Cacti War Stories


Edited by Wiley "Tiny" Dodd
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Valentines day 1968

by Miles "Surf" Sawvel Jr
February 14th 1968

It was Valentines day 1968, Bill Veneable and I were checking out the sandy area where 2 rivers converged in Que Son, and we stumbled on something metallic buried in the sand. We used our bayonets to check for a booby trap, AH no booby trap found. Then we stood up and gathered ourselves a bit and looked across the river, at the cattails and brush. Then I heard a round go off and seen Bill had blood squirting from his chest. Then more rounds were hitting all around us. Bill and I dug a little depression in the sand and to the credit of our training in the states I got the plastic covering off the 1st aid pack and pushed it against his wound that stopped the bleeding. Bill was cool under the circumstances. The rest of the guys in the platoon were back by a hedge row and returned fire and suppressed the incoming fire. We called for dust-off. The bird came in and we got him on it with rounds hitting all around us. It was like we were in a movie. How any of us didn't get hit is still a mystery to me. I believe God must have wanted us to live that day. I am very happy and thankful. After the dust-off and firing had stopped we found a Mo-ped, typewriters, medical supplies and various enemy equipment. The area must have been a supply point for the enemy

Since then I have communicated with Bill and he confirmed to me the actions of that day. He also added he had become an Alabama State Trooper and had been shot again!

Bill is still awaiting that $1,000,000 check from the Army, you know for that million dollar wound that sent him home. But mostly it is good that Bill is still ticking and God has used him to protect the fine civilians of Alabama.

Miles "surf" Sawvel Jr.