L/Cpl. Ben Reed of Eunice, La., stands atop
Signal Hill overlooking Vandegrift Combat Base. Ben and members
of Kilo 3/9 were preparing to leave the communications post for
Operation Utah Mesa to the south.
My name is Ben Reed. When I was 19, I volunteered for the
U.S. Marines and they got me in shape physically and mentally.
But what they couldn't do was prepare me for a
"grunt's" role in something they called the Vietnam
War. The horrors and hardship far exceeded anything I'd ever
experienced before ... or since. But you know what? We always
kept our sense of humor because we found, too often, that it was
the ability to laugh at our futility and our plight that kept us
going. Humor especially played a role as we sought a proper
place to call home and to sleep... (Please see photo No. 2)