half mile down the road from an ARVN (Army of Republic of Vietnam) fort. This was a log fort which looked like something out of the American West of a century ago. One night the ARVN started shooting in our direction. Bullets (tracers) were flying all around. I was in a bunker with Dennis Duzinski. We were looking out a single hole, with our heads side by side, when a bullet came through and hit the dirt behind us, right between our heads. Bruce Campbell was tired and decided he did not want to get up to get into the bunker. He laid on the ground throughout the “battle”. After a few minutes, the firing stopped.

Read more…

Oregon Citizen Journalist Responds To Cover Oregon’s Goofy Commercials

July 19, 2013
by Jeff Reynolds | WatchDogWire.com

This week, Cover Oregon, the corporation set up by the Oregon Legislature to administer Obamacare exchanges in our state, released their ad campaign. This campaign uses music videos and $3.9 million in federal funds to sell Obamacare to Oregonians. The videos met with, at best, mixed reactions.

One Oregonian, a contributor to WatchdogWire Oregon, was moved to respond. Ben Nanke has released a new video that reaffirms the rugged independent Oregon spirit and denies the need for governmental intervention in our personal decisions. (You can see Ben’s reporting for WDW here.)

As Ben states at YouTube,

Published on Jul 19, 2013

This is a response to the recent ad campaign by Cover Oregon.

As native Oregonians, we found it strange that a large-scale, federally-funded ad campaign is trying to twist the meaning of “the Oregon Spirit.”

Quoting the Oregonian – ‘Mark Ray, co-owner and creative director of North [who created the ad campaign], said the initial ads are to “create almost a hello” sort of vibe, while stressing an “Oregon pride, Oregonians take care of themselves kind of thing.”‘

We agree, and believe that “Oregonians take care of themselves” means exactly that. We take care of ourselves. No government mandates, no tax penalties, and no manufactured marketplaces. We love seeing our fellow Oregonians happy, healthy, and strong, which is why we don’t want to see our state fenced in by government-controlled health care.

—–

Lyrics: Benjamin Nanke
Composition/Music: Benjamin Nanke, Sophia Morrison, Matthew Steele, Dashiell House
Filming Team: Benjamin Nanke, Sophia Morrison, Matthew Steele, Logan Knauss
Budget: $40 for gas and dinner for the team
Production Time from start to finish: One week
Special Thanks to CCTV Salem for access to filming equipment and editing facilities

Here are the lyrics:

You know there’s more to a state than the rivers and the rain
The trees and weather, for some, it stops there
They say the Oregon spirit but that’s not how I hear it
There’s more to Oregon than you’re aware

From out East they came, past Chimney Rock
Facing snakes and bites and the mud and the rain
They just hiked up their boots and they pushed through the pain
They said “oh, don’t fence me in”

Across the mountains they forged and came with enterprise
The wagon wheels came in fours and dusty boots came in scores
And the heart of the land fell on weary eyes
But the joy that they’d arrived made up for the sores

Long ago the wagons traveled past the cliffs of the Gorge
We watched the sagebrush trails become I-84
It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I’ve seen it before
We say “oh, don’t fence me in.”

You say, “ooh, it looks mighty innocent”
but follow the trail, you know it’s gonna derail
I say “ooh, we’re all going to pay for this”
We’ve travelled quite a long road, and we know where this goes

You say it’s time for a change from the Oregon range
Rugged individuality gives way to rain and trees
So don’t tell the people of Oregon that we don’t care
Don’t fence me in. (Don’t fence me in)