behind the darkness
more darkness
this lanternless night


The perimeters of our base in Dong Tam had to be guarded at all times to prevent enemy intrusion. This was especially important at night. Everyone on Base had their turn at guard duty, whether it was standing watch over the bay or at one of the three land perimeters. The land perimeters were the most dangerous. Teams of two stood watch. They had to be silent and refrain from using any kind of light. therwise, they would set themselves up for enemy fire. The area in front of the guardpost was planted with claymore mines and trip flares. Beyond this was the darkest darkness imaginable. The place was spooky. You would look out there and see nothing but you knew you were being watched. You couldn't relax. You didn't dare. Your weakness was the enemy's strength. Off and on during my stay in Dong Tam, the enemy fired at the guardpost. Sometimes a single pop! Other times, the rat-a- tat-tat of automatic rifle fire. Where were the politician's sons?






Vietnam Ruminations - Robert D. Wilson
Copyright Robert D. Wilson, 2003