Paul J. Greiner
"Bandit DG" 2/68-10/68
This was a story that appeared in the August 1968 edition of the Green Beret Magazine. I figured it was old news to most of you but I wanted to share it just in case some others had forgotten about it. You are probably familiar with the mission. We rescued a Yard village that had been enslaved by the VC for 8 years. We went in with guns, slicks and SF and got them out. Burned the VC camp to the ground. We landed in cornfields and loaded the people onto our slicks, chickens and all. People were starving and had a plethora of diseases including TB and even Leprosy. We took them to A502 (I think) and we gave them soda and ivory soap. They drank the pop but some of them actually tried eating the soap.
Actually, the SF guys at the A-Camp had cases of soft drinks, and that was about it. We transported the people over there and that's basically all we had to offer for the moment, along with the soap too. We could see that many of them, especially children, were bloated with gases caused by mal-nutrition. So many were covered with sores, jungle rot, etc, we figured the soap was a good idea too, i.e., until some of them ate it. I think I was flying with Kelley at the time but it could have been Embrey. I'm thinking Ed Young or Bob Heh was our AC but again, memory fails.
One of the LZs we used was a corn field and there was a lot of smoke all around from the Gunships' work. Many Yards were quite anxious to get aboard but many needed encouragement. We did a lot of PR, smiling and reassuring them. There was no sense of panic, again, as I remember it (CRS). For me, it was a great pleasure to render that assistance that day. Made my birthday quite special.
I felt a lot of pride when I first read it in a hospital bed in Japan. "Pretty neat", I thought.
See John "The Kid" Galkiewicz first person account at: The Major, The Mountain Yards, and the Monsoon