War Stories

Surprise Visit to Firebase Rebel

by Joe Soga

Surprise Visit to Firebase Rebel (Duc Lap Area of Operation Fall of 1968)

By Joe Soga

Firebase Rebel was a company size firebase that Bravo Company 2/35 lived on for more than two months in the fall of 1968. It was located about 2 clicks from the Cambodian border with South Vietnam. There was always something to do (work) on Firebase Rebel. We worked hard all day long. One day while on Firebase Rebel we got an unexpected surprise and a break from the work. A chopper landed and out jumped three Red Cross Girls. This was the first and only time that we were visited by Red Cross Girls in the field. These girls were volunteers who joined the American Red Cross and came to Vietnam to boost the morale of the American Soldiers. They were wearing light blue dresses with white knee-high socks. They had to be dedicated and brave to come out to a remote Firebase, like Rebel and to spend some time with us. They had some board games to play, where all of us could participate. It was really something to have American Girls from back home right in the middle of a war zone. They only stayed a few hours, then they boarded the chopper and left. I found out later that Red Cross Girls went all the way back to World War One. Back then they would pass out coffee and donuts to the soldiers and were called Donut Dollies. Their short visit to Firebase Rebel did the job of picking up our morale. I will always remember these unsung volunteers of the Vietnam War.