It seems like all of the stories I collect for the We Were Soldiers Too series are never enough. Every time I speak to someone new, I have the opportunity to see the ways in which American soldiers have fought to maintain our freedom. Here is an excerpt from Book 3, which I know you’ll enjoy.
As for Stan, he found himself working the first different job of his career, that of a 71G medical records specialist in the unit’s dispensary, right after he arrived in country. One of the first things they had him do was dig a field latrine, which seemed to Stan to be a little outside the scope of a medical records specialist or a medic’s job. He wasn’t very pleased with this assignment so he did what any young private fresh in the Army would have done, he dug the latrine.
A latrine did serve an important purpose after all. Stan wasn’t in the dispensary long when he met the battalion commander’s driver and learned he was leaving and the commander needed a replacement. Stan said he’d do it. He was interviewed by the battalion command sergeant major of the support elements before getting assigned to the position. Major Byrnes was the battalion commander and Stan was his driver for quite a while, driving him all over Korea.
The two of them became very close and were eventually on a first name bases. Major Byrnes called him Stan and he responded in kind by calling the major “sir.” Stan eventually tired of this assignment and decided he wanted to do something else. He got reassigned as a clerk in the division medical supply office (DMSO) where he was responsible for inventory control of the division’s medical supplies. He had to maintain a log and keep track of everything that went out to units and everything that came in on the weekly truck from Seoul. The narcotic drugs were kept in a vault and only specific people who were on the authorized signature card could sign for them.
The North Koreans were very angry about the recently completed Team Spirit and remained convinced it was intended as a dry run for an invasion. North Korea would begin a series of retaliation strikes in response to the exercise. On June 1, 1976, North Korean infiltrators crossed the MDL into the eastern sector south of the DMZ and ambushed a UNC patrol. When it was over, six UNC soldiers were injured and six killed. The three North Koreans responsible for the ambush were also killed.
Read more of Stan’s story when you download We Were Soldiers Too: The Unknown Battle to Defend the Demilitarized Zone Against North Korea During the Cold War. It is Book 3 in the series and you can get it for just $2.99 on Amazon. It’s also available in paperback for $9.99.