These visions and thoughts continue to bounce around inside a former grunt’s head fifty-some years after serving in the Vietnam War. Read his short story to see if his struggles are any different from your own.

By Retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Daniel Dobbs

What those who never humped the jungles or rice paddies in Vietnam can’t see is the filthy exhausting sweaty dirt and grime from crushed bugs and cuts and scratches from thorns that get infected within hours. The shock of hearing a twig break, the snap of a weapon safety being changed to fire, or the click of a booby trap before it goes off.

The anger from “wait-a-minute” vines tugging on you and holding you up while the rest of your team is walking away.

Sleeping on the rain-soaked ground with all kinds of insects, leeches, and snakes crawling on you, biting and sucking your blood, not to mention the rats, the size of medium dogs, and worst of all… tigers.

Hoping the guy who relieved you is awake. You turn your head and look at him in the darkness and he looks down at you and gives you a smile letting you know he is awake and has your back. Hearing a mortar fire in the distance and hoping the round isn’t coming your way.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is boeing_b-52_dropping_bombs.jpg

Lying there when B-52s are bombing a few clicks away and vibrating the very ground you are on. Hearing the welcome reassuring sound of that Huey and the outgoing artillery fire knowing they are out there when and if you need them.

Always expecting another tremendous explosion behind you like the one that took the life of the soldier that I didn’t even know, as he was trying to help me. I never had the chance to thank you or say, “I’m sorry!” I carry the scars both physically and emotionally from when you died. I still see your blood on my hands and hear your last gasp of air as God took you to be with Him, while I held your head in my hands.

Seeing a ghostly figure in the early morning fog moving in front of you. Is that a rifle in his hands? Am I seeing things? “Lord, please don’t let him hear my heart pounding in my ears.” Gotta wake the guys but I don’t dare move, can’t move. Should I shoot? He sees me. He is looking into my eyes. He is bringing his AK-47 up. I see the flash as his rifle goes off.

DAMN, another bad dream. It’s been over fifty years. When will the nightmares stop coming? Every night when the lights go off, I’m back there with my buddies before they etched their names on that wall.

Reflections by Lee Teter

I have seen the elephant

I love you brothers

Mississippi 31 OUT! 

This article was originally featured on the website: Operation Triumphus. Humping the Nam – Operation Triumphus

What about the rest of you Vets, how many of you are still finding yourselves on a former battlefield – reliving those events? Are you getting help?


Thank you for taking the time to read this. Should you have a question or comment about this article, then scroll down to the comment section below to leave your response. 

If you want to learn more about the Vietnam War and its Warriors, then subscribe to this blog and get notified by email or your feed reader every time a new story, picture, video and changes occur on this website – the button is located at the top right of this page.  

I’ve also created a poll to help identify my website audience – before leaving, can you please click HERE and choose the one item that best describes you. Thank you in advance!