Your Vietnam Combat Journal
 
 
Jerry shown with unpublished manuscript
"They Called Us Currahees"

 

Many Americans recall with pride the accomplishments of the fighting men of World War II, who are often referred to as “The Greatest Generation”, but do not realize that another generation of fighting men would emerge to continue the legacy of their World War II predecessors and carry its tradition of valor and honor once again to the battlefield in the continuing struggle to protect freedom in the world. Among this new generation of fighting men were the “Screaming Eagles” of the 101st Airborne who also fought, sacrificed and died for the cause of freedom while serving our country in the rice paddies and jungles of South Vietnam.

 In the bookcase at my home in Montana, I proudly display a "shadowbox" containing various military ribbons, medals, badges and awards earned during my military service  in 1967-1968.  Underneath these decorations is an engraved plate with my name and service number, followed by the caption:

 

 

 Paratrooper, Rifleman, PIO
Company A/HHC
3-506, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division,
Vietnam 1967-1968
'CURRAHEES'
 

Each of those engraved words have profound and everlasting meaning for me in so many ways.  Utmost is the camaraderie with soldiers whom I had the privilege to know and the honor to have served with in combat during the 3-506 odyssey in Vietnam, as well as those who filled the ranks and files of the battalion after I retuned home in 1968.  My military service, especially my tour of combat duty in Vietnam with the 3-506, gave me a different perspective on life.  As a result of my military training and combat experience in Vietnam, I strive to do the best job possible and be the best person I can be. 

Hundreds of men served with the famed 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 506th Infantry (Currahees), either as infantry or support members during the Vietnam Era (1 April 1967 through 15 May 1971).  Some of these soldiers, such as myself, served with the battalion in the unit beginning at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, as well as various locations in the Republic of Vietnam-- Phan Rang, Song Mao, Bao Loc, Phan Thiet, DaLat, Ban Me Thout, An Khe, Phu Bai, and Camp Eagle, including Cambodia. The 3-506 would serve in Vietnam until May 15, 1971, when the Battalion colors were encased and the Battalion was inactivated. They were professional soldiers. . .proud to "stand alone". . . they called us "Currahees."  Some Currahees went on to serve with other 101st Airborne units before returning to the U.S.          

To appreciate the role of the American soldier and his contribution to the Vietnam War, certain background information on the area of the world known as Indochina; and the sacrifices and contributions that he made is vital to his legacy.  Like so many Vietnam Veterans, his story of sacrifice and contribution will never be known to his family, especially his children and grandchildren, unless he documents it in some form of a diary or journal--which few will ever do.   In my former capacity as a platoon rifleman, combat photographer and reporter for the 3-506th, published author (five books), unit historian, and huge archive of unit history, and thousands of photos, I feel well qualified to assist any member to write his Vietnam Combat Journal.

What Would Your Vietnam Combat Journal Include?

Your Vietnam Combat Journal is the account of your personal experiences from the timeframe you were inducted into military service until you left active military service; and includes your Basic Combat Training (BCT aka "Boot Camp"), Advanced Individual Training (AIT), and combat duty in Vietnam, with personal and unit photographs, certificates, combat operations details, etc.  Simply, the factual and detailed story of your brief military service and tour of combat duty in Vietnam with the renowned "Screaming Eagles" of the 101st Airborne Division and 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 506th Infantry "Currahees".   One's combat experience in Vietnam is so personal for most that for over four decades he cannot write it himself--an experience which has had a profound affect on his life and how he has tried to live that life.

  My one year tour in Vietnam shaped who I am today and, consequently, helped shaped the character of my children. I received good and bad influences from Vietnam but, overall, it was a positive experience. I may be more cynical than I should be because of Vietnam, but I sure understand and believe in the individual spirit a lot more than I ever would have. I may have a deep distrust of politicians and political ideology because of Vietnam, but I also have a love for my country and an appreciation for what we have that I could not have received any other way.

What Would I Write About You and Your Military Service?

     As each of us look back on our tour of duty in Vietnam with the 3-506, each of us are honored to have served with the famed Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division.  For many, one big regret, however, is that they did not record their experiences--then or after returning home--nor keep in touch with fellow teammates.  With few exception, one had no idea where they were, or what operation they participated in; and after decades cannot remember the names of those around us at the time, who were closer than blood family. 
Your VCJ will begin with your induction into the military, your BCT, AIT, and any special training--OCS, Jump School, jungle training, etc. (if you had) and end (in detail) when you DEROSed and return home from Vietnam.  Each VCJ will include lots of pictures (yours and mine), your certificates (optional), newspaper articles, etc. from my archive.  When complete, I will bind and send one copy, place the original word.doc on DVD, so you can add to, revise, make copies, etc. as desired, and include an autographed copy of  "The Stand Alone Battalion" for sort of a guide.  Each and every Currahee deserves to have a personal VCJ for his legacy and for his kids, grandkids or other family members.  Here's a brief outline for your VCJ.
  • Part I of your journal begins with a short bio. of you and pre-military service years.
  • Part II begins with your induction into military service through graduation from Basic Combat Training (BCT) and any leave granted. (I have your BCT Classbook, but not maybe your class photo). 
  • Part III picks up when you report for Advance Individual Training (AIT) and through to graduation, and any leave granted (Infantry, Artillery, Medical).  (I have your AIT information).  
  • Part IV (If your next assignment was Vietnam) picks up when you depart your home and family to report for deployment to Vietnam; your arrival in Vietnam, SERTS, reporting to the 3-506th and the events, operations, etc. that occurred for remainder of that year and the following year until you depart Vietnam.
  • Part IV thru VII (If your next assignments was prior to deployment to Vietnam) picks up when you depart your home and family after leave to report for your next post or  assignment (OCS, Airborne Training, Jungle Warfare Training).  I have all those training details covered.
  • Part VIII begins with your deployment to Vietnam; your arrival in Vietnam, SERTS, reporting to the 3-506th and the events, operations, etc. for remainder of that year plus the following year until you depart Vietnam.

 Note;  If you were wounded in Vietnam, I will do a full write-up on your event and recovery

  • Part IX begins when you arrive on the west coast of the U.S., leave home with family and friends, and processing out of active military service, unless reassignment and new post.
  • Part X is conclusion, your reflections on your Vietnam Experience and a brief summary of life after Vietnam.
 
For most, we truly miss the guys we served with and so close to.  Our military service, especially our tour of duty in Vietnam with the 3-506 and possibly other units, gave us a different perspective on life.  As a result of our military training and combat experience in Vietnam, the majority of us have strived to do the best   job possible and be the best person we can be.  With a personal combat journal, one can leave a proud legacy  of historical fact to his children, grandchildren, and all future descendants.  It is for them to know his life path and decide whether or not he was worthy in deeds and accomplishments to walk before them.  He will forever be proud to have served as a member of the 3-506th. 
    Would you like to have a personal Vietnam Combat Journal to leave for your children and grandchildren?   If  you do and would like for me to write one for you, using yours and my material, contact me.  With my assistance, I am able to put all the significant pieces of your Vietnam Combat Journal together in order to reflect on those unforgettable months and years of your military service.

            What Would It Cost?

I am asking just $300 to create your Vietnam Combat Journal and if you had a “ghost writer” off the internet to write such, they charge around $1200-$1500...AND they don’t have 75 percent of the personal and unit  information that I have on you and our battalion.  And, a ghost writer would need to contact me to get that significant details and material. 
Now, I realize that for some of you betting on the wrong teams over the holidays, especially my Denver Broncos and  "Bama", your "play budget" may be low, so here's a couple options to consider, if you want that VCJ.

Jerry in Montana

 

Options

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