"Land the Landing Force!" (conclusion)
On the Deck
We are alone and the sudden silence is eerie.
We can hear a few incoming rounds, but we are disoriented. I’m crawling around with a map and compass trying to figure out if we were dropped in the correct LZ and if so, why doesn’t my map indicate our correct position.
1stLt Terry Arndt in 1969. Photo courtesy of Terry Arndt.
Heck, am I lost?
“Platoon Sergeant: Get them out of the LZ. Set up a perimeter quickly.
"Find out where the fire is coming from.
"How much fire are we taking?
"We have to get this LZ secure or we’re on our own!”
l look to the sky for more Ugly Angels to reassure myself that we will have more Marines shortly.
And there, there are the rest of the beautiful Ugly Angels, on their way in.
1stLt Terrence D. Arndt
Foxtrot Company, BLT 2/26
Editor’s note. Terry Arndt joined BLT 2/26 just after the DMZ operation. He served as a rifle platoon commander for six months and then for three months as Battalion Intelligence Officer (S-2) and Scout Platoon Commander.
He finished his tour as Executive Officer of Golf Company. He was awarded a Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V".
After service in the active reserves, Terry left the Marine Corps as a captain.
In civilian life, Terry has served in senior corporate positions in the US, England, Canada and Japan.
Portions of this story originally appeared in the June 2016 edition of Pop A Smoke, the publication of the USMC Combat Helicopter Association.