The common denominator in my part of Vietnam was red mud. Even the puddles were the consistency and color of barn paint. My little family of medics was spread out among three combat units and once a month or so our battalion surgeon would stop by for a visit. He came down the stairs of my medical aide bunker and pulled a crate over to the litter that I had stretched between two sandbag walls. I was stitching up a soldier's cut leg, standing in about three inches of squishy red Jell-O. Mud--some of it dried, most of it not quite--was on everything. The only clean things were the cut, my surgical gloves and tools, and my M-16, hanging on the wall next to the stretcher. The patient sat stoically, smoking a cigarette, and when I was done he grunted appreciatively and slid off the litter.
Lundy," the surgeon said, "your mother would be proud of that seam work. An that rifle is a work of art also."
In the common world of weapons and red mud it was as clean and oiled as a bathed baby.
EXCERPT from "Hunting the Sun - A Passion for Grouse" by our own Ted Nelson Lundrigan, Medic 8th Bn 4th Arty.