Signal Hill, located just west of Vandegrift, was a communications 
complex manned by both the Marines and Air Force.


The next morning, another stranger came over and said, "PFC Reed, come with me, I'm sending you up to your squad. Move it, asshole." I figured that was going to be my name for a while, so I followed him to a big metal-floored helipad. After sitting there for about an hour, and flinching every time one of Stud's artillery pieces fired off, they choppered me up to the top of 700-foot high Signal Hill, a communications complex for the Marines and Air Force. I was assigned to Kilo 2 Bravo -- that's second platoon's second squad.

Signal Hill had a great view of Stud below in the east, a sweeping valley to the south, the strange Rockpile to the north and mountains leading to Laos on the west. The photo on this page was shot from just behind the helipad and looking up at Signal Hill.

I wound up spending my first week, maybe 10 days, up on Signal Hill. Scary as shit at night on watch, unnerving when mortar rounds landed in the compound and worrisome when trip flares went off in the concertina wire for no apparent reason. We ran long, security patrols in the daytime but all in all it wasn't that bad ... (Please see photo No. 4).


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