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By Bruce Olson

It might be forty – some years after the war, but I still remember when this photograph was taken!  That’s me on the left and Pat Lisi on the right.  We were a couple of really sharp and squared away Marines back there in Vietnam where this shot was taken.  The picture was taken in late April, 1969 out in the “Arizona Territory” which was north of our base camp, An Hoa.

As you can easily tell the day was hot and sticky.  This shot was actually taken just after we had broken ‘camp’ from the night before and were getting ready to head out on patrol.  The day only got hotter and more humid from there.

I was a sergeant (E-5) and Lisi was a corporal (E-4).  I was what is known as the platoon sergeant, although under normal circumstances in the Corps a platoon sergeant is supposed to be a staff sergeant (E-6).  Lisi was the platoon guide then which is actually supposed to be a job held by an E-5 sergeant.  In other words, we were undermanned and got assigned to different positions within the company as needed.  But, that’s what Marines do, right?  We adapt and overcome.

A month after this shot was taken our company ran into some awful shit, and both Lisi and I were wounded in action.  He got to stay in the bush with a couple dozen other ‘walking wounded’, because their injuries were not bad enough to have them take up precious space on a medevac helicopter.  I was seriously wounded and was sent out of the country for a few weeks to recuperate, and then I went back to Nam to finish out my (2nd) tour.  It’s many years later, now, and time has healed a lot of wounds, both physical and otherwise.

But, I wanted to post this old photo of us.  I found it among some other junk that I save from the Vietnam War.  Semper Fidelis to all you old Marines out there, and the same goes for all you other veterans, too!  Hey, if any of you are still ‘hurtin’ and need some assistance, especially if you are from Southern Utah and need aid, call my old Marine buddy Pat Lisi at Southern Utah Vets Aid and he’ll help you out.  His number is 435-215-3090 and he lives in Ivins Utah which is right next to St. George, Utah.

 

 

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