Orienting the new "Boot"
To Incoming
By Marty Hauser

Well, it was one of those rare days when my buddy, Dan and I got to go to Dong Ha for the day. You know how that goes -- once the guys know you're going to the rear, they start giving you their orders for things they need from the PX, laundry to be taken or picked up, film to be taken for developing, etc. While we were waiting for the morning mine sweep to clear the road to Cam Lo, we took everyone's orders. Once we got to Dong Ha, we did our thing, but before leaving, we always checked at the transit hooch for new boots going back to the Btry.

This particular day, we had a new boot for maintenance. He got his gear, got into the back of the 3/4 ton and we headed back to C-2. If you remember, when you got in country, no one talked to you much or explained what to expect out there on the FSB. It was no different this time -- we didn't explain anything to "Red" (we named him that because he had red hair). Upon arriving at C-2, I took Red over to Top's bunker for the "new boots speech." It was around 4:00 p.m. when Top finished his little speech (back then 4:00p.m. was the typical time of day for incoming). Just as I was taking Red back to the maintenance bunker, it started. On the first round, we hit the dirt. Then I jumped up and ran for the nearest bunker. I assumed Red was behind me, but when I got to the bunker and turned around, he wasn't there. I thought to myself, s__t, where the hell did this guy go? I had to find him, so I started going from bunker to bunker to look for him, but had no luck. Then, it occurred to me that the only place I hadn't looked was the gun pits. I started checking the pits and sure enough that's where I found him hiding. We managed to get back to the maintenance bunker and when things settled down, I had a nice long talk with him. I explained to him where to hide and where not to hide when incoming is happening. From that day on, I made a point of talking to the new boots in maintenance and explaining what to do when we got incoming. I sure wish someone had done that for me.

Marty H
A Track Mech
B Btry C-2 1970