Larry Jackson Remembers His Last Days in Vietnam (cont.)
In and Out of Consciousness
I started going in and out of consciousness. As I would wake up, I could still hear the shelling and see Doug across in the other hole. There was a sharp turn in the ravine just ahead of where we were. As we lay there, I could hear NVA voices talking. They were down in the ravine with us and the rest of the company was up on top.
I was so scared I was going to die. I started to pray to God to please not take my life here. I prayed to not get hit with another mortar shell. I prayed and asked Him to not let me die like this, so young and like a drowned rat. I wanted to see my mother, dad and family again. I wanted to live longer. I was just 18 years old.
As I prayed, I heard the shelling subside and it became quieter and quieter. It was like a water faucet had been turned off. Everything was so tranquil. I finally felt so relaxed and wasn't scared any more.
I knew I was dying but now I didn't care. It was so peaceful. I could actually smell orange blossoms just like I was back home.
The next thing I know, a Corpsman was slapping my face asking me my name, rank and serial number over and over. I had been in shock from my wounds and very weak. He cut my pants off me and I had already left my shirt back with my rifle and pack. As he cut my belt and let blood flow down to my legs I was in terrific pain. I felt like I was burning up inside my body.
By now, more Marines had come down in the ravine to bring us back up to the top to be medevac'ed. Now, instead of going on R&R, the chopper was on its way to take us to a field aid station. The Corpsman and Marines put me on a poncho and carried me out of the ravine up to the landing zone to wait on a chopper to take us out. There had been over 100 Marines killed and wounded.