“I arrived in Vietnam in March 1965 with a new Helo, the CH-46. It had to be adapted for use in Vietnam. We flew all kinds of missions, but the combat missions were when you got shot at and you were allowed to shoot back. We were not allowed to shoot back without asking. The only time we had the right to shoot back right off the bat was if the mission had been assigned as a combat mission or free kill zone.
“So many of the policies and procedures in Vietnam were ridiculous. It was an endless cycle. In previous wars, if you took a place, you kept it. But in Vietnam, we never did that as a rule. We’d take it then draw back and then the VC would go right back into the void we left. So we fought the same war over and over again.
“Despite the futility of the situation, I had only one goal and one goal only: to get myself and my fellow Marines back home. It had nothing to do with who was right or wrong. The only thing that was important was: Don’t leave anyone behind.”