Category Archives: Vietnam

The Incident

For all of you who have hung in there on this blog, my heartfelt thanks! I have not died, nor become incapacitated, I’ve just been busy writing. Not in the political vein, too much stress, especially these days. I’m continuing my book, Powerless No Longer, and have started to peck away at a memoir, that I’m choosing to do partially in story form. One of the stories is below. It’s a fictionalized version of an incident that happened during the early stages of the Vietnam War. I know it’s a true story, because I was there on the bridge, and talked with the two fellows’ years later. Enjoy!

The Incident

August, 1966, aboard the USS Ronald F. McLean (DD 813) — somewhere off the coast of Vietnam

At 2030, I was right in the middle of a heated game of follow-the-bitch with some guys down in the engineering spaces, when the 1MC crackled to life with the familiar “BONG, BONG, BONG! GENERAL QUARTERS, GENERAL QUARTERS, ALL HANDS MAN YOUR BATTLE STATIONS, THIS IS NOT A DRILL!” Rinse, repeat.

We threw down our cards, jumped to our feet, and scrambled for the ladder heading topside. Well, I did pause for a moment to snatch the score sheet, after all, we played hearts for a nickle-a-point, and I was ahead. At the top of the ladder, we each went our separate ways. I was headed for the bridge wing; the game had been in the after engine room, two decks below the main deck, and five decks below where I needed to be. Continue reading