War Stories

2 Brave Cacti Brothers

by Walt Shields

46 years ago tomorrow, two brave Cacti Blue soldiers were taken from us. Sp4 Jack Deeter and

Sp4 Ronald Olson from A 2/35th Inf, 3rd platoon.

We were down south working out of Ban Me Thout over by the Cambodian border. Late morning

and we were waiting for a re-supply bird to deliver more C-rations and bring out the mail.

We were set up in the jungle by a open area for the bird to land when we got word that the

bird is about five minutes out. The guys who were to secure the LZ were told to move out and

set up the preimeter security. I was in the CP talking to the medic about ten yards away

from my radio when they started firing RPG's and B-40 rockets then what seemed like all the

small arms and machine gun fire in the world opened up. We returned fire and got the guns

from B 2/9th FA up and firing.

When it was all over the bodies of Sp4 Deeter and Sp4 Olson were found. I thought they had

been killed by either the rockets or gun fire but when I talked to the Plt Leader, Lt Don

Evitts two years ago, he told me that they both were bayoneted and died from those wounds.

Their M-16's were both missing. We found one of the M-16's later when we were back up north

around Pleiku. A sniper in a tree fired on us but a HE round from a M-79 put a halt to that

and that's when we found the M-16.

I want to thank the members of A 2/35th Inf for allowing me to travel with them and for

taking care of me durning my 7 months with them. I am honored to have known such great men.

Also I want to thank everyone from B 2/9th FA for their fire support. And a special thanks

to my brother Don Hardy with 2/9th. You guys never let us down Don. Thanks for being my