A group of children in Caloo pose for the grunts' cameras
below a couple of hooches built out of c-ration pallets.


In the "inner-city" of Caloo (pop. maybe 200) dwelled this group of older Montagnard children who gladly posed for the passing Marines. The Montagnards, once described to me as being the equivalent of our Native American Indians, were staunch supporters of the Americans and it was a pleasure when Kilo 3/9 had the rare opportunity to walk through their village.

Even at age 19 it took me aback to witness the level of poverty these people lived, and thrived, in during the war. Note the C-ration crates they fashioned into homes on stilts. We complained, and rightfully so, about the
places in which we had to sleep. But at least we knew, if we survived, that we'd be going home to the comforts provided in the USA.

These children, three years later, were in the direct path of the NVA's merciless Easter Offensive of 1972 that slashed through the heart of the northern I Corps and overran Vandegrift Combat Base (Stud) on the northern
edge of Caloo. God only know how many of these smiling faces are still alive today. (Please see Photo No. 18.)


 Photos 10--18