Being drafted and hating the military, to giving everything.
| I remember the first time my Drill SGT called me a long haired, scum sucking hippie. It was the summer of 1968 when I headed over to Vietnam, after being trained for what seemed a lifetime. I was only eighteen when I joined the military (drafted to be honest), and was full of anger. Who did they think they were, making me serve in a war I despised?
I remember getting off the bus thinking, welcome to hell pvt. Why would they make me do this knowing I hated this war, they didn’t care they just needed another pawn to carry a weapon. After my first week of training I was ready to go AWOL, not caring about the consequences. As my training finished I was informed I would be heading to Vietnam.
Vietnam was probably the most interesting place I have ever been, I hated being in the military, but loved were I was. I received orders to report to Charlie battery, and knew I was about to go into some heavy fighting. Charlie battery was known for getting into some major crossfire, and had the highest mortality rate to date. This was perfect, not only was I in a war I despised but I would more than likely die in the jungles of Vietnam.
After being with Charlie battery for a few months and seeing the chaos, I knew that I was needed. My platoon SGT took me under his wing showing me how to be a leader, and a good soldier. I spent most days and nights becoming the best that I could be, realizing that my life and my freedom were on the line.
I was promoted to SGT in the spring of 1969, and was put in charge of my squad. We were tasked for a small mission that should have been smooth sailing, but turned out anything but smooth. We came under heavy fire from the enemy, and with newly arrived privates from training didn't help matters. We took cover and began to engage the enemy with heavy fire.
After the battle there stood eight privates, and two corporals. As for our SGT, he laid down his life for ours. SGT Glenn Downs hated when they drafted him into the United States Army, swearing he would never go to Vietnam, and fight. Not only did SGT Downs go to Vietnam, but he saved the lives of ten soldiers. I felt this short writing deserved to be heard. Thank you SGT Glenn Downs for making sure that the ten of us had a chance at life.