by Lance Corporal, Floyd Ruggles 1st Reconnaissance Battalion.
(coming soon to this website)
I'm thinking back to a time in 1969 when I was on a mission in Elephant Valley. A day that time stopped for me. It seems like yesterday for this proud Marine.
A company sized unit of North Vietnamese moved around me, four or five feet to my right and ten to twenty feet to my left on a winding trail. One by one they moved past me , one by one. As a twig snapped and one of the North Vietnamese turns and looks at me. Time stopped. His eyes seem to be searching for me. This moment was an eternity for me. Then, the enemy moved past me with packs on their backs, their weapons shouldered, carrying heavy arms and equipment. I could almost make out the serial numbers on their RPGs. Fifty or sixty NVA passed me and my team by that day and moved off into the bush. Not a shot was fired, not one shot was fired that day.
To all my brothers with painted faces. What a somber place it seems to be looking back at that river in Elephant Valley on that summer day. The enemy passed our team by that day. All of us recon Marines walked on through the elephant grass,crossed the river and moved to higher ground. Not a man was lost. Lt Riley and our radio operator, Pfc Tom Harkens called for artillery. The artillery rained down on the other side of the river. My mind wandered back to that place and that winding trail.
As Iím thinking back today to that day and time when not a shot was fired in Elephant Valley I do thank you my brotherís with painted faces from Company B. All my children and grandchildren also thank you.
This story is dedicated to a gung ho bunch of Marines from 1ST RECON. Thanks for the good times, my brothers.
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