Monday, March 07, 2011

What? NPR -- Biased? Naaaah!

NPR exec blasts tea party in hidden-camera video:

"A National Public Radio executive was captured on hidden camera calling the tea party movement racist and xenophobic and said NPR would be better off without federal funding, in an embarrassment likely to fuel the latest round of conservative attacks on public broadcasting."
I've been disposed to discuss the disgusting Liberal Bias of NPR over the past couple of years, sometimes even questioning whether I could earmark my income taxes to NOT go to their disgustingly liberally biased reporting.

We have all known for years that their self-vaunted 'objectivity' was mere verisimilitude, and a charge which they have never answered except in denial.

Now we here it straight from the mouth of one of the premier executives:
National Public Radio said in a statement that it was "appalled" by the comments from Ron Schiller, the president of NPR's fundraising arm and a senior vice president for development.
Well, yes, they are appalled; but it seems to be common that they are much more happy about being "appalled" by the actions of someone with whom they have already disassociated themselves. Witness their immediate FIRING of commentator Juan Williams, who said (in his capacity as a private citizen, NOT as an employee of NPR) something which was decidedly not "touchy-feely":

Attacks by conservatives on NPR gained momentum last year when analyst Juan Williams was fired for saying on Fox News that he feels uncomfortable when he sees people in "Muslim garb" on airplanes. Schiller defends the Williams firing in the video.
The interview was secretly filmed on Feb. 22, 2011, in an exchange with two men who (falsely) represented themselves as Muslims who were offering a donation of five million dollars, from a source which repeatedly described their organization which was "originally founded by "... the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood".

It was a sting operation, and that sting hurt the image of NPR and its leadership.
During the interview, Schiller accused Republicans (especially the Tea Party) as being "not intellectual" and "Racist, racist". He also accused Jews of "running the newspapers".

Curiously, Schiller also made the statement that NPR didn't need Federal support, and in fact he would personally embrace any decision which resulted in discontinuing governmental funding because it would allow NPR to be more "independent".

One wonders how much more "independent" NPR could be, or how much more flagrantly they could espouse recorded opinions which allows the leadership to "like" the appellation of "National Palestinian Radio".

The article includes a link to NPR PRESS (which, at this time, makes no reference to the interview), and also to the organization --- Project Veritas -- which made the film ... and includes damning excerpts in their plea for funding.

Yes, it's always about money. And politics.

Frankly, I'm not impressed by either NPR or the muck-rakers who exposed them.

On the other hand, the muck-rakers aren't getting $90,000,000 of my taxes every year to support their politics ... and if they do, it's not because I have no say in how my tax dollars are spent.

Perhaps I should also write an article complaining about how my union (SEIU) is taking nearly a thousand dollars a year from my paycheck for "Fair Share" to support their liberal politics.

But then, I'm retiring in another six weeks, so I can probably afford to speak up then without the thread of bone-breakers hunting me down like the running-dog Capitalist that I am.

It isn't easy, being Geek.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Saint Christopher

In 1998 I graduated from College.

I also got married.

Six days after my marriage, I reported to the Selective Service Induction Center in Portland, Oregon. I was assigned to the U.S. Army, and reported to Fort Lewis, Washington for Basic Training.

I spent three months in Basic, and another three months in Advanced Infantry School, all at Fort Lewis.

Then I was selected for Non Commissioned Officer School (NCOC) at Fort Benning, Georgia. This program, also known as "Instant NCO School", and "Shake 'n Bake", because it replaced years of experience normally required to achieve NCO status with a six-month program of intensive training and challenge, supposedly with the goal of providing needed SKILLS (note: not experience) required of a NCO.

I graduated in April of 1969 as an Honor Graduate (Staff Sergeant: grade E6) and immediately transferred to Fort Anniston, Alabama for On The Job (OJT) training. The duties there were to become a member of the training cadre at a Basic Training Company.

Having successfully completed the OJT portion of my NCO training, I was granted 3 months leave, which my wife and I used visiting friends and family between Alabama and Oregon.

In September, 1969, I reported to a Replacement and Transfer unit in Oakland, California, from which I was shipped (by air ... almost as Air Freight) to Vietnam. I was an 11B40 ... Infantry NCO.

Before I shipped out, my sister threw a "Going Away" party for me at her house in Eugene, Oregon. This was typified by heavy drinking and dancing, and my insistance upon constantly replaying "Vietnam Blues" (also known as "Feelin' Like I'm Fixin' to Die" by Country Joe and the Fish. )

Well, that was the feeling in the country when I was scheduled to report for duty in Viet Nam.

But my sister, bless her heart, would do everything she could think of to help me get through the war. Realistically, there wasn't much that she COULD do, but she reached deep into her faith and gave me the only shield available to her: a Saint Christopher Medal.

The Patron Saint of Travellers was as much as she could do at the time, so she gave me the medal on a silver chain and I was touched by her thoughtfulness.

I reported to the First Infantry Division, centerd at the Division Base in Dian, in III Corps, a few miles from Saigon.

After a week of "in country training", reviewing all of the tactics I had learned in Advanced Infantry and NCO school, I was assigned to 3rd Platoon, Lima Company, 1/16, 1ID. They needed a Platoon Sgt., and I was the closest to a "Platoon Sgt." available at the time. (This slot is usually assigned to an E7, but those "upper ranking" NCO's were usually assigned to positions such as Supply Sgt., Company First Sgt., and other essential positions.)

Knowing nothing about war except for what I had been told, I was choppered into my company Area of Responsibility near Thunder Road (Hiway 13) north and east of Saigon.

When I arrived at my Company Area "In the Rear", it was late in the afternoon, so I was given the rest of the day to get my gear squared away, draw ammunition, a weapon (M16A2), field gear (Alice Pack), rations and water. I was briefed on Division Policy ... which essentially was that they told me 1ID and 1/16 policy was that we worked as a company in the field, and existed on a light pack with 2-3 days rations and water with 'frequent' resupply by helicopters.

At 7am the next day, I was waiting at the chopper pad when a 3-bird "resupply flight" of Hueys landed to pick up ammo, water, C-rations and incidental "stuff". In fact, it wasn't until the end of the 30-minute flight that I learned I was to be inserted into a "Hot LZ" (Landing Zone), and the company was under fire from "unknown enemy forces". (That is, they didn't know if the North Vietnamese Army ... NVA ... or Viet Cong ... VC ... were shooting at them. Typically, they hadn't seen the enemy; they only knew that somebody was shooting at them.

This was typical of my entire tour of duty. We Deal in GHOSTS, Friend!

The chopper was loaded with a pilot and copilot, a Crew Chief and a Door Gunner, and a stack of C-ration cases four feet high and wide. The Door Gunner was chatty, and told me that his favorite sport was to machine-gun Water Buffalo in Rice paddies. (Was I on the wrong side here?)

As I was landed in a small clearing, it wan't until I jumped out of the door of the grounder chopper that I realized that I was hanging onto my M16 with one hand, and my St. Christopher Medal with the other.

It must have worked. As soon as we were re-supplied, we grabbed our still-boxed supplies and loaded onto another flight ... an eagle Flight this time (five choppers plus gunships for protection) and lifted out to another area ... the Heart Shaped woods.

I and the small group I was attached to were on the last of 3 flights to lift off. (It was a Company Size Operation .. one of the few where the entire company was involved in a single battle, during my entire tour of duty. At the time, I had no idea how unique and important this operation was.) Just before our choppers landed, one of the 5 men I was attached to declared that he thought the incoming fire was coming from a woodline across an open field from us. He was carring an M72 LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon ... a rocket in a disposable tube) and he was going to fire the LAW at the woodline just before the last chopppers landed. He was forbidden to fire the LAW without permission from a 'superior'. Having no desire to have our lift-off chopper be downed by enemy fire, I readily gave him permission! The rocket, having been fired, hit the base of the trees in the opposing woodline. I didn't understand how well-placed the shot was, until I much later tried to hit a woodline as commander of a tank.

We lifted off successfully, and in 20 minutes joined the rest of the company at our "cold" LZ in the Heart Shaped Woods ... another area where the VC was usually in command. We were lucky this time, not having taken fire upon landing. There I met the Company Commander and learned that his chopper (the one which had left our old position immediately before mine) had received fire upon extraction. He reported that several rounds impacted upon the floor of the cargo compartment, but had passed through without significant damage to the machinery and NO injuries to crew or cargo. The cargo, of course, was the CO and the HQ cadre.

The St. Christopher Mojo was apparently working for all of us.

When we landed and disembarked at our new LZ (cold), we first grabbed our resupply, then waded through a hip-deep swamp for about 50 yards. The 2nd Squad RTO (Radio Telephone Operator, or "Kilo") lost his SOI during the crossing. The SOI is Strategic Operational Information .. or the codebook to all of our radio callsigns, one-time codebook, and other highly secret information. We spent 10 minutes searching for the swamp and finaly the Company Commander (Captain Determan) made the call: if we couldnt' find it with a company of men searching for it, knowing that it was somewhere inside the 2-acre swamp, Charly was unlikely to happen upon it by accident.

Besides, if Charley was in the area he knew where we had landed, and an extended search would only draw his attention. That is, if we were obviously searching for 'something', then that 'something' would obviously be important to us. Charley would not quit searching until he found it. The codebook was "administratively" declared "irretreviably lost" and the search was abandoned.

We took our ration cased and 2-gallon water jugs to the opposite shore, and broke them down. That is, we uncrated the C-rations and distributed them, along with the water and the ammo and the sundaries packs and incidental resupply (some uniform parts and one pair of boots) and radio batteries among the company. Some of it was random and equal distribution; the battery packs went to the RTOs; the uniform replacements and the boots went to those company members who had reported uniform components which were too damaged and/or worn to be sufficient to their purpose. Curiously, this was the only time when I saw boots and uniforms replaced in the field. Apparently, it had been a hard campaign so far. I was grateful that I had missed the worst of it, and once again I realized that I was gripping my St. Christopher Medal.

We dug a fire pit wherein we dumped the unselected C-rations, along with the old radio batteries, and discarded uniform parts (trousers, blouses) and disintegrating Jungle Boots. We added a few quarter-pound segments of C4 explosives to provide initiating fire to the discards, and to provide sufficient heat so that the discarded C-ration tin cans would burst. We also included incidental discards .. jelly and peanut-butter tins, which were extremely flamable under the great head from the C4, and would add to the indendary nature of the fire.

Then we moved out, along the perimeter of the Heart Shaped Woods.

It's worth noting that the Heart Shaped Woods was actually a several-acre area populated by chest-high brush. It was impossible to move through, except for a few animal-created trails. The general consensus was that ALL of the trails were mined and /or booby-trapped, which was the reason why Charley owned the area, and we avoided any attempts to cross it. The 1ID burned the woods occasionally, but that only made the next growth richer, taller and thicker. Recent division policy, I learned, was to avoid passing through or attempting to irradicate the intrinsic cover and concealment afforded to Charley (VC -- Viet Cong or "Victor Charley"). Instead, we would patrol the fringes from time to time, and if Charley chose to engage American Troops. we would call in artillary and/or Air Support and eradicate the woods. And Charley. With no expectation thta we could win and "own" the Heart Shaped Woods.

In the meantime, we were content to patrol the fringes, at irregualr intervals, as the mood struck our commanders.

Observant Charley, of course, was already fully convercent with the basic Tactical Response: "Observe, Evaluate, React". He had decided to mine the fringes, in the hopes of decimating our infrequent patrols.

So it was that, three hours after I had truly entered the "Twilight Zone" of Combat Vietnam, the man immediately behind me in the single-file formation that was Charley Company circumvating the Heart Shaped Woods raised his voice and one finger and said: "Excuse Me, Platoon Sergeant?"

Everyone in the range of his voice stopped, and I turned to see what he had to say.

"Uh, Sarge, I think I got caught up in something. I think it's a booby trap."

I moved back near his position 10 feet behind me, knelt to look at the ground where he was standing. Sure enough, there was a web of thin wire around his boots, a couple of strands tangled up in the laces of his combat boots. There was just enough of the wire (held 3" above the ground level so it would easily be caught by a slow-stepping infantry-man) which was obviously part of a booby-trap.

I carefully remove the wires from the trooper's boots, got him OUT of there, and then called for the Tiger Scout.

The Vietnames Chu Hoi took a look, said "yep, that's a booby trap", and told us to get out of the immediate area.

He set a Claymore Mine over the trap (apparently a three-some of American hand-granades with the trip-wires attached to the pull-pins) and blew it up from a safe distance. No obvious secondary explosions, but we couldn't find grenades later, so we assumed that they had exploded,

And yes, I found myself again clutching my St. Christopher Medal as if it were indeed a direct limk to God ... who knows He had not obviously andswered any of my prayers "directly", but I had indeed been very very fortunate this first day in the field.


A few m0nths later, I had become much more "comfortable" in the field, and much more confident of my ability to lead. We all looked out for each other, and as my platoon learned that I would look out for them, they assumed the responsibility for looking out for me, too.

After about five months, the silver chain on my St. Christopher Medal finally broke. I suppose it was, in part, because the web-harness for my equipment was sufficiently heavy that eventually the accumulated stress on the light chain overstressed the material. I was fortunate, though, that the medal itself got caught in the folds of my uniform and equipment, so I saved the most important part: the medal itself.

That night, one of my platoon showed me how to braid a boot-lace into a 'chain". I laced the center of the lace through the pierced ring of the medal, and created a 20" chain with the medal at the center. Then I put it around my neck, and one of the platoon members 'melted' the nylon lace with a butayne lighter, so there was no chance that it would fall off.


After a few months, I was eventually rotated to "the rear", which means I was reassigned to the administrative position of "Labor NCO" of the Headquarters Company of the 25th Infantry Division. (The 1ID had rotated out, leaving me to be assigned to a new division .. "Tropical Lightening".)

Life became delightfully boring from that point on. We had no attacks on the base on Cu Chi. I had been promised a post of Senior NCOIC at Division HQ, but that fell through. It was a matter of Tripical Low-Expectations for the rest of my tour. Showers every day, assigned to share a hooch with a guy who worked in what was essentally a "Human Resources" department (and if I ever get to hear from Gary Grant again, it would make my day!)

There were no drills, no emergencies, nobody was shooting at me and I even got a second bronze star ... as nearly as I can tell, because I didn't get shot. We had Philipino bands coming by every week to serenade us with their version of "Innagadda de Vida" and the most excitement came from (1) somebody got an aviation Parachute Flare and tried to disassemble it in their barracks, with the resulting spectatular pyrotechnics of the burning of the barracks; (2) There was an investigation of the tendency for Labor NCOs to bring vietnamese hookers on the base for the comfort of the troops; (3) the Division Top Sgt's hooch maid was found to be hooking all over the base, so the Labor NCO of HQ Division (who "took care" of the situation) was give a very good performance review by the HQ Company C.O. (who also had a "personal Hooch Maid"), and (4) there was not a single attach on the base during this period.

The only truly significant even was that, one week before I was scheduled to DEROS (Date Estimated Return from Over Seas), I was taking my daily shower and discovered that the St. Christopher Medal was no longer attached to my home-made Combat-Boot Lace Necklace.

I searched the entire shower area. Asked all of the troops and the Vietnames Laborers to be on the lookout for it. For four days, the business of the Headquarters Company of the 25th Infantry Division was distracted by the imperative to look for my Saint Christopher's Medal.

But to no avail ... I was never able to find, or cause to be found, the good-luck charm given to me by my sister, one year ago.

[Not that my sister had been lax in her attention: during the past year, she had arranged to have my combat platoon 'adopted' by her church youth group. so every man in the platoon received at least one letter per week during their period of service, and many of them received letters even after their DEROS; on Christmas of 1969, the church sent no less than 3 live Christmas Trees to the platoon, along with a 20' wide banner stating "WE LOVE YOU!" in bright red letters; and CARE packages containing food and other treats were regularly sent to my troops.]

Stull, when it came time for me to take that big silver bird back to The World, I no longer had my Saint Christopher Medal to keep me safe.

So I guess God decided I didn't need any "extra help" to get through the Bad Year. Except for one thing:

On the plane flight from Viet Nam to Oakland, California, the civilian staff of the commercial airline (United, if I recall correctly) broke up the monotony of the 9 hour flight between Tan Son Hut and Guam with a lottery. Every man on the plane contributed one dollar, and wrote his name of the bill. The stewardesses put them all in a big plastic bag, and drew the 'winning dollar' to see who got the contributions.

They drew my name.

One dollar invested, $85 returned .. no tax, no problems, it was all gravy. I bought my maximum amouth of duty-free booze at the Guam airport, and still had most of the winnings left to buy a room at Oakland the next night while I waited for my flight to Oregon.

I still had the bootlace necklace around my neck, and I caught myself grabbing for the medal even though it had been left behind in Vietnam.

Perhaps God decided I didn't need it any more. Or maybe it was all just superstition.

All I know is that it was a source of support, in a land where the only tangible support was the troops and support forces who never really knew who I was.

And perhaps it was all in my mind; I needed to believe that some greater power was watching over me.

The fact remains that I made it through a year in Viet Nam; a year which I never expected to survive. I was absolutely astounded when that Great Silver Bird lifted off the runway of Ton Son Hut Airbase without being downed by mortar fire.

So perhaps faith, or "Faith", has some power which I had never before (and never sence) acknowledged, or believed in.

On the other hand, I spent a significant amount if my Tour of Duty reaching for, or clutching the Saint Christopher Medal. I'm not going to say that it made a difference. I'm only going to say that I never had any true faith before, yet I went through firestorms, firefights, incoming shrapnell (both friendly and "otherwise"), misery and agony for 12 months. I saw friends and comrads die or become disabled by bullets, bombs and even a "Step-and-A-Half" viper ... but only one man under my direct command actually died.

The worst injury that I even encurred was Bamboo Poisoning, and the sorese finally cleared up about 8 years later. I can live with that.

I've never replaced that Saint Christopher Medal. In the past 40 years, I've never found myself in a situation where I needed one, as much as I did then.

Thank, Sis. I owe you one.
Update: March 8, 2011

Seems as if I'm not the only one to take such comfort "wherever we can find it".

Friday, March 04, 2011

Blog: "Squeal Like A Piggy!"

From Yesterday's Comments:

Bob Harrison:
Has your blog site been taken over by a malovent bug? It keeps flipping over to an advert to some 2d Amendement advertiser. It will do this 3 or 4 times in a row. Very annoying.

My response:

I installed the newest version of Mozilla Firefox last night. I now
cannot use Firefox as my browser ... it locks up. Look forward to my
re-intalling the old version Real Soon Now.

However, I've also
encountered the same problem in IE, which is related to the "RING" network to which I have subscribed for some 3 years. Recently, I've experienced the same problem, even in the old Firefox.

The solution is to use the back-button, which will take you back to the Geek Screen you started on. I've not seen it re-occur after that.

I agree, this is a bug and a particularly obnioxious one, at that.

My plan is to contact the ring-net sponsor and complain. Then to discontinue my membership, "anyway". It was originally intended to provide readers with a simple way to view other 2nd-amendment and shooting-oriented websites even though I had not included the link in my sidebar. It is no longer serving the original purpose because, as you have described, it takes you to a new webpage whether you wish or not.

Just between you and me, I think it's a Liberal conspiracy.

My apologies to readers who have encountered the same problem, and have not reported it. As I said, I have noticed that, but I discounted the phenomena as a Firefox problem, and ignored it. Now that I know it's not something that only I have noted, I can take steps to resolve the problem.

And if YOU see any other problems with the blog, I encourage you to let me know so I can take steps to resolve the issue(s).

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Crazy Tank Runaway

YouTube - Worlds Wildest Police Videos - Crazy Tank Runaway

In this video, a drunk steals a tank and goes on a "walk-about" through San Diego.

This is what tanks look like, and this is just a minor perspective on what tanks can do.

They're big, they're loud, they're powerful, they're scary (on both sides of the armor plate). They're a rolling pill-box. A man with a gun has NO defense against them.

On the other hand, they're fragile; they're so complicated to operate that one would find their operation is not intuitively obvious.

Segue, Vietnam, September 1969 - September 1970. You are there.
Or at least, I am.

I do remember working with a Tank Squadron (3/4 11th ACR ... Armored Calvary Regiment) while I was serving as an infantry Platoon Sgt with the 1st ID. Later, about halfway through my tour, the 1ID returned to the U.S. Since I had only half my tour completed, I was reassigned to the 25th Infantry Division ("Tropical Lightening").

The 25ID didn't know what to do with me. Since I was an E6 (Staff Sgt) they decided to try me in the only open slot available to my rank; tank commander.

I had ridden on tanks and worked with tankers for much of the tour so far, but I had no idea how to use a tank except as support to Infantry operations.

I lasted one day as a tank commander.

On the first day, I was briefed by my tank crew in Tanker Operations. The crew included me as TC, a Gunner, and a Driver. Either of the other two guys knew more than I would ever know about tanks, so they gave me instructions:

"Here is your helmet. It's connected by the radio on squadron frequency, and by intercom. Push forward on the helmet-control to talk on the intercom, push backward to talk on the radio."

Or was it the other way around. I never could remember.

They also gave me one more important set of instructions:
"As the Tank Commander, you will ride in the turret. Oh, and this grip-lever in the TC position? It fires the Main Gun. Whatever you do, don't touch it!"

We drove around for a half-day with the rest of the squadron, and then the Squadron Commander decided (I assume) to see how well I functioned as a TC. Either that, or he was just bored and wanted to have some fun.

I received a call to fire on the woodline to the right, which was suspected of harboring VC ... or so he said.

Not being entirely stupid, I had the driver stop, and face right.

Being just stupid enough not to ask the obvious questions (How do you aim the gun from the TC Cupola?), I just ... lowered the gun to what I thought might possibly be the appropriate elevation, ensured by sight that the gun was pointing in the general direction of the woodline, and touched it off.


Oh wow, that is SO awesome!

You have never lived until you have been entirely certain that you have the equivalent of the Biggest Gun in the Hood!

Unfortunately, I was aimed just a little bit high. The target was about 200 yards away. I absolutely devastated the very tops of the trees.

The Squadron Commander said: "Nice job, you killed a bunch of trees. No VC in there".

I replied: "I'm Infantry. Beg to report, no snipers remain in those trees!"

On the other hand, I probably pushed the push-to-talk switch the wrong way, so I'm not sure if the Squadron commander heard my smart-mouth reply, but I'm pretty sure my "crew" did.

Fortunately, later in the day my tank was down-graded for a bad road-wheel. We went back to the camp and we started to replace the road-wheel, which was estimated to take 3-4 days.

I am sure the road wheel was bad. I'm pretty sure the Squadron Commander didn't just decide his squadron was safer without Sgt. Geek commanding one of his tanks.

Since I know nothing about tanks, and I am not mechanically inclined, I made a deal with the crew. They would do the work, and I would stand permanent watch. Which means that I slept in the day (for the next 3 days), and they sleep at night while I stood their watch on the Berm in the Night Defensive Position (NDP).

When the tank was repaired, I was reassigned.

They got a bunch of other infantry guys from 1ID-to-25ID transfer, and they had us assigned as "ride-alongs". When the tanks would Lager Up, my squad of infantry "attached" would go out and set up booby-traps on the likely avenues of approach.

I liked booby traps, but they didn't have sufficient materials (a plastic spoon and a clothes-pin, if it matters) to build the Good Kind of initiators. So I had to use the "two pieces of copper wire with a slip-joint", which was the Not So Good Kind of initiators.

The idea was, when someone walking down the trail hit the tripwire, it pulled the bare-wire loop of one wire (the wires were insulated; the loops were bare) to the bare-wire loop of the other wire. The insulated part of the wires were inserted through the bare-wire loops of each wire, and it was a loose slip-joint which was VERY easy to slide together. When the bare-wire loops came in contact the circuit was complete and the Claymore mines blew the heck up .. big-time!

It's not worth the effort to illustrate, and I know it's not intrinsically obvious. Just assume that the Good Kind was fairly fool-proof and required a POSITIVE pull on the trip-wire; the Not-So-Good Kind was very fragile, and subject to the effects of wind and gravity. Far from my first choice, but one must when the Devil drives.

On the 3rd night I set up a two-claymore mine trap on a major trail, and hid the initiator in the bushes. An hour after I set it up, the wind came up and started blowing the bushes around ... which touched off the initiator.


"Sorry, guys. Too dark to set up another booby trap. We'll just go 100% alert for tonite okay? Go ahead and sack out on your usual watch rota, we'll just set up an ambush along the trail. If you hear firing in the night, check in with me before you start shooting main guns along the trail, please."

We got through that night without any problems (eg: no attacks), and the next day they assigned me as Labor NCO to the 25th Infantry Division Headquarters at Cu Chi.

I spent the rest of my tour as "Labor NCO" in the 25ID HQ company hiring Vietmese girls to clean hooches for officers and NCO's in the company, and never went into the field again. Which is a whole other story.

But here's the point of this story:
I never knew for sure what model tank we were working with, but for 40 years I've been curious.

I thought they were Sheridans, but that would have made them the M551 Sheridan .. but the gun is too stubby, it's now that I remember.

I thought they were M60's, would have made them the M60 variant of the Patton tank. Looks right, gun is right. But only a few of them were assigned in Vietnam. Yes, some to the 11ACR (Eleventh Armored Regiment, "Blackhorse"), but I gather only in 1/1 11ACR, which was outside our area. We worked with the 3/4 11ACR.

I've decided that these were probably M48 Patton Tanks, with the 105mm main gun, which sounds about right. (Yes, I think I recall that the barrel had a flash-hider attachment.)

Understanding that this all happened over 40 years ago, I'm just wondering if there is a reader who can definitively state what version of tank we may have been using, at that place, at that time.

Anyone? Show of hands, please?