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Shellshocked

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Journal Entry #1.

We're deployed out in Vietnam for the first time against the NVA. I don't know what to expect. We're marines, but this is the first combat deployment I have had. I hear the grim stories of war and battle from some of the guys who have been in longer. They're called the "old breed". Ironic name for men who aren't even past 25. Back home, the anarchists are burning their draft cards in protest. I chose to enlist. When I got in and hit Boot Camp, I realized what a mistake that was. The Corps is feeding, clothing, and sheltering me, though, and I didn't have those luxuries back home. 

We get dropped in with the Huey and we go straight to work. The scum in Congress think that with the death/kill ratio with the troops, the solution is to get as many men out here to fight the asian fucks. Boots on the ground and we're already getting shelled. The noise is deafening. My ears ring and hurt. I could hear men yelling to keep moving forward. So that's what we did, moved forward, right into the sound of gunfire and shells. As I turn, I see shells rip and hit the ground, and suddenly a severed hand falls right in front of me. The nerves still responding in the hand, it moves it's fingers while blood falls out from it. I turn to see a man stumped on his thighs, waving a handless arm around, screaming. His screams are deafened by the sound of shells. As we head towards the forest, we can see the NVA machine guns ripping apart our fellow troops. I watch men get ripped apart by heavy machine gun rounds, screaming to their mothers. Praying to god. We charge through the forest, braving the guns. We charge right in, shooting heads and bodies of NVA soldiers and we go for cover in the trees. Deafened by the gun fire and screams, I look for muzzle flashes on the other side and train my gun that way. I didn't even notice that the guy to my left got gunned down until his blood splattered on my glasses. Turning for that split second opened me up to a shot and I feel the lead rip through my shoulder and pass right through. I yelled, but not out of pain- more frustration. I hear, through my ringing ears, the call to move forward. Next thing I know I'm flying through the air.

Journal Entry #2

We managed to set up a forward command base in a clearing. Get a small camp together. As far as I know, I got hit by a shell and some fragments entered by body. I can still walk, run, and move. I'm worried about my shoulder, but that's the most. We're talking about heading in to clear out a bunker a few miles out. We're all very open to the idea, and the bunker would make a better outpost than this shithole. We might come across Intel. We'll head in the evening.

Journal Entry #3

I remember very little of last night. We were in the forest, moving quietly. Everything was quiet. We were a quarter mile from the bunker. The boobytrap goes off in the middle of the platoon, some explosives set off. They were watching us. I got blown back and I don't remember much. I was dizzy. It was blurry. I was numb, and could barely move. I watched as men around me were ripped to shreds, but something didn't seem right. I watched as shapes tore through them. Shadows. Bayonet charges. I don't know. I passed out. When it was over, everyone was dead. Not enough bodies to be the full platoon, so some would've run off, but a good amount of us, all dead. Ripped apart. I see cuts on the bodies at least two inches deep. Just sliced in and ripped. I see men ripped to shreds. blood all across the ground. weapons scattered. Brains across the ground. I step on them and hear them squish. The blood soaks through my boots. I stumble around and I hear the shouts of the NVA in their language. I grab a rifle, as many clips as I can, and take off through the woods. I turn and there are the shadows chasing after me. Their piercing red eyes following me. The dead soldiers I've killed. I hear the call of a vietnamese soldier and I turn to meet his eyes. 

Kid can't be older than nine and he's already got his gun trained on me. I can't risk gunning him down and having the NVA hear and pursue me, so I run at him with my bayonet. I don't think, I just do. He turns and jumps back, but I already have the blade in between his ribs. I rip the bayonet out and he cries while the blood seeps from his ribs. His cries were loud. I couldn't have him give away my position, so I knelt down, covered his mouth, and lined up the blade with his throat. I slowly slide the blade across the boy's throat, tears streaming down his eyes and blood seeping from the open wound. I hear the yells of NVA soldiers, and I decide it's time to go.

It's then that an NVA soldier grabs me, screaming into my face. His eyes are like fire, and his skin burned reddish brown. His hands around my throat. Me struggling with him. I kick him off me and go for my gun. He's gone by the time I turn around, and I only have time to look to watch the muzzle flashes of the NVA's AK-47s on me. I can't run. They see me. It's a clearing. So instead, I open fire. They bayonet charge. This makes it easier. My fully automatic M16 allows me to gun them down with ease. I hear more in the distance, and the remainder continue to fire. I sprint down the forest in a random direction. Not knowing where I was going.

Journal Entry #4

When I made it back to the command base, it was abandoned. People were dead. Gunned down. Their bodies, guns, ammunition, food, equipment, all left behind. Just, wasted. What happened last night is still a blur. I just remember running from that point. when I woke up I was in a field. I tried the radio and nothing. I checked for ammunition. Food, and I ate. All the while, these bodies, watching me. I couldn't stay there much longer. The skies were clear and that night was the last I saw of any NVA. I decided I would head out into the middle of the clearing and set off flares. I'd hide in the woods in case NVA showed up. When I reached the center, I began staking the flares in. They were like fireworks, launching with stakes in the ground. They wouldn't light on their own. I kept trying, and nothing. I had to head back for matches, or a lighter. When I turned to face the camp, their bodies... They were standing up. All of them. Looking at me. Their disfigured bodies turned to face me, bloodied and...in an instant they were only ten feet away. It was the blink of an eye. They had encircled me. Their disfigured faces, maggots crawling through their empty eye sockets. Blood and pus oozing out of their mouths, reaching out with stumps or fingerless hands. Reaching out towards me.

I had a flashback. A vision. It was too quick, but I remember falling down a hill last night in the dark. I fell into a pit. It seemed like there wasn't a way out, so I began looking for weights. I undid the straps from my pack and began cutting them into strips. I tied them together and hooked them around my knife. Then I heard the moaning. I saw shadows in the darkness, silhouettes slowly moving towards me. I gripped the knife, and the bodies moved towards me, moaning, with their fiery red eyes. Decomposing corpses of NVA troops. Maggots and worms infested and eating away their rotting flesh. Skeletal fingers and bodies thinned down. Rotting intestines like small ropes draping out of their exposed, open stomachs. Suddenly, I was tugged at the neck. Vines of the tree above us hanging me. I couldn't remove them, the decomposing bodies dragging me down against the vine, suffocating me, my eyes blurring and twitching and my hands going numb. 

When the vision ended, I was back in the clearing. There was nothing. No base, nothing. Me, standing, in the field. The only way for me to know what had happened was to return to the burial site. I didn't know what direction to head. Then I realized that my flares had launched, the stakes empty, smoke still rising from the area. Then I heard the gunfire. I ran in the opposite direction.

I staggered through the woods. It was dark, I had no idea where I was. Something was drawing me to a clearing. I stepped through the vines draping from the woods and I hit a stump.

It wasn't a stump. They were bodies. Army. Our army. I touched his body and I saw the vision of him, calling out for friends, only to turn and... I looked around, I stepped around looking for bodies... and I fell into a pit. It was filled with the bodies of my comrades, bodies of Viet Cong and I remembered. I remembered EVERYTHING. I felt the bomb go off as boobytraps fell from the trees and ripped the platoon to shreds. They ran. I was hit. They ran and were chased, shot down running. The horror came when we got separated. Falling onto a burial ground, we found horrors worse than the Viet Cong. I fell in that pit, and I saw what I saw. My team trying to help me out, tossing down a rope. They were distracted, and the Viet Cong gunned them down. They ambushed me. They took that rope and made a noose. The Viet Cong above pulled and hung me. As I was dying, I heard screams before the rope dropped. I watched as the Cong around me were yanked into the shadows. I heard screams. Then nothing. A knife fell from above and I used that as a counterweight to get out. One of them above was waiting for me. As I got up, he jumped me with his bayonet, and I struggled with him. The knife sliced across my arm and I kicked him into the pit. I did not hear him scream, yell, or do anything. When I checked on him, I did not see him. When I turned...


They found me in the clearing. Lone survivor of an entire platoon gunned down by the NVA. I never spoke of those events to anyone. They knew I had suffered, and eventually stopped asking me questions.

I'm sitting across from everyone at the fire in this camp. I've been given a gun, ready in case they attack. Locked and loaded. we're eating. I see their faces on everyone. I see them closing in. I can't kill them, but I can end this for me...



Written by Scorch933
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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