As I remember it, only the dates may be changed, who the hell really knew what day it was

Lam Son 719 Remembered by Lew Currier (91B)

"Doc C" (1971)


I was with A/1-11 from about the 6th of January 1971 until the brigade stood down. The entire time I was with, possibly, Second Platoon. It was a long time ago so I am not 100% certain. 1LT Steven S. Lungen, a.k.a. "Bullwinkle" was the Platoon Leader, acting CO and CO when the company finally stood down. The only time I was away from the platoon was when I took a two week "7and 7" in late May. Marc Arneson was killed about a week before I left.

On 20 March 1971 about 300 meters from QL-9, Jim Ball, our RTO, fell and broke his ankle. Bullwinkle was in a hurry to back-up another platoon, because there was a fire-fight going on, so he left Ball and me behind. After I hid Jim's PRC-25 radio I carried him to our AO. After we got there, things were quite, Bullwinkle sent me for the radio and I went through Indian Territory by myself. I made it back. I got shot at a couple of times and I shot at something a couple times. I don't know for sure if I hit anything, but I think I did because the firing stopped. The truth is I really don't want to know for sure. LT promised me a case of Bud and a SS, but I never got them. Any beer would have tasted good.

On 21 March 1971 our Platoon was on QL-9. I had two WIA, one with a spinal injury; a 7.62 NATO round between T1-T2 vertebrae. It was from friendly-fire from a "thunder run" made by an element of 1-77 Armor.  We were holding the road open for the RVNs about 3 km. east of Lang Vei.

On 22 March 1971 the ARVNs started coming through and we got incoming NVA artillery; 122s and the 175s that the ARVNs left behind in Laos. I had to call for medical supplies because I ran out. I spent the day helping the 3rd Platoon, I think; it's been a long time. I also treated a traumatic triple amputation from 1-61, and anyone else that needed help. That includes an treating an ARVN sergeant I pulled from a burning APC after it hit a mine. His crew left him to burn with broken legs.

When the ARVNs came through on March 22nd, QL-9 was littered with ARVN bodies, mostly in pieces from being run over by their own M-113s and M-48s. I stopped an ARVN medical unit to get them to help me with their wounded, and get medical supplies from them. The ARVN major said NO to all of the above and I lost it. LT saved the ARVN major's life and my life that day. 

On 23 March 1971 we were told to RIF east toward Khe Sanh. We hadn't gone 100 meters and we were mortared by a 60mm. Myself, SSG Bill Bright, SGT Marc Kalch (spelling) and four others got hit. I got it in my neck, head and all up and down my right side. I couldn't get Dust-Off because of bad weather and ended up loading my wounded with the rest of the platoon on some of 1-61's tanks. I said no to the offer of a M-113. LT agreed and we were sitting on a tank with a pucker factor of 0%. We went to 1-61's Battalion Aid Station.

Dust-Off flew in. I stayed back despite LT wanting me MEDEVACed. We were down to about 19 bodies, besides it didn't hurt "Much" to take a long quiet walk. That is about 96 hours of my life that will never go away.


Charles  Ames

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