Cacti War Stories


Edited by Wiley "Tiny" Dodd
Please send your story to Tiny here

March 7th 1969

by Bill Delaney
March 7th 1969

Written 3/8/15.

3/7/69

Maybe it's the full moon,

Maybe it's the constant snow

Maybe it's the stench from Washington

where the truth and morals no longer go?

But deep within me

where the memories don't grow old

March 7th 1969 chews upon my soul.

The Generals staff checked the reconnaissance

The Fourth Division complied

The Third Brigade moved the chess pieces

The Cacti Battalions were notified.

Bravo 2/35 was assigned to search the Kontum Mountains

They checked and rechecked the weapons

ammo, claymores, grenades.

They were seasoned

They were ready

They humped in alone

Canarys in a coal mine

No noise no song.

It was a beautiful morning in the tropic hills

The NVA was waiting

Anxious for a kill.

The enemy unleashed a deadly attack

Many Cacti were cut down

All fought back.

The NVA held the high ground

tunnels and ambush holes

We held our ground in blood and guts

And fought to save our souls.

The battle lasted into the night

We regrouped and dug in deep

The wounded were evacuated while under attack

There would be no sleep.

With ammo low and fewer men the CO called for artillery

The Red Legs of the 2nd and 9th

Rained in a deadly barrage

The FO directed the hell storm close to our position.

The shrapnel zipped around us

Bullets continued to fly

Slowly very slowly

We survived the night.

We hunted down the NVA

And destroyed the killing field.

We patched up our wounds

and moved on.

We lost Three Bravo Soldiers in the Battle

West and Weant and Rivera

Each one an incredible man.

I miss them all

It's hard to understand.

The 2nd Battalion Lost a Total of Six Brave men that day

Henninger from Alpha Company

Mazal and Spence from Delta Company.

But tonight I'm at a birthday party for a Seventy year old Navy Vet.

At the American Legion Hall.

Where my friends point out their service patches on the walls.

The children dance and sing.

Glasses are held on high!

I can't tell them

Im really not there tonight.

My mind is far away

On a distant mountainside

On a bloody day.

Bill Delaney

Bravo Company

2nd Battalion 35th Infantry

Fourth Infantry Division

1968/1969

Cacti Forever