War Stories

A Near Casualty of War

by Hoyt Mason

A Near Casualty of War

By Hoyt Mason

If my memory serves me right, toward the end of my tour in Viet Nam in '67, my 4.2 in. mortar platoon, HHC, 1/35th was serving in a hilly area a few miles inland from the coast. I don't remember the name of this particular hill, but I do have one very bad memory of it! I had been asleep for only a short time after being in a firing mission late into the night and was very tired and sleepy. One of the guys awakened me out of a deep sleep, told me that I had to pull guard duty. I climbed out from under my poncho and followed him to a sandbagged bunker where I sat down facing the perimeter. The fog had rolled in and was so thick you could barely see the perimeter! The longer I sat there, the more disoriented I became. I began seeing things! I began seeing movement to my left. I really did see something! But it wasn't Charlie! I popped off a round in the direction of the movement. Of course the whole mountain lit up. Everybody woke up!! My platoon leader was by my side in a flash wanting to know what I had seen!! I told him that I had seen some movement to my left. About that time a Sergeant from down the hill scurried up wanting to know who was shooting at his man!! I about pee'd my pants! I later learned that the incident was not my fault alone. The movement I saw was a guy taking a poop too close to the perimeter! I barely missed him! I could have killed one of my buddies! God is good!!

Hoyt Mason {Preacher,Gomer}