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"We could smell them a mile away"

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  07:02:37  20 May 2007
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On forum: 05/02/2007

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05/20/2007 7:03:06
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"We could smell them a mile away"

sorry it isn't a stalker story, its actually about the Vietnam War, thought i might share it. i wrote it originally for school

We could smell them a mile away, that distinct odour filled the air, the stench of fear and excitement mixed into one potent lure. “Hey LT up on that hill to our 10’ o clock” whispered Mike, a veteran of 1 tour in the Nam already, his whole body screamed war, from the scar on his arm, to that look in eyes. Just looking at him in the eye would strike fear in anyone, they seemed to mirror what he had seen, the atrocities that he has done, and the reflection of every soul he had taken was staring back at me in his pupils, the innocent and the evil. Heck in this place we hardly know who is the enemy, the old story of “shoot ‘em all and let god sort ‘em out” seemed like a good option. We heard stories of VC women putting live grenades in the diapers of their babies and giving them to soldiers to open, and they have the nerve to call us evil.

Me and Mike were the only vets in this squad, all the rest were either killed or have done their tour, we were stupid enough to sign up again, but we couldn’t go home, sometimes the VC seem more friendly than the folks back home, at least here if we have a problem with them it can be sorted out with a bullet. “We gonna take that village or what, I wanna shoot something!” Friggen new guys, all full of guts till their spread out over the jungle floor calling for their god damn moms to save them. “No body shoots anything till I say so, you got that! We don’t know if their VC yet, Mike we will move through the valley to the village, they know were here so no point in hiding, make our presence known. Once inside two to a house, clear the place out and search for weapon and food caches and any VC suspects. Move out!” As we were walking along the trail, the village in our sights, I could feel that part inside of me creep out of the depths of my body, like a blood thirsty spider crawling out of its cave. I’ve felt it before, that part of me wanted to lay waste to this village, all the wrath bottled up in my body, from the protestors who attacked me when I went home, or that gook that shot my best friend. I wanted to release it all in a fury of copper coated lead. With a cold sweat running down my spine I came over the crest and into that village. I wasn’t taking any chances; my finger was already on the trigger. “Dung Lai! Stop or we will shoot!” rang through the air, it was like a frenzy of blood thirsty animals in there, my men resembled a pack of hungry wolfs, looking for a defenceless soul to devour. “LT! One of them is running away to the south! What do want us to do?” I didn’t even think about it, that spider in my stomach burst out with fangs at the ready, CRACK! I saw the pink mist explode from his head as his lifeless body rolled into the ditch, my fangs deep inside his body. The sound of my rifle set in motion an unstoppable rage of young men, with the ability to choose who lives and dies. In that small ancient village I saw the innocent of my men stripped away like the petals of a dying flower, their lust for war consumed them, this was their village now.

“Sarge we got something over here!” yelled one the privates. His boots were covered in blood, I could see the tell tale spray of fresh blood over his face, the kind a man gets over him as he kills someone in close proximity. There she is, an old Vietnamese woman defending her home from the invaders. “LT this looks bad, in that old bats hooch we found a stash of AK’s, few of those French SMG’s and a RPG with about 4 rockets. Definitely not the farmers hunting arsenal” Damn it. I knew what I had to do now, “Round up the villagers and burn down this place” In an instant we created our own hell on earth. The roaring tongues of fire surrounded us, along with the screams of sinners at the mercy of demons in olive drab. “Mike get on the horn and call in the choppers, were going home”

Home Sweet Home, our little mound of dirt in this hole of a country. In this place behind our mine field, barbed wire and machine gun nests with trigger happy soldiers still wide eyed from the last encounter, we felt a fabricated sense of immunity from the millions of locals who wanted us to go home to our loved ones in body bags.

I walked into our barracks hearing the sound of some coward yelling into the microphone on CNN about how every soldier here rapes the farmer’s daughters after he kills the old man and his cows. The she was a fiery red head, glowing with flowers from head to toe. Wielding a banner which read “Make love, not war”, she was spitting on our fellow soldiers who were lucky enough to go home in one piece. Something churned in my stomach and woke a memory of my childhood; I remember standing on the side of the street just after the Korean War ended. Our boys were marching through the street with their heads held up high, but instead of hate, kisses were thrown at these young “heroes” by the women standing next to me, there wasn’t a sign of detest in the air at all . What the hell has changed since then? Both of these wars were the same, we are both fighting back communists trying to take over a country that wasn’t ours. Yet we are called the villains in this god forsaken war while our fathers came home to a “heroes welcome”.

“Turn that shit off!” bellowed Mike at the group of young soldiers who were staring at the breasts of red head on the screen. “What the hell Sarge?” answered back one of the privates, “hey she might look good now, but if you guys manage to make it back home you can bet on anything that she will be waiting for you with a bucket of red paint” Mike had been home before, but he made the mistake of wearing his uniform in public. “What do you mean Sarge?” the virgin of this war asked, he was not even old enough to buy a beer, but was over here shooting bullets at guys the same age. “Don’t you get it yet? The people back home don’t give a rats if you live or die over in this Jungle, they are more bothered about saving these poor Vietnamese villagers who shoot at us in the night than your sorry little butt!” A cold way to break it to a guy risking his life for a country doesn’t care about him.

That’s the way it was here in the Nam. We as soldiers in this place were not seen anymore in the same light as the soldiers before us. We were no longer the heroes fighting for our countries freedom, but now the villains of peace and justice in this world. It was especially hard for the young guys here; they were so confused at what was happening. Used to the enemy wearing a distinguishable uniform, it was hard for them to figure out who was good or evil in this place. One second the old farmer would throw some fruit at you, the next it would be a live grenade. Then if you shot him and a camera caught it, you would be shamed from society for killing innocent people. War is a strange thing in the world, man cannot live without war, and thus war cannot exist without man. It will be the factor in the end that destroys the human race, innocent or not.

-Written By Nigel Tegg (Teggy)
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