Makes a great gift for Vietnam Veterans

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all right
good evening vietnam live from lc bunker
this is a veterans live show
i’m ronnie embrace serve with 101st
airborne division from
december 1967 to december 1968
and today’s guest is staff sergeant
warren gallian from the fourth infantry
sergeant gallium deployed to vietnam in
he served with the mechanized infantry
division as long
as well as lerps for those who of you
are not familiar with the lerps they’re
small well on reconnaissance patrols
that go deep into enemy health territory
he has some interesting stories to tell
you including different missions
about tigers and we’ll get to him in
just a moment but first we’ll do our
war timeline
okay this date in october 14th 1966
united states secretary of defense
robert mcnamara in a memorandum said
that the communist
forces was suffering sixty thousand
killed per year
yet there is no sign of an impending
break in enemy morale
it appears that he can no more replace
his losses by infiltration
from the north and recruitment in the
mcnamara continued enemy forces are
terrorism and sabotage especially in
scope and intense
intensity for that but more railroads
and highways have been cut the rice crop
has shrunken
and we control a little more if any of
the population
in the countryside the enemy almost
always controls the night
the number one song in 1966 on this date
was come on four tops name it
reach out i’ll be there okay october
1967 operation medina was a search and
destroy mission
by the minus the united states marine
corps third
marine division in the highland district
the operation resulted in 50 paving
and three captured but 34 marines were
sad day the number one song in october
1967 was my favorite song of all time
over there
the letter by the box tops and i’m not
putting that in there but i love that
okay now our photo segment with photos
you all sent us in from the vietnam
veterans photo club
on facebook so let’s go do the photos
all right let’s have photo number one
okay this is from dennis lewis it’s
tim pimlott holding a tale of an nva
very close there in the in 1967 1968 in
the central highlands
from the first to the 12th infantry
fourth id
company d uh okay so that was exploded
already i’m glad he wasn’t holding a
live one
next photograph is from craig matham
all of his photographs was stolen he
says after i came home from vietnam
he had almost 2 000 of them mainly
he was a combat writer and combat
with 101st airborne division 501st
the only way i have any now is they were
published in the papers with my name on
them as a byline
he would appreciate it if any of you
sees any of these
with his name on it to get in touch with
him somehow
he would appreciate seeing them this was
from april 1971
firebase brick members of the second
501st infantry were on the way to help
their brothers
from their battalion fighting in the
okay the third the next photograph is
steven novakov writing a letter to his
mom and dad
from cameron bay in vietnam in august
tamron bay was i believe where most of
the troops from vietnam went into
and this photo is from jim hollis he’s
in the bed with company b
first of the 26th big red one first
infantry division
taken on april 25th 1968 thank you jim
that was my 20th birthday i appreciate
i was still in country then he was taken
in benoit
after surgery by fess parker’s crew
that’s fest parker there standing on the
the old davy crocker guy when we were
kids i remember that every sunday night
at seven
seven o’clock great photographs thank
next photograph was from dean lossey
lance corporal marine corps
earl dean losse near way vietnam july
subunit one first enzo co
field operator attached to the vietnam
vietnamese marines
in the spring offensive 1972.
thank you all for all those photographs
keep sending them in you can send them
to the
vietnam veterans photo club there’s a
uh place in front of the on the top of
the page to send your photos to
okay i’m gonna bring a special guest in
here staff sergeant warren gallian
of the first i’m sorry of the fourth
infantry division
vietnam 1969. good evening warren
good evening warren
oh boy wow can you hear us
wow can you hear us now oh boy
okay one minute please warm
technical difficulties
there you go brother okay so tell us
about your little
bio give us your bio
well to start with i i ended up growing
up in a military family my dad was a
career soldier
uh he was uh he started his army career
fort schaffner in hawaii and he was uh
there when pearl harbor was attacked and
he ended up being an incredible witness
as he
was on guard duty at the officers club
there at fort schaffner
where he could watch the the planes uh
dive in
uh for myself uh i never really had any
dreams of wanting to be in the military
uh when i became
i got out of high school i started
i was a poor student at best
there was a joke going around at the
time that said i only made
1a in my first two years of college and
unfortunately was on my draft card and
that was about to be true for me
so i volunteered for the draft
since my dad had been an army recruiter
i knew a little bit of how the inside
worked i knew
i’d only have to be in the army for two
years instead of three
so uh i went down to the draft board and
told him to draft me and i could
actually get an early out to get back
into college i thought i could get
through with less than
uh two years of service and they obliged
me and the next thing i knew i was doing
basic training at fort bliss
i was hoping that i was gonna be a
finance clerk in germany but
they told me i was going to be in 11
bravo something for poke louisiana to
uh infantry school okay talk about what
happened here at nco school why’d you go
to nco school
well at the end at the end of fort polk
they uh
said that they’d introduced a new uh
concept that the army had never done
before and they’ve never done since but
it was right during the vietnam war
they were having a problem with uh they
could recruit they could draft all the
privates they needed
but they were running short of middle
management and sergeants
at that time so they started what was
called an nco school and so
they asked if i would be a part of that
and so i did become an ncoc
they sent us to fort benning georgia we
went through some training
uh came out as a e5 uh sergeant
and then was sent to vietnam a lot of
people are supposed to
wait wait wait don’t pass over what they
used to call you guys
yeah after we went through after we got
to vietnam
um most people with my rank uh had as
many years in the service as i had
and uh most of the drafting that i went
into the army with
either already over there felt like the
third three or four experience months of
experience on me was probably uh
more important than the training that
i’d received at fort benning
so uh we didn’t get a lot of respect but
they called us
instant sergeants and shake and bait
sergeants i have not heard i have not
heard the word shake and bake
in i can’t remember when
it’s insane how long was that school
well i think it was 12 weeks that we had
and after we finished the school uh they
sent us
back to go through infantry school again
as a squad leader
and so i went through uh inventory
school a second time
at fort lewis washington there you go
i give a shout out to all the ncos uh
ncoc uh guys uh
even though people
didn’t always say the nicest things
about us and thought maybe the army was
doing the wrong thing by creating this
there was about 26 000 of us that’s okay
man you served and that’s all that
mattered thank you very much
oh and over about 1100 of their names
are now
on the wall there and willie wow
at the 26 000. well that’s a lot
of us were killed over there that’s a
lot okay tell about what other units did
you serving beside the fourth
well as soon as i i all my tour in
vietnam was with the fourth infantry
uh but when i first sent me over there
my first four months i was with the
mechanized infantry so i was with a
uh second battalion uh eighth infantry
a company of of the fourth infantry
and then i did six months with uh the
fourth division second brigade
lerps and at the end of the six months i
ended up
going back for my last two months in
vietnam with
my mechanized unit with the second and
the eighth gotcha okay
uh tell us about in military operations
what reconnaissance and scouting
is doing like what what a lerp team is
the llrp that you were part of uh
since i’ve been back and done some
research i found out there’s a lot of
different definitions of lurks but
brigade lerps that we were
in we always went out on four-man teams
uh we did have one team that actually go
out and as a three-man team
uh but i always liked the fourth guy uh
along with us uh and we even had one
that would actually go out
on occasion wearing black pajamas uh
instead of wearing a
army form but our
main job was to go out that we’d be left
for four or five days
uh four or five nights out in the jungle
they would normally give us about four
square kilometers
that would be our area of operation and
s2 would uh end up telling us what they
what they thought might be going on in
the area let us get all the information
we needed i was allowed to fly
over the area and uh see it from
from the air and pick out landing zones
and that type stuff from the area
and then i would train my team and we
will prepare my team and
we would go out and spend the four or
five days watching trails
trying to gather information and uh
hopefully you know provide
information to the larger units back up
where do you pay your resupplies for
well we carry everything for four or
five days with us
at the time so uh and you’ve heard of
lerp rations and it was kind of nice we
didn’t have to wear the
carry those cans uh the blurpressions
were a lot
lighter we had to boil water and put
them in and
they they were really good freeze-dried
well interesting so what’s the
difference between a l
l rrp and lrp well i like the second r
in it because that meant reconnaissance
there are lerp teams that actually went
out to
cause havoc and trouble uh most of my
missions were
lrp with reconnaissance in it
so our job was mainly to gather
information and
not try to create a fight but uh
to gather information and and
uh you know help help them
be able to make decisions in the back as
to what was going on
uh yeah did you have a capable fo with
uh no i would i had to serve as the
forward observer uh while we were out
there so i i was the one that would call
the artillery or
right airstrikes move yeah we did like
we’ll try gunships okay right that’s
very uh er with only four of us out
there the
our last thing that we want to do is
fire a rifle because that gate
that would give your position away yeah
yeah but
as we joined lerps they gave us all the
resources of the
the army which i was real pleased with
but we we could call in gun ships
uh even puff the magic dragon you know
was it our uh
have puffs show up on fourth of july
okay here’s one for you uh tell me about
the uh time you were going through
the jungle your alert team and you found
yourself holding a handrail
yep yeah we had been uh put out on a on
a mission
and uh we started following this trail
and suddenly there was an incline and as
i was
going up the incline i i reached over
and i grabbed and i realized i was
holding on to a handrail and
while i was having andrel it dawned on
me this is not something that you
normally find
out in the wild in the jungle but
they’re taking some vines and and
wrapped them around so that it was
easier to
climb up this this incline and just
about time i realized i was
on an incline my team member that was a
up in front of me stopped and he said
and we turned and i turned around and
looked and we’d already walked past
two bunkers uh uh that
were in that in the jungle there uh
fortunately for us it was totally empty
and so we spent the rest of the day uh
walking around
checking out all the bunkers uh
we checked to see if there were any
booby traps or anything to make sure it
was safe for us
uh we dug around found the latrine and
could see that it was all dried up
and nobody had been there in quite a
while so as the day went on we started
feeling pretty comfortable
uh in the bunker uh we did find an
american canned ham
can that where they had opened up and
eaten a ham that that was
we used to wonder where they got
american goods from i
also found a box of uh where they’ve
playing cards with english instructions
uh how to play cards so but really found
all this
in the nba camp uh that was there but as
the day went on we we felt pretty
comfortable that nobody had been there
in a while and that we were
we were probably all alone in that area
and got probably a little more relaxed
than we should be but we went back down
the trail a little bit
and i found an area where there was a
row of uh
bamboo uh just and so
we decided that we could probably set up
our camp there we’d only be about two
feet away from the trail
but we could hear what was going up and
down the trail
but no one would be able to see us
because of the the bamboo
and as lerps we always had rules we uh
we would always pick our night location
once we decided this is where we were
going to stay for the night we would
normally move about 100 meters
away each supper and wait till just as
it was getting dark
and then we’d move back to our nightboat
and stay there in case anyone had
spotted us
while uh yeah we were there
uh but this particular day i i said well
uh because of that trail i started
saying you know if we get over there
making a lot of racket trying to set up
right after dark just right there on the
trail uh
it started making sense to me that we
could probably set up our night location
a little bit early
so let me get interrupt for one second
we used to do that with a company
the chopper would bring in supplies say
it’s five o’clock and it’s gonna get
dark at seven
we would go to a run around the viewport
bundle point
get our supplies get our mail get out
whatever dry socks whatever
and then wait till like
6 30 7 o’clock when it started to get
dark and move
now we’re moving the whole company easy
between 80 and 120 guys depending on the
right amount of enforcers yet but you
had four guys it seems so like
it seemed it just seemed so easy for
four guys to stealthily
establish a position and then move
another position
versus a whole company plus helicopters
coming in
you know it’s like i guess they knew
where we were but you had better luck
i think one of the things i liked about
lerps after i’ve been in mechanized
where we had to crank up the engines
every four hours to
uh keep the batteries charged and
everything i
i like the stealthiness of lerps you
know that i could be out there in uh
four of us with three other men that i
and and we could move uh easily and
and our and just you know be a listening
post but that’s right
we’ll go back to the bamboo i cut you
off there and yeah
about the uh well what we did was it was
still about half an hour before dark and
and i decided that because of the bamboo
i said if anyone did come up the trail
and we’d be sitting there trying to set
uh that it that we’d probably make too
much noise and
if anybody was going to be there they
would be on the trail and
we were pretty much hidden from the from
the trail
behind the bamboo so we can set our
cover up inside the uh overhang of the
the bamboo one of my guys sat down and
started boiling some water with a little
piece of c4 uh we used the plastic
explosive that c4 would roll it into
about size of a small
marble and we could light it on fire and
cook with it the only downside to it is
you couldn’t put it out once it
started burning so uh
so that’s why we didn’t use large pieces
of it we
normally had one so it burnt out pretty
we didn’t want the flame to be seen so
and then i decided that i would go put
my claymore mine
out on the trail so i had to i put the
claymore under my
armpit and i’m walking backwards putting
the uh
string in the wire out uh so i could get
to the trail
and i’m looking back at my guys one of
them suddenly said sarge
you know kind of real quietly i wasn’t
sure if i felt it or heard it
but uh he pointed and i turned and
looked and here was uh some nba soldiers
they weren’t walking on the trail where
they were supposed to be uh they were
in the gumballs it was smart
they were walking right at me and i
dropped to my knees
and uh about that time is when i
realized that i
i didn’t even bring my rifle with me and
i’m looking back over there at the
the bamboo and that
poncho covers flopping in the wind and
looked like a giant neon
sign to me you know saying look look
here and
my other guy was uh wrapped himself all
around the fire so that nobody could see
his uh
see see the flame and my other two guys
just uh
was watching guard and i’m just sitting
there on my knees uh
out out in the open i do have camouflage
you know fatigues on
i felt like a little rabbit i wasn’t
exactly sure at what point i was going
to get up and run
and i knew i’d be seen as soon as i run
to go back to get my rifle
and so i’m sitting there totally unarmed
on my knees
and they get within about uh 30 25 feet
of me and suddenly they turn and started
going down the hill
and so i just sat there and watched uh
about 20 nba soldiers
uh passed within about 20 feet of me
going down the hill but apparently
they’d been going all day most of them
had huge packs on their back some of
them even had their rifles slung across
their back
and they were just looking in the ground
huffing and puffing
and moving down the hillside i
i did later find out that if we
continued down the trail there used to
be a
log that crossed the stream uh a little
bit further down the trail
and apparently uh we had taken out the
and apparently they figured out that
they could
take a shortcut and walk down the stream
and you could wade across
uh so they the reason they were leaving
the trail and
ended up walking out there in the in the
jungle with me
but uh as soon as uh the last guy passed
i ran back over we got on the radio
and as i said we we had access uh
normally uh before we even went out on a
mission we normally had
eight uh artillery points marked that we
could fire with just a name so we didn’t
even have to give the
coordinates or anything so yeah
i called in uh they started firing
artillery down in the direction
where they went and for us we were
nervous that
the artillery was going to make them run
back up to where we were
so uh in just a little bit
they sent me a gun ship out to help
support me a gunship asked me to pop
i told them i don’t think so because i
didn’t really
yeah right
but i don’t want anybody else to know
where i’m at
uh we did have things that we call toys
it was we we did have some interesting
things as lerps
i had what was a little pin flare and it
it was not much bigger than a
in a fountain pen and you could pull the
clip down and it it pretty much uh
to this day i can’t tell you exactly
what it was but
it fired like probably a little 22
caliber round that was a tracer
and anyway it sent a little red uh trace
uh shot up up and then the uh
gun ship ended up saying okay i’ve got
you spotted
and so he ended up flying and he ended
up just
hovering the gunship right above our uh
bamboo cover and it opened up the mini
and and just kind of fired everything
that was down in front of us
probably for about a mile but you won’t
think sorry that’s interesting
i never knew about that little pen pen
player yeah
but suddenly when he started firing the
those many guns uh
the casing started coming out and they
ended up landing in the bamboo
and we for sure thought that uh we were
gonna hit we were being hit by friendly
and listening to those miniguns and all
of a sudden hearing that that stuff hit
our uh
our bamboo uh but
after all of that uh by that time it was
getting dark and
uh we called in and they said uh unless
things got more serious they didn’t
really want to do a night extraction
so we had to stay there for the rest of
the night we didn’t sleep very much
uh the next morning uh we kind of went
the opposite direction
found us a place where we could get
extracted from
we were told that they were going to
send a platoon a platoon of infantry
soldiers in to go in and
check it out never did really hear what
what became of uh
of that okay yeah we’re gonna do some
photos now you ready for this warren
sure please describe what’s going on in
these photographs thank you
first photograph yes uh my lerp unit our
home base was at marylou just outside of
uh vietnam and this was our sign for uh
lerps and you notice it only had the lrp
but i i was an lrp
that’s okay but with that with the
fourth entry but this was the sign that
designated our
our area all right uh so
mary lou was the name of a lz yes
well that’s interesting never heard of
that one okay next one next picture
well we did have some benefits as lerps
just beyond that sign uh we had our
tents that we got to stay in between uh
missions we had our own bunker bar where
we had some fans and
uh uh we were able to keep some ice and
drinks and
uh some some nice uh benefits for
between missions
and out in the middle we had the
volleyball court so we
were able to play volleyball and uh
exercise that way
okay wait um bunker bar i think we’re
going to change the name of this
lz bunker to lz bunker bar
that sounds pretty good bunker box
don’t don’t take those donut dollies
down to the bunker bar there you go this
is uh this is a photograph of actually
myself slamming one down
with b company first to the 502nd
infantry so
it looks like volleyball was pretty uh
popular in vietnam
there you go okay talk about this
next photograph oh yeah this is when i
was in mechanized inventory so one of
our lz’s uh
uh this was our the bathroom out there
i always like to tell people i said i
haven’t seen such scenic bathrooms since
i left vietnam
so is that what somebody’s sitting on
the throne yes
okay thank you very much next photo
is this you you handsome devil that’s me
in lerps this is uh
we were one of the groups that were
allowed to wear flower fatigues and uh
this is a tiger stripe the arvin
soldiers generally wore the uh
tiger stripes so this was a more of a
vietnamese uh
uniform uh i carried a car 15 uh
rifle with me on all my alert missions
uh which you can see me
with there it’s pretty much has the same
mechanics as
a m16 uh so it you
just use the m16 ammo and same cartridge
but it had a collapsible uh butt to it
and uh it was sawed off on the front not
quite as big so it was only about two
feet long
and made it real easy to uh to move it
through the jungles
how about that hat up there yeah what’s
up with that hat uh
as lurps this was part of our uniform
was to
wear the australian bush cap and
we uh we took a lot of pride in in our
that’s the same hat this is the same hat
it’s 50 years old it’s not uh not quite
as flexible as it used to be
but there you go that’s really nice to
have that they had a great souvenir for
yes oh my goodness all right there you
go who’s this
well this is devil uh with with my car
15 you can kind of see the sawed off
or it’s not but it has a shorter barrel
that is made that way
and uh a little the plastic around the
barrel is a little bit
as round and a little bit smaller than
what was on an m16
uh but i am wearing the flower fatigues
the army had come out with the flower
it’s kind of funny i was uh in 1969 at
home i
always wore uh pretty conservative
clothing and i was always uh kind of
what people were going to think if i
sent a picture home with me wearing
what i said was a clown suit you know
that i had
i had no idea that we were going to be
uh fashion
uh centers uh for uh
for the rest of the country uh well talk
about fashion
what’s with that hair oh yeah it was uh
with my hair with you with man we could
never have hair like that
yeah well with my dad being a master
sergeant uh
as growing up my hair was uh was always
a burr
or a flat top yeah right i
went till i got in the army and uh uh i
was in lurps and the barbers were kind
far and few between yeah
one more picture here what’s this here
well this was in my mechanized unit this
was uh
i’ve been there about three months uh
one evening we had uh uh my
pc was sitting out on the end of the
runway at lz bass
uh just uh it was just west of uh
i believe that’s right yeah just yeah
just west of uh khan tomb uh
my machine gunner was on uh guard duty
he had an m60 right next
next to the apc you know mounted on the
and he was on guard and he yelled that
he saw a trip flare
and then he said i see the sob and he
started he fired
all the rounds that we had on the 50
caliber and then he jumped off the apc
and ran over and to his m-60 where he
could uh fire
this woke me up i was sleeping behind
the track i jumped up and i ran over the
edge and looked down and i could see the
trip flare going off but i couldn’t see
and then from lz bass they started
firing parachute players for us that
which would light the place up like
and i never never did see anyone down
and the next thing we knew i turned
around and the apc
was on fire and uh it makes for a better
story if we say they got hit by an m
a b-40 rocket but uh i think the truth
is that uh
one of those parachute players ended up
going down into the hatch
really and caught the uh ammo on fire
the thing that spectacular fire burned
all night
but every year when i start paying my
taxes i start wondering if i’ve paid for
that apc yet you know i don’t think so
now yeah okay um what was your concern
about with the resupply
well it went up in fire well you know i
guess i should have been concerned that
i lost my track all of our ammo
everything else but we’ve just been
resupplied that day and we had
we just had new cases of beer and soda
and uh and i had a brand new airplane
and all that
that’s how it goes man good story is
left and right okay i love that
picture that restroom that was really
interesting yes tell us what happened
with your friend gibson
on the first night in the field well
again you know i i was a brand new
sergeant and we just uh
came to vietnam i’d been in country for
a couple of weeks because you had to go
through the reception center and
everything and they
finally sent sent us out to marylou and
the tracks finally came out picked us up
and we went through the gates and you
realize for the first time you’re uh
uh there’s not any guards out there
you know watching over you that you’re
just yeah
between you and uh the enemy and they
take us out to the
the camp that night and i’m introduced
to all my uh
well first the experience of just
writing that apc uh
in training we always rode inside but we
called them death boxes because those
b40 rockets
could hit the side and it would throw a
metal all in sight so we ended up
writing on top
and there’s kind of an art to writing on
top of it so uh
uh i came in with my friend sergeant
frederick who had been through nco
school with me we were both sent out at
the same time
and we’re trying to ride on top of that
uh apc and it’s
we’re taking both trying to figure out
how to hold our rifle and use both hands
to hold on to keep from
uh getting uh shaken off uh the
the track so that it was all new
everything was new
uh and a little little scary and
wondering if i could really uh uh be a
good sergeant
to these guys out in the field and i’m
introduced to my new squad and the very
first thing they tell me is they
introduced me to uh
one of my men gibson he was a big old
he had a fist that was probably as big
as both my fists
together and they started telling me
that a couple of weeks before they’d
been out on patrol
and uh they were away from the apc’s
that that just and they were out
and said uh gibson looked up and there
was a tiger right in his face and he
took his fist and he
he hit the tiger uh right in the jaw
he said the tiger turned around and left
thank you thank you gibson thank you and
i’m thinking you know like
here i am a brand new sergeant in
country you know and
as if i didn’t have anything to worry
about you’re telling me about people
you know that i gotta worry about tigers
uh you know in vietnam
okay with that in mind let’s roll to the
next friend
with the tiger yeah well that that very
that very night
even though they knew that the tiger was
in the area a tiger did come back and
actually take one of the guys away and
so this is
something i’m learning my first night
like i i’m
trying to make sure i can deal with the
enemy and now i’m learning
we may have tigers to deal with as well
what do you mean took him away
huh well that wouldn’t mean they took
him away but he just uh
the tiger came in and killed the killed
this guy uh but where was he unlike um
you had a perimeter
or something or uh yeah it was just a
platoon you know that they were uh
in a little circle right out in the
field nobody heard this
and this was before i arrived you know
that a couple of well okay
yeah but he’d come in and and grabbed
one of the guys and actually killed him
so my very first night there i’m hearing
about a guy getting killed by a tiger
and then my guy punched the tiger you
know that
so who are you fighting what’s that
who are you fighting the tigers at a
you know i was like i don’t know how i’m
going to make it through a year of this
yeah i gotta flip it for you
um at lz sally we had these little
bunkers we used to
our own personal bunkers it’s like
building a coffin
had sandbags on three sides and that’s
some of these uh
fence posts across the top with a little
cue decking and you put sandbags on the
so you had like a casket with the end
open and you would crawl in feet first
and go to sleep or head first if you
want i guess would be the smarter way
because any shrapnel could hit your
head at the end this guy woke up with a
snake on his chest
and he had a heart attack and died that
was the craziest thing in the world
yeah that was like there were more
problems with
leeches step-and-half snakes the old
bamboo viper
uh malaria they had uh
tigers they had uh well uh
these rats the rats were the biggest
cats uh
there was more going on in vietnam with
uh disease and everything else can’t
drink the water
uh though it was crazy besides being try
that’s right we yeah but between
missions we
dealt with the rats that lived in the
floor of our tent
they’re in burps yeah and you’re right
it seemed like some of them were as big
as uh
as cats all right how about the kids how
about the kids used to play with the
yeah we i’ve seen the mountain yard kids
go over there though
we had those bamboo vipers and we were
told that they were super poison they
said if one bit you you couldn’t even
finish the cigarette before you’d be
and uh but i i’ve seen the mountain yard
kids go there and take sticks and pull
them out
so they were not they the stakes didn’t
appear to be real aggressive but we were
afraid of them
quick story you haven’t heard that when
i was in lerps we were sitting uh
we’d sleep shoulder to shoulder so all
four of us we had our feet
where it was in the middle of the night
and all of a sudden we could hear the
leaves rattling down at the base of our
and it just sounded like a snake you
know crawling through
and the last thing that we wanted to do
was turn on the light or anything
when there was only four of us and uh we
were trying to be stealth
uh but it just really got to all of us
that we hear these leaves rattling you
know just a foot away from our feet
and so one of the guys finally got up
took a match and he leaned up there
broke a match for just a second that
looked down there and
it turned out it was these huge old army
ants and they were just all in a column
uh just walking down by our feet but we
we had a big old snake all right i got a
story from
uh and this was not programmed about the
with the mechanized unit
in the rubber plantation the michelin
rubber plantation
northwest of kuchi we were up there
patrolling with the 25th
and what happened uh
we’d be sitting on top of the apc’s and
they would hit a
tree and these red ants would come down
on us
i got to tell you man people never got
naked faster than anything
they would point you and get in your
belt line get up your armpits
and they were crazy it was like the
worst really i mean i was
i think that was like the worst
experience i had except one
which is sad but that was not good
um red hands army as a vietnam were like
it was great fun it was the other track
you know it was fun to watch the guys
yeah but yes this is this little
battling and it like shook the whole
thing big the other boom
came down those ants that fell out of
the tree and they were they were
they hurt too there you go okay um
tell us about the bad news that you
didn’t hear about landing on the moon
well actually
uh when i was on an alert mission and
we’d been out for four or five days
and uh we’d really gone out a pretty
long ways they told us
we only could be the 175 uh guns were
the only things that could reach us
and we were a little nervous about that
and it would take the helicopters about
10 minutes to to get to us and
uh but we were we were a long long ways
out and we were looking for uh
where there at one time had been an mva
and we found the area but it’s all grown
over and it didn’t look like it’d been
used in quite a while
but sat down for uh night and
we we all laid down uh
uh we i i did hear we did hear uh ak-47
uh a pretty good ways away it wasn’t
threatening to
us but since we were supposed to be the
only friendlies in the area
we ended up having those uh 175
millimeter guns
fire some rounds uh over in the
direction of where the rifle
fire was and then we kind of laid down
spend the night uh when it was my when i
finished my guard duty we had to call in
every hour to uh uh give them a
situation report on
on how we were doing and so i called in
my report
and sometimes we’d give cryptic messages
back and forth and
so uh the guy that was on the other end
of the phone was then
lived in the same uh bunker or in
the same tent that i did with all those
rats that lived in the floorboard
and we had uh i’d written my parents and
they’d sent me some of these huge rat
and we were sitting those rat traps uh
in there and we killed about 10 big old
and he had uh the guy on the radio with
me he’d been helping me
uh kill rats and in our tent and
anyway he left me a message he said
he said uh they’ve landed and just as
just as they expected it’s made out of
was his coat yeah you know
and uh thinking like what he meant by
that and i’m like well you know we were
putting cheese in those traps and
and we probably killed some more rats in
our tent you know and i’m going like man
this is
uh what a giant leap for mankind you
know he would probably tell you that the
united states is landing on the moon
what did he say again he said they’ve
landed and just as they expected it was
made out of cheese
had i been aware that we even had men
going to the moon i i would have figured
it out you know
well gotcha but i went and i
went back to sleep and the next guy was
on guard duty and at the end of his
hour he called in and then he turned
around he woke me up and he said hey
they just told me we’ve landed a man on
the moon
there you go let me actually quite a
little more serious here you ever get
ambushed while
on your abc’s i we we did get
ambushed uh uh that was something that
was always a
pretty serious one of the concerns and
one things i liked about being in lerps
was that this
the stealthness as i mentioned earlier
uh we those apcs we had to keep them
cranked up
those diesel engines uh yeah made a lot
of noise
it was no secret where we were and what
we were doing and even though
a lot of firepower and uh we
it was probably pretty scary for the
enemy to uh to approach us
uh they they knew what they were dealing
with before uh
you know they got to fight on their
terms they got you okay uh
what what’s up what happened with this
uh theory but
i guess turned into reality about lerps
becoming rangers when getting orders to
go back home
yes uh when
when i first uh i’d gone back into base
and i’d gone to some classes and while i
was there i ended up being recruited uh
for uh lerps and it sounded like a
a good idea to me and one of the
commitments that they said is
all you have to do is run missions for
six months and i was probably in the
middle of april so i’m going like you
know by the end of september i will have
doing all my six months of uh
missions on these four-man teams and
then they said after that
you’ll still stay with uh the brigade
lerps but you’ll mentor the
the newer guys and help them pack and
you know
pass along tips and information you know
that you
you have from your experience right so
that sounded great to me well just as i
finished my six months
uh they came in and said they were
disbanding the second brigade lerps
and i i really had no idea what was
going on
but captain street who was in charge of
the lerps at the time tried to take me
and one other guy
uh and we went to lz heartbreak which
was an arvin
uh camp and so we were there were only
u.s soldiers there and so i i was
basically the
sergeant the u.s sergeant in charge
of uh of that camp and there’s some
interesting stories too that’s where i
got to learn to
burn the poop and do everything else oh
we got you yeah that was pleasant duty
but uh but at
that point they uh finally told captain
street that he had to go back to a
combat unit
and they couldn’t protect me any longer
and i was told that i needed to return
to uh
the second and the eighth uh where i
come from prior to uh
and when they sent me back into base
camp and i started learning
uh that the second and the eighth they
were uh a company was
in a big mess uh sergeant prowl who
uh recommended me for yeah
uh he was a driver in the second platoon
uh he ended up getting very seriously
wounded just a week or two before i
ended up
getting out i as i was preparing to go
out i found that that
the shorty had been my driver uh
in my first four months there had just
been killed the week before
oh my goodness got a whole bunch of
serious stuff going on my medic
uh who served with me in the first
platoon dot crestman you know had gotten
shot with a 51 caliber
in his arm and uh it was a million
dollar wound for him and he got to go
and so i i was pretty upset that
they were sending me back out in the
into this mess
and while i was going back out to my
unit and in the jungle they
uh the driver of the doosnap that i was
on told me that
uh they just got word that my unit was
in contact and we weren’t sure whether
we’re gonna be able to make it all the
way out there
but as the day went on we we didn’t make
it on out there
uh when i finally arrived uh
i talked to uh captain bates who was uh
in charge of a company
at that point and he told me uh
that we were uh against an unknown size
force which just about drove me crazy
because we’re not helpful yeah
it’s not helpful at all i felt like that
was information we were trying to gather
for them right yeah
to get them and uh then i found out that
the contact that they had made
i involved uh uh sergeant frederick who
is the guy that i came into the unit
i hit he took a sunken chest wound uh
he was he was carrying an m79 grenade
he had a vest with the grenades on and
the bullet
hit aids and uh ricocheted into his
chest and
came out under his uh armpit uh
sergeant fox who was still there told me
he did he really didn’t think frederick
was uh
was gonna make it uh out of the squad
the uh the medic was wounded
and uh the uh radio guy was also
killed uh in that same same action so
three three guys including you know
sergeant frederick
uh had just left that uh squad and then
as upset as i was that i even had to be
out there when i thought i was
not supposed to have to do any more oh
yeah yeah
uh captain bates told me that i was
going to be frederick’s replacement so i
inherited a squad
that uh had a worse day than i had
and we uh we ended up going through uh
several weeks uh still of some uh pretty
fighting in that area uh on
november 2nd but
that draws a point yeah you know it’s
amazing how sometimes you think
things are going to calm down or they
all come down
and then you all of a sudden it gets so
people you you people are getting hit
you don’t know where they’re getting hit
they’re being evacuated you’re losing
guys new guys are coming in
you don’t know what’s going on with
anything like that but i’ll tell you
what let’s get to the humble side of
yourself the best we can
and tell us about the situation when you
were awarded the bronze star
well on it was on uh november 2nd
we were told that we were going to pull
out on patrol and
so i was told that my apc would be the
point apc but fortunately at the time we
had two tanks that were attached to our
unit and they always went
first so i was glad that we had two
two apcs uh from some of the things i
was talking about barry prowl
and uh the things that had gone on in
just the prior weeks we had we had
several apcs that were out of commission
and so we had a bunch of guys from
second platoon
actually riding on the outside of the
the tanks
and i was following the tanks
on my apc uh we were
suddenly the tank in front of me was uh
was hit
all i saw was a big mushroom cloud form
over the
the tank i couldn’t imagine what it was
i was wondering like was it a 122
rocket fired right in directly into the
uh but anyway this the mushroom cloud
just formed and i saw the barrel of the
the tank just swerve off in into one
and i knew we were in line next to be
my driver first he turned to the right
we started firing i realized that was an
open field and that the ambush would
come from the left
so i i got franklin to turn the track
back and
so we were pointed toward the direction
of the ambush
and we opened up uh the platoon sergeant
was running on my track that
uh the uh sergeant pool and so he was
behind the 50 caliber now right next to
uh sitting beside him our we fired our
until they ended up getting so hot that
we call it cooking off
uh after the rifle gets so hot yeah sure
the bullet doesn’t even uh chamber you
know the round and
so you’re holding it away from you
because you don’t want it to explode and
you know in your face but just the heat
uh it’s cooking you don’t even have to
pull the trigger anymore
and essentially excuse me i haven’t
heard that one in a while either cooking
yeah in a few years since i heard that
you’re right well that’s it uh my the
platoon sergeant was firing the 50
we fired so many rounds through that uh
tank appeared to be dead in front of us
50 caliber got to the point where the
barrel was just totally red
and driver got up and he was uh putting
an oily rag slapping it you know trying
to cool the barrel down
to keep it from warping and uh trying to
keep it
in operation uh but we ended up sitting
there with uh
uh i kept telling the platoon sergeant i
said telda
tell the captain to flank the ambush you
know that we needed some help uh from
the site
and they said well we’re getting air
support uh
and so we were sitting there and we were
pretty much sitting there going to be
dead in the water uh
in just a little bit i i noticed that
some of the guys on the second platoon
had been hurt and i told
my medic i said there’s some guys hurt
up there and he grabbed his medical bag
and he ran
up to the to the tank and uh
i i saw him go up there and then he kind
of disappeared
and then a little bit later when i
realized we didn’t have any other rifles
i knew the guys were up there on the
had been wounded on the tank so i jumped
off the tank
there was actually a guy on the ground
right in front of our track
and i’ve grabbed his rifle it had love
on it something from the late 60s
and then i went up to the tank and uh
there we had two or three other guys
that had been wounded that were just
kind of hugging the side of the tank
and i grabbed like two more rifles and i
brought three rifles
back to the apc and uh
we were able to continue firing until
the we got a little bit of air support
there you go and then it looked and a
few minutes later the
tanks actually started up and we were
able to pull out and go through the
and then the captain came and told me
that uh
my medic
had a a small flesh wound on the side of
his head you know where he got hit with
a round
uh but he said he did he saved the life
of the the tank driver
uh and some of the guys that were on the
tank but they all got
uh dusted off and so we’re out in the
open field and we’re sitting here trying
to reload all of our
magazines and uh get bring ammo back up
inside the top or in case we were
uh still in danger uh but it
uh it turned out to be a pretty uh scary
sunday morning uh for me uh i i didn’t
think too much
more about it but after i’ve been home
for about
uh it was an i went home in december and
in july my mom called me and told me
said there’s someone from the uh reserve
uh here at herzog field wants you to
colonel wants you to call them and i
started panicking thinking you know like
i said i i’ve done i did two years
acting duty we were supposed to do four
years in active duty we weren’t supposed
to have to do any uh
uh other uh reserve duty or anything and
i’m thinking like
oh what kind of paper snafu has there
been and
you know i i’ve got to go back in or do
something and
uh i was really panicking about it and
he ended up
uh when i finally did call him uh he
he wanted to know if i could be at it uh
at the reserve unit on sunday
and he said he wanted to present me with
my uh bronze star with v device
i said that i had
been awarded very nice
thank you that’s very good my
turn was uh i’d had seven months to let
my hair finally grow out and i forget i
was beginning to look like i was
in the 70s i had my sideburns and
everything uh
so i and i uh
asked the colonel i said well can i
accept it in civilian clothes and then
he asked me so are you not proud of the
uniform and i
that’s well actually you know on the
contrary you know i i said i
i really want to honor the uniform but i
don’t really want to get a regulation
again to to go out and accept the
so he said no it’ll be fine you can
accept it in a civilian close
and so i kind of hung up at that point
and i said i still didn’t know what i’d
done to
deserve a bronze star
but my mom and dad were able to go with
me and some friends we went out
and it was presented to me
yeah congratulations for that thank you
for your service and thank you for a
great show tonight
uh warren we’ll see you soon
talk about your website real quick uh
yes i i do have a website it’s at www
dot and it’s my first initial w
and then my last name galion uh
dot com slash vietnam
and i i first wrote most of my stories
for my kids
uh and i ended up being someone that was
an early adopter of the internet and i
finally put my stories out on the
and it allowed me to uh end up getting
in touch with a lot of the men
yeah that’s right nothing happens that’s
why we did this page that’s why my son
suggested doing this so it’s www dot
warren galleon slash vietnam
yeah it’s just w gallant
okay sir thank you very much god bless
you all right
good night you got it amen
okay this is sound off time we got
or comments from any of our viewers
that’s how
hello sound off time hudson valley web
great show keep up the good work and
thank you to all your veterans amen to
the veterans
next comment
while from wild man motivation great
photos warren excellent episode
very nice next
from joe robbie this is what we’re
interested in hearing from the common
amen we’ve heard the bs from the brass
the bs is in the brass amen joe thank
okay in the 11th cav we called the 113’s
the coffin what’s that a track was that
a pc
i’m not a mec guy next question
harry how you doing bud at least we
didn’t have the tigers to deal with
well yeah we had other
thanks harry we had some other things to
deal with
everybody had their own okay marie
kennerman kennemur
this is a great story learning amen to
that thank you sister
and i love hearing the stories that
are heartbreaking but sure the bravest
these young kids had you know something
you know you’re right and yet
i’m talking this stuff and we’re doing
this stuff
and i’m 72 and i’m thinking like i’m 19.
yeah like absolutely right a bunch of
kids you see the pictures
all kids thank you lisa for them insight
and our last one is from deborah kelsh
thank you gentlemen for your heartfelt
memories and words you are both
wonderful historians
thank you for your service for your
country thank you deborah
appreciate it and keep staying in touch
with that vietnam veterans photo club
okay thank you very much for listening
tonight i’m going to sign off from lc
to all my veteran friends other veterans
family and friends and anyone else who’s
watching thank you very much god bless
and welcome home