My Wartime Memory
NAME: Dennis Michael Sheppard
RANK: Specialist 4
LOCATION: Vinh Long Army Airfield South Vietnam 1970
Submitted on May 19, 2016
I was pulling perimeter guard duty, on top of a six-foot bunker, along the runway of the airfield with 3 other soldiers. Around 0200 in the morning I noticed movement along the canal. I called the OIC and asked for the night scope. Using the night scope I could see 3 Viet Cong moving along the canal stopping every so often to observe the airfield. I informed the OIC but he refused to let us discharge our weapons we were in a No Fire Zone so all we did was watch. Then around 0400 I heard the sound of mortars leaving their tubes. The first round landed next to our bunker and I was lifted in the air and felt the burning of hot metal in my body. When I hit the ground I heard a cracking sound in my neck and I passed out. When I came too I could hear the sound of gunfire so I managed to get to my feet and join in the fire fight as the enemy tried to get through the wire. This is one of the many events I have remembered that makes up my PTSD. I was awarded a Purple Heart 36 years later.