PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
The following Reflection represents SGT Mark Reisetter’s legacy of their military service from 1969 to 1970. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life.
Which individual(s) from your time in the military stand out as having had the most positive impact on you and why?:
1SGT Robert L. Millirons (a WWII, Korean War, and 3rd-Tour Vietnam Veteran) was a bare-chested old soldier sitting against a tombstone in the lowlands of Thua Thien Province when he sounded a commanding “Troop” in my direction as I reported to my company.
When we landed where two rice-paddy dikes intersected, the Huey crew kicked out their payload and pointed me in the direction of the graveyard where my new company was kicking back.
I picked up two cases of C-Rats along with my rucksack and M-16 and walked the dike towards my company. I dropped the C-Rats and went back for more. No one came to help. I’m not sure how many trips I made, but I carried the entire company resupply, and that’s when Millirons’ order to report was heard.
“Top” offered me a Pall-Mall and gestured for me to sit. We lit up and right away he said, “I don’t know how you feel about killing another human being, but if it comes down to you and ‘Charlie,’ I hope you pull the trigger first.”
When I told him I had been drafted out of my teaching position as an English teacher at a high school in Minnesota, he said, “I don’t want to deprive you of your time online, but my company clerk could use some help at Camp Eagle. I’ll give you about a month in the field, and then we’ll sneak you back to the rear.” I only thought, “Deprive me, deprive me.”
Later, as we were lifted into a different area, the first guys down on the LZ spotted a trip wire. We were directed away from the booby trap and hunkered down until the danger was blown in place. I happened to have landed about 10 feet from Millirons, but nothing was mentioned about the rear job.
I’m not sure who kept track, but after 109 days in the jungle, Charlie Company was choppered back to Camp Eagle for a standdown. Nothing was said about a rear job for me. We received a 5-day resupply and were in formation ready to march down to the chopper pad, when 1st SGT Millirons said, “Teach, fall out!”
Later, the battalion XO sent me back to the jungle where I earned my CIB. Millirons and my Platoon Leader were arguing on a resupply day. We need “Teach” in the rear. No, I need him out here. We were trying to clear an LZ for the choppers. I leaned my M-16 against a short stump that we had blown with C-4, and continued frantically with my machete. When the first bird came in, the skid caught the end of my rifle and bent it in half. I took my M-16 to the arguing pair, and the LT said, “OK, get out of here!”
Read the Military Memories of our Runner-Ups.