Welcome to Nam 
by Capt Jerry Orr

I was new in-country and assigned to the TOC (Tactical Operations Center).  My first “field duty” was being assigned to “OP Lola” overlooking Cambodia.  I was a typical “new guy”, more commonly called “FNGs”, and was just learning the ropes from scratch.

 The NCOIC was a real friendly fella, pointing all the things we were doing there at this Outpost, the reports we had to complete for briefings, and mostly looking out for any activity on the ground.

 After a very thorough review of the duties and expectations, it was getting late.  About 2330 hrs, I told the Sarge that I’d be heading to the bunker to get some sleep.  Or so I thought.

Around 0300hrs is when it began.  PING! BAM! KA-POW! It woke me up and I ran to the OP.  I asked Sarge, “What the hell is going on?”  

Sarge calmly looked at me and said, “Well, Captain…this happens almost every night.  The NVA likes to remind us that they are out there and they start shooting at us.”  

Then, those fateful words slipped out: “Ya mean REAL bullets???”  

The word got around fast; they never let me live that down!”

Submitted by

Capt (Major) Jerry Orr