War Stories

One and a wake up

by Wiley Dodd
January 4th 1970

Well Jan 4th 1970 Frank Czyzyk and myself decided with two days left in this tropical paradise, to go to Pleiku City for one last look around. As strange as it sounds you weren't allowed to take weapons into Pleiku. We got in a truck with some other guys and off we went. We wandered around Pleiku for a while most of the day, hoped a ride over to the Airport for lunch then went back. The truck in the morning told us where to be at a designated time to go back to base camp. But we got lost wandering around and missed the truck. What to do now most all Military was gone now, we couldn't spend the night we were leaving basecamp in the morning to go home. So I motioned one of there little taxi's which is a motorbike about 90cc with a bench across the back for two with and your feet hang down, not a big deal for most but both of us were 6'4. So he gave me a price I said ok we hoped aboard now it's at least a 30 to 45 minute ride back to basecamp and with a 90cc motor hauling 400 pounds even longer. Now here we were two guys with no weapons riding on the back of Motor scooter in Vietnam outside the cities in the open, definitely not the smartest in the Nam.

We arrived at the gate and the driver wanted more than the agreed-on price. I said no and he started yelling Vietnamese. The MP's at the gate started walking our way no doubt to report us for being late. I said don't answer them Frank just keeps walking thru the gate and down the road. Staying a long distance behind us in a Jeep they followed us to the Company area. They went in the Battalion HQ, we were then summoned to HQ they had already told the Officer of our actions he was a Major I hadn't encountered before. He acted real tough and read the rules and then gave us articles 15's. He said he was going to bust me from a Sgt. And fine me a 100 dollars and fine Frank as well. Frank and I both walked out I was really proud of those stripes and thought they were gone. A while later the clerk walked in the billet and said he told me to tear them up right after you left.