13 July 1969
Cacti Green Find Snake In the Grass
OASIS—The last thing in the world that the 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry of the Famous Fighting Fourth Division expected to see on a recent sweep was a 15 foot python.
Sergeant David Reed of Cloquet, Minn., leader of the sweep, spotted the large reptile after some of his squad members had walked by.
"My first reaction was to yell and warn my men about the snake," stated Sergeant Reed. "Then I radioed for permission to kill him."
After receiving permission, Private First Class Rudolph Hoffman of Junction City, Kan., fired one M16 round through the python’s head.
Then the Cacti Green soldiers picked up the snake and carried it tug-rope style on their shoulders back to the company’s location. That was only the first step on the way to Landing Zone (LZ) Oasis where the snake was to be skinned.
The skin was returned to PFC Hoffman for an unforgettable treasure.