When I Was Stranded in Khe Sanh Valley
With a Deadlined Jeep - Alone!
By Jack L. Gibson

I drove two officers into Khe Sanh Valley in a jeep. Our purpose for this very first wheels in the Valley mission was to determine a strategic location to set up our battery the next week when we moved the whole unit. The elephant grass was about 8 feet high so we could not see where we were driving very well. Then we fell off in a trench with both front wheels and the frame hit the ground. This trench was the trench the Marines dug around Khe Sanh in 1968. It was 3 feet wide and 4 feet deep. These two officers radioed for a chopper to pick them up and left me there all alone with only an M-16 to defend myself. Are you starting to get the picture. I'm the only "mother" in the Valley. Not the "meanest," but the "only!" I don't mind saying, I was scared. Especially after hearing the officers talk about how the marines got their ass kicked here in 1968. My first thoughts were to get this jeep out of the trench. The only thing under the front wheels was air. Four feet of it. So I thought to myself, I'll take the sand bags out of the jeep (road mine sand bags already filled) then I jacked up the jeep and put the sand bags under the wheels. It worked! I cranked up the jeep and drove that SOB right off the jack. I was now out of the trench and proceeded to put the sand bags back in the floorboards of the jeep. I quickly took a view of my perimeter and selected a noel to look for "Charlie." In the 8 foot grass I hoped finding me would be like finding a needle in a Whey stack.