fdelano Posted November 23, 2011 Share Posted November 23, 2011 Pairs of teenage boys bounced 150 pound packs, slung between them on a pole, its length perfect for the rhythm that shifts the weight up and down to average 70 pounds or nothing for each black-clad boy to bear. They walked the ancient "Old Man’s Trail," winding with the terrain, fixed rest stops for rice and tea. They had not been warned of the dangers of bombs from planes unseen, but they would fear their sergeant more than any tales of danger. Six month’s of training and culling produced teams of hard-muscled and mentally prepared load bearers, intent on never shaming themselves or their comrades without weapons. Arms and other supplies they hauled for uncounted miles, watching the ground and their used tires sandals, threading along the trail at the foot of kharsts and across slat and rope bridges, spans that were repaired almost daily. Those that survived, returned, passing new units that continued the march like caterpillars along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Now the survivors are old men with white beards and memories, wearing the same type of black pajamas and rubber flip-flops on their feet. Little has changed except there are no more bombs. Those of us who flew the planes and rained bombs on the flow miles below, now have time to wonder what it was all for, and tote up our guesses of the number of casualties, with private body counts. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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