Pete Schroeder Remembers: A Hellhole Named LZ Margo (conclusion)
Those We Left Behind
I am sure that there are some parts that I have forgotten or left out. It has been a long time and hard to put together. I will never forget those days or those fine young men that will always remain young in our hearts and minds.
In finishing I know that PFC Larry McCartney was the Marine that I helped out of the mortar barrage and I also know that he has called me a hero for the actions of that day.
I however do not feel like a hero of any kind because I only did what any Marine would do in the same situation.
The only heroes I know are those we left behind. This has haunted me for all of my life since then.
PFC Larry McCartney holding a radio handset next to Echo Company Marine and "Semper Cool" author Barry Fixler, prior to LZ Margo. McCartney credits Cpl Pete Schroeder for helping him get to a Corpsman during the mortar barrage on LZ Margo when he was severely wounded. Photo courtesy of Larry McCartney.
I am thankful for the kind words that Larry has expressed and have only felt guilt for not doing more.
Corporal Hilary Keith "Pete" Schroeder
Echo Company, BLT 2/26
Editor's note: Pete Schroeder has had an adventurous life, in and out of the Corps.
He was initially assigned to Foxtrot, 2/26, at Camp Marguerita in April, 1966. When the battalion left for Vietnam, Pete was still too young and was sent to Casual Company at Las Pulgas where he participated in many, many working parties.
He volunteered for Recon and was sent to 5th Recon Battalion, which was just forming up. Eventually he was stationed at Camp Horno. He remained with Recon until March of 1967, when he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he stayed a year.
As noted, he served with Bravo, 1/3 in Vietnam and was wounded and medevaced while serving with Echo, BLT 2/26. In November 1968, after recovering from his wounds and further service with Echo Company, he was sent to the recon platoon attached to the 26th Marines. For the rest of his tour he served with different reconnaissance units.
He left the Corps but reenlisted six months later, serving with infantry and recon units. After Ranger and other schools, he went through Marine Security Guard training and was stationed at the embassy in Saudi Arabia. Tiring of the spit-and-polish, he requested orders back to the Fleet Marine Force, where he served in 1st Force Recon until leaving the Corps in 1974.
Eleven years later he joined the recon unit in Billings, Montana, and served with them another two years, leaving the Corps as a sergeant. In the intervening and subsequent years, Pete was a working cowboy, in charge of 500 head of mama cows on 750,000 acre Forest Service Allotment in the Bighole area of Montana, between the Bighole Battlefield to 17 miles north of Lost Trail Pass.
More recently, Pete has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma resulting from exposure to Agent Orange. He is in watch and wait mode after chemo treatments and, like the rest of his fellow DMZ Rats, he treasures every day.