Larry Jackson Remembers His Last Days in Vietnam
by Lance Corporal Larry E. Jackson
Echo Company, BLT 2/26
LCpl Larry E. Jackson in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Jackson family.
Why I Am Writing This
I am writing this to the best of my memory as I have always tried to put this time era in the very back of my mind. I will never forget totally as much as I would like to.
This is for the memory of my friends that never made it out of Vietnam, and that my Grandkids may know a little more about their Granddad.
Aboard the Dubuque
It was early September, 1968, and my Marine Corps outfit, Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division had just gone onboard the USS Dubuque, LPD-8, as a Battalion Landing Team.
We were on the ship only for a few days but it was really nice. It was the first time in ten months in Vietnam that we had hot food and hot showers. In fact, it was the first real bath I had taken in ten months.
Our clothes were tattered and torn and about to rot off our bodies. We were able to get new clothing onboard because our seabags had been stored on this ship as it was like our Battalion rear area.
USS Dubuque. The helicopter platform on the aft deck allowed Marines to stage heli-borne assaults. The well deck below could be flooded, the aft gate dropped and another wave of Marines inside amphibious tractors (amtraks) could assault a beach from the sea. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
The Marines onboard had to eat at a certain time but were really excited that we could get as much food as we could hold and then turn around and eat as much ice cream as we could hold. There was even a place onboard ship to sit and drink coffee and write letters.
We thought we really had it made onboard and I was writing letters home to my family that they would not have to worry about me again while I was in Viet Nam as I was aboard a ship, sleeping in a real bed, and eating as much as I could hold each day.