Monday, July 24, 2006

Quang Tri

Quang Tri is just inland from the South China Sea and a few miles south of the DMZ in I Corp. Once the division moved up there from An Khe, we spent a considerable amount of time out on fire bases called “Suzie”, “Pedro” and “Jane” as you see pictured here. In 1999 I went back and with my guide and the help of a man who had been a VC mortar commander during the war, found what had been LZ (Landing Zone) Jane.

I can’t honestly say things looked familiar or actually that I could prove it was Jane. It “felt” like Jane but that could be because I wanted it to. Nothing of my war year was recognizable because my time was either in the field or in an area the Army built for its own use. No time in the cities.

However at worst these “before” (1968) and “after” (1999) pictures were taken within a few miles of each other if not on the exact spot, which my ex-VC new friend insisted was the case (he said he mortared us on more than one occasion.) And, of course, the pictures of me are exactly that.

Note the pocked marked building. This was a school house in Quang Tri City. Two years after the 1st Cav was ordered south, the VC/NVA overran the area and this building is an example of how bad things became. Really sad.