He Stood Tall in the Heat of Battle

by wheelchairman85

Copyright© 2011 by wheelchairman85

: Green Beret's tour of duty in the Vietnam War

Tags: Violent   Military  

I dedicate this story to my Uncle Charlie a Vietnam War veteran and proud member of the United States Army.

Born October 10th 1946-Died December 11th 2014

U.S. Army Service 1964-1967 Rank Sergeant

Cast of Characters list

Captain Robert Randolph Commander of Special Forces A-team 762 WWII & Korean war veteran married 2 children

2nd lieutenant Jeff brooks Chaplain for Special Forces A-team 762 Korean war veteran Married 5 children.

Sergeant Nate Harris point man M14 Service rifle .45 caliber service pistol single no kids

Sergeant Mike Hoover intelligence sergeant M14 Rifle .45 caliber pistol

S&W Model 10 .38 caliber revolver married one child

Sergeant George Webster radio man M14 rifle .45 caliber pistol Married 3 kids

Sergeant Ryan Sherman demolition specialist/forward observer M14 rifle .45 caliber pistol Married 4 kids.

Sergeant Luke "Doc" Kennedy medic M14 Rifle .45 caliber pistol Married 3 children

Master Sergeant Charlie Foley machine gunner M60 Machine gun .45 caliber pistol Married 3 kids

Fred hoover Mike's grandpa WWI veteran 28th infantry division 111th regiment H company retired factory worker and Baptist minister.

Hallie hoover Mikes grandma retired hospital nurse Sunday school teacher and a wonderful grandma.

Jennifer Davidson hoover Mike's wife married since 1965 shortly after her 18th birthday pregnant with her first child a son.

Sergeant Mike Hoover a U.S. Army Green Beret stationed at Fort Bragg North Carolina.


Is saying good bye to his wife Jennifer Davidson Hoover who is 5 months pregnant with their 1st child a baby boy

The day before he leaves the United States for his 12-month tour of duty in Vietnam, she looks at her husband with tears in her eyes and she says to him.

"Mike I am going to miss you terribly while you're overseas."

"I will miss you to Jennifer but I want you to know that I love you very much and that I promise you that I will return home, and then he kissed her."

The couple patiently waiting for Jennifer's flight back home to Indiana. After a short and boring wait the flight was announced and it was time for her to board the plane.

Before she boarded she presented her husband with a big care package Mike set the care package aside and took his wife into his arms.

They held on to each other as long as possible. Jennifer cried and she showered her husband's face with kisses when it was time for her to board the plane.

Mike handed Jennifer her very small carry-on bag and she walked away and got on the plane.

After his wife was safely on board the plane Mike opened his care package which contained the following items.

Socks, sewing thread, writing paper, pens, double mint and juicy fruit chewing gum and cherry life savers hard candy.

At the bottom of the care package box Mike found a pocket size photo album with a note attached to it.

Mike opened the note and he read it. "Dear Mike I put this photo album together for you for good luck. Sincerely Jennifer"

"P.S. I love you very much."

After looking through the photo album a couple of times Mike put all of the stuff back into the box then he returned to Fort Bragg.

When he got back to the base he went back to his assigned barracks and put the care package under his bed next to his military luggage.

Then Mike and the other soldiers in his barracks went to the mess hall for supper.

After they had finished eating Mike and his barrack's mates went back to the barracks.

He sat down on his bed and he read it was time for lights out. When it was time for lights out Mike and the other soldiers in his barracks went to sleep.

The next morning reveille sounded and Sergeant Mike hoover got up dressed then he made his bed then he and the other soldiers in his barracks marched to the mess hall for breakfast.

After they had ate a very filling breakfast Mike and his fellow soldiers returned to the barracks and got ready for their flight to Vietnam.

While the soldiers were very busy getting their stuff together an officer walked into the barracks and said

"ATTENTION SOLDIERS YOUR FLIGHT TO VIETNAM LEAVES IN ONE HOUR THAT IS ALL!"

Then the officer left the barracks Mike quickly reached under his bed and he removed his military luggage and his care package and he placed the items on top of his bed then he sat down next to the stuff took out his army bible and he read it.

An hour later it was time to board the plane and fly off to war. Mike picked up his stuff and he headed for the C130 transport plane that was to fly him and his fellow soldiers to Vietnam.

Mike found a seat on the plane and he sat down then he fastened his seat belt. After the plane was fully loaded the doors where shut and the plane's engines were started up and the plane taxied down the long runway then it took off.

As the plane was flying along Mike began to think about what it had taken for him to get to this moment in Army career. First there was basic training at Fort Leonard wood in Missouri, then there was airborne school at fort Benning Georgia, then there was his Special Forces training at Fort Bragg North Carolina.

As he thought about all of these things he also thought about his family back home in Indiana.

After a very long and boring plain ride the C130 finally landed in Vietnam. After the plane came to a complete stop Mike unhooked his seat belt picked up his stuff and walked off the plane and along with the other soldiers double timed it over to a waiting area.

After standing in a very long line with a lot of other soldiers an officer shouted at Mike NAME AND RANK! He replied Mike Hoover Rank Sergeant!

Then the officer handed Mike a set of orders and said good luck soldier.

Mike looked at the officer and he said "thank you sir." Then Mike walked outside and unfortunately for him he only made it a few steps when he banged into a very muscular U.S. Army Master Sergeant.

"I am so sorry sir I'm a very clumsy soldier are you alright?"

The Master Sergeant looked at Mike and he said to the young sergeant

"I'm fine but you're a mess here let me help you get squared away again. What's your name soldier?"

"Sergeant Mike Hoover sir, Nice to meet you Mike I'm master Sergeant Charlie Foley Nice to meet you Charlie So Mike where are you headed?"

"Well Charlie according to my orders I have been assigned to Special Forces camp Saigon here are my orders."

Charlie read Mike's orders and handed them back to him. Then the two soldiers looked for transportation to their destination Special Forces camp Saigon.

After several minutes of looking they found a Huey helicopter and Charlie convinced the pilot to fly them to Camp Saigon.

Then they boarded the chopper and the pilot started it up and off the chopper went to deliver the two Green Berets to their destination.

Midway through there rather long chopper Hank and Mike started to talk a little."

"So Mike tell me a little bit about yourself?"

"Well Charlie I was born and raised in Indiana when I was 6 years old my parents died in a car crash and I was sent to live with my grandparents and they raised me my Grandpa is a veteran of world war one, a retired factory worker and a Baptist minister."

"My Grandma is a retired nurse and she also teaches Sunday school at church. I'm married and my wife Jennifer is pregnant with our first child a boy."

When Hank heard Mike say that he was married he looked at Mike and he said to his new friend.

"Do you have any pictures of your wife?" Mike took the photo album out of his shirt pocket and he showed it to Hank and he remarked politely.

"Mike your wife is very beautiful. Mike smiled and said thank you Hank."

So Hank Tell me about your-self? Well Mike I'm married and I have three children all boys. Mike smiled and said that's great Charlie. By the time they had finished their talk Mike and Charlie arrived at Camp Saigon.

After a brief guided tour of Camp Saigon and a meeting with the other members his Special Forces team it was time for Mike to meet the A team Commander Captain Robert Randolph.

Mike made his way to Captain Randolph's office when he got their he knocked respectfully on the door and he waited patiently.

After several tense minutes a gruff voice answered ENTER!

Mike opened the door and walked into the Captain's office.

Then he stood at attention in front of the Captain's desk and he said

"Sergeant Mike Hoover reporting to the Captain as ordered!"

Captain Randolph looked at Mike and he said "at ease Sergeant do you have your orders?"

He reached into his shirt pocket and he handed them to Captain Randolph.

The Captain took the orders from sergeant hoover and he read them. When Captain Randolph finished reading he looked at Mike and he said to the young sergeant

"Alright Sergeant Hoover now that you have met with me I will show you to your bunker please follow me."

Mike picked up his stuff and he followed Captain Randolph. After a 5 minute walk they arrived at the bunker that was going to be Sergeant Hoover's home for the next 12 months.

"It's not much of a home Sergeant but it's all you're going to get. After you get settled into your bunker I want you to the gun range Master Sergeant Foley will be over there to give you some instruction."

Then Captain Randolph left Mike and he returned to his office. Mike unpacked and got settled into his new quarters.

After Mike finished getting settled he left his bunker and went to the base gun range. When he got to the range he found Master Sergeant Foley waiting for him.

"Mike I want you to the gun rack and choose a weapon ok." Mike walked over to the gun rack and he picked up an M14 Rifle and several magazines of ammunition. Then he walked back to the firing line." Ok now Mike I want you to insert a magazine into the M14 your holding then rack the charging handle.

Mike followed Charlie's instructions exactly and then he clicked the safety off. Mike do you see that distant target standing out in the open all by itself?

"I see the target Charlie".

"Good now Mike I want you to shoot that target."

Mike lined the rifle sight's up on the target and he fired the M14. After he had fired several magazines of M14 Rifle ammunition Charlie ordered Mike to cease fire.

While Mike cleared the M14 Charlie examined the target with a pair of binoculars and what he saw shocked him, "HOLY COW! Sergeant Hoover you have very good marksmanship skills."

"Thank you Master Sergeant Foley I appreciate your kind words."

The first week of Mike's Vietnam tour of duty was kind of slow. Then on the second Monday of his Vietnam Tour of duty things heated up.

Mike was sitting at his desk writing a letter to his wife. When he heard a knock on the door of his bunker He put his pen down on the desk then he got up walked over to the door and opened it.

Standing in his door way was his Special Forces team point man Sergeant Nate Harris.

Nate what's on your mind? Mike we have a mission briefing in 10 minutes in the captain's office."

"Ok Nate I will be there as soon as I can I just have to finish this letter to my wife."

When they finished talking Nate left, Mike quickly finished the letter stuffed it into an envelope, put a stamp on it then he sealed it.

Then he addressed the envelope and he ran it over to the base mail facility and put it in the outgoing mail.

Then as fast as he could to the Captain's office. When he got there he found a place to sit and wait.

After a short wait the rest of the team show up.

"Alright gentlemen now that your all here we can get this mission briefing started. The C.I.A has established a top secret radio station on the top of hill 600."

"We have been rotating teams to perform guard duty on the hill and it is now this team's turn."

This mission is not going to be a cake walk the enemy attacks the hill at least once a day."

"Now that you have been briefed on your mission are there any questions?"

Sergeant Hoover politely raised his hand Captain Randolph looked at him and said to the sergeant

"Sergeant Hoover what's on your mind?"

"Captain What about Air support?"

Sergeant the Air force, the Navy and the Marines has been alerted and they will give you all of air support that you will need."

After their briefing was over they were dismissed Mike and the other members of his team were dismissed from the Captain's Office and they prepared for their mission.

Mike returned to his bunker and he started his own preparations. But something kept bothering him and no matter how hard he tried he could not shake it.

So he went to the only person that he knew help him the base chaplain 2nd lieutenant Jeff Brooks.

Mike made his way to the chaplain's office. When he got their he saw that the door was closed so he politely knocked and waited for a reply.

After several minutes a friendly voice announced

"Please enter the door is unlocked!"

Mike opened the door and walked into the chaplain's office. Chaplain Brooks looked up from his reading and he said "Sergeant Hoover what are you doing here?"

"To be honest Chaplain Brooks I have a request my team and I are going on our first mission tomorrow morning." "I was wondering if you would pray with my men and I before we leave for the mission."

"Sergeant Hoover it would be an honor for me to pray with you and your men before your mission. In fact if you would like me to I would be willing to pray with you and your team before all of your missions."

"Chaplain Brooks I would appreciate that very much thank you."

After his meeting with the chaplain Brooks Mike returned to his bunker and completed his mission preparations.

The next morning Mike and the other members of his team woke up and they dressed. Then they ran over to the mess hall for a quick but filling breakfast.

After they had finished eating they went over to the base armory and they gathered up there weapons and there other gear then they walked to the helicopter pad and they waited for their ride.

After they had waited for several minutes a Huey Helicopter arrived to take them out on their mission, but before they boarded chaplain brooks arrived at the helicopter pad and prayed with Sergeant Hoover and his men.

When the chaplain was finished praying Mike's team thanked him then they boarded the Huey. The pilot cranked up the engine and when it finally had enough power he lifted it off the chopper pad and off the team flew.

After a relatively short flight Sergeant Hoover and his team were dropped off on hill 600.

With the team's point man Sergeant Nate Harris in the lead they exited the chopper. After all of the team had safely gotten off of the chopper Sergeant Hoover waved the chopper off of hill 600.

Then the team setup a defensive perimeter on the top of hill 600, and for the next 5 days and 5 nights despite repeated attacks from the enemy Sergeant Mike Hoover and his Special Forces team held their perimeter on hill 600.

On the last day of the mission a little bit after sunrise a Huey Helicopter landed on the Helicopter pad on hill 600 Mike and his team scrambled aboard then the chopper lifted off.

Mike looked down at the bloody battlefield of hill 600 and he remarked very quietly "this is going to be a very long tour of duty."

After another relatively short chopper ride the team arrived back at Special Forces camp Saigon.

After the team had gotten off of the Huey the team walked over to the base armory and turned in their weapons.

Then they walked over to Captain Randolph's office for their mission debriefing.

When the debriefing was over Captain Randolph passed out the team's mail that arrived while they were gone.

Mike received several letters from his grandparents and his wife and a large care package from his grandpa.

Mike carried his mail and his care package to his bunker when he got inside. He placed his mail on his desk.

He thought about opening his mail immediately but he was so dirty and he smelled so bad that he decided to take a shower first.

He grabbed some clean clothes, shower shoes, shaving kit and he headed for the base shower facilities.

When he got there he stripped off his dirty clothes and put on his shower shoes and then he proceeded to shower and shave very thoroughly.

He smelled so bad that he washed his underarms and his hair not once but twice. Once he had finished showering and shaving Mike dried off and put on clean clothes and his army combat boots.

Then he gathered up his dirty clothes and he left the shower. He carried his dirty clothes to the base laundry facilities and he turned them in.

Then he returned to his bunker. Closed and locked the door sat down at his desk and read his mail. Then he wrote replies to each and every one of the letters that he received.

After he had finished writing all of his letters he set them aside then opened up the care package that his grandpa had sent to him.

Inside the box were the following items, a brand new S&W model 10.38 caliber revolver with a 4 inch heavy barrel, several boxes of Thirty-eight special ammunition, a beautiful mahogany brown shoulder holster rig and a big cleaning kit.

At the bottom of the box there was a sealed envelope Mike removed the envelope from the box and read the note that was inside of it.

"Dear Mike I was over at our favorite gun shop recently and I saw this S&W model 10 with a 4 inch heavy barrel so I bought it for you."

"I also purchased a few boxes of ammunition and a cleaning kit as well."

Love Grandpa

"p.s. I had to special order the shoulder holster rig."

Mike put the note back into the envelope and put it away all with all of his other letters.

Then he put on his new shoulder holster rig and then he slipped brand new S&W model 10 into the holster.

Grabbed one box of 38 special ammunition and he headed for the base gun range.

When he got to the range he opened the box of ammunition and opened the S&W model 10 6 shot cylinder and inserted 6 cartridges he then closed the revolver and lined up the sights on a nearby target and took some target practice.

After all of the ammunition in the box was fired. Mike cleaned up the empty brass shell casings placed them back in the box and threw it all away.

He returned to his bunker and cleaned his S&W model 10. By the time he had the revolver cleaned up it was time for lunch.

So Mike put his freshly cleaned revolver into its holster and headed for the mess hall.

When his lunch tray was filled up with all of the food he could eat he got a cup of black coffee and found a place to sit down and then he said grace and he started to eat.

5 minutes after he had started to eat several other members of his team joined him at his table for lunch. Midway through the meal one of his buddies noticed the shiny S&W Model 10.38 caliber revolver that Mike was carrying.

So after he made sure that it was unloaded Mike passed his S&W model 10 around the table. When all of his buddies where done looking at his S&W Model 10.

Mike put it back in the holster and he resumed eating. When he was done eating Mike turned in his empty lunch tray and coffee cup to the kitchen and then he returned to his bunker.

At 10 pm Mike was sitting in his bunker and writing another letter to his wife when there was a heavy knock on his bunker door. KNOCK!

Mike shouted loudly "the door is open!"

The door flew open and his team point man Sergeant Nate Harris walked inside. Mike looked at Nate and he said "Nate what's on your mind?"

Nate replied "Mike we are on guard duty tonight until 1AM".

Mike grabbed his flak Jacket and steel helmet then he said to Nate "ok Nate let me just go grab a weapon from the armory real quick."

Mike quickly finished the letter to his wife then he and Nate went over to the Armory and Mike signed out an M14 rifle and a .45 caliber pistol, then the two soldiers walked over to Captain Randolph's office.

"Sergeant Nate Harris and Sergeant Mike hoover reporting to the Captain as ordered!"

"At ease gentlemen at ease Nate you and Mike are two of the best soldiers that I have on this base, so stay awake."

"During your guard duty shift because I have a very sick feeling in my gut that this base maybe attacked so stay wake!."

The two soldiers replied

"Yes sir!"

Then they got ready to leave the Captain's office, when Captain Randolph noticed the S&W model 10 in Mike's shoulder holster.

"Sergeant Hoover what model number is that S&W revolver you're carrying?" Mark looked at Captain Randolph and he said

"It's a S&W model 10 sir my grandpa sent it to me.""

That's great Sergeant you know I carry also carry a S&W revolver myself. I carry a S&W Chief's special later known as the model 36."

It has a two in barrel I have been carrying it since 1950 my wife gave it to me as a gift before I left for Korea.

"Alright now enough Smith and Wesson chitchat your dismissed gentlemen."

Mike and Nate left the Captain's office and they made their way to their to sentry post number 3 and they got settled in for their guard duty shift.

After they had been sitting for a little while Nate looked over at Mike and he said "Mike can I ask you something?"

Mike responded

"Sure Nate you can ask me anything you want."

"Mike why in the world do you write to your wife so much?"

Mike looked at his buddy Nate and he replied.

"Nate I'm going to be honest with you if you saw my wife you would understand why I write to her so much"

Then he reached under his flak jacket and removed the pocket size photo album that Jennifer had given to him and he showed it to Nate.

"Wow! Mike she is beautiful does she have any sisters?"

"As a matter of fact Nate my wife does have sisters but unfortunately they are all married."

Nate looked over at mike and he said "Oh DARN IT!"

At end of their guard duty shift at 1am Mike and Nate said good night and returned to their bunkers.

When Mike got inside of his own bunker he removed the shoulder holster rig that held his S&W model 10 and laid it down on the desk.

Mike then sat down on his army cot and stripped down to his

T-shirt and boxer shorts then he got under his blanket and he went to sleep.

Mike had only been asleep for a few hours when he heard a very strange noise outside of his bunker door.

He sat up in his bed rubbed his eyes looked at the clock on his desk and he remarked loudly

"Whoever that is they had better have a DARN GOOD REASON FOR WAKING ME UP THIS EARLY IN THE MORNING!"

He quickly dressed then he strapped on his shoulder holster rig, pulled on his flak jacket and placed his steel helmet on his head.

Mike then pulled the model 10 from its holster and he cautiously made his way to the bunker door then he opened it and he looked around and saw nothing then he looked down at his feet and saw a basket.

He holstered his model 10 and he picked up the basket that was at his feet and he carried it inside of his bunker. Once it was safely inside of the bunker Mike sat it down on his bed and opened it up and he saw a little baby asleep inside of the basket.

Mike was shocked and unsure what to do. So he carefully closed the basket up and he carried it over to the base hospital.

When he got to the hospital he saw his team medic Sergeant Luke DOC Kennedy hard at work.

Mike looked at Doc and he said

"Hey Doc I have got to talk to you about something."

Doc looked at Mike and he said "Mike what's on your mind?"

Mike opened the Basket and showed Doc the baby and Doc Kennedy remarked

"Oh my dear God in Heaven where in the world did this baby come from?" Mike looked at Doc Kennedy and he said.

"Doc I honestly don't know where this baby came from it was left outside of my bunker door, what do you think that we should do?"

Doc looked at Mike and he said to him.

"Mike wait right here I am going to wake up Captain Randolph hopefully he will know what to do because I don't know."

So Doc Kennedy left the hospital and left Mike in charge of the baby. While Doc Kennedy was gone to get Captain Randolph Mike held and talked to the baby in a loving manner. After a very long wait Doc Kennedy returned with Captain Randolph. A very tired Captain Randolph looked at Sergeant Mike Hoover and he said

"Sergeant Hoover will you please tell me why in god's name I am up so early in the morning?"

"Captain I will show you"

Then he handed the baby to Captain Randolph. The Captain looked at the baby in his hands and he remarked to

"Sergeant Hoover this is a new born baby, what is a baby doing on this base?"

Mike looked at Captain Randolph and he replied

"Captain to be honest I don't know what this baby is doing here on the base what should we do?" Captain Randolph thought for a few moments then he said

"First this baby is going to need something to eat. Second the baby is also going to need a physical examination. When he was done speaking He looked over at Doc Kennedy and he asked

"Doc do you think that you can put together some sort of baby bottle"

Doc looked over at the Captain and he said "yes I can." Then Captain Randolph looked at Sergeant Hoover and he said

"Mike I want you to go over to the mess hall and get some milk."

Mike looked at Captain Randolph and he said yes sir!

Then he left the base hospital and he walked to the mess hall. After several minutes of walking Mike arrived at the mess hall and walked inside.

Where he found the cook hard at work setting up the kitchen for breakfast. Mike looked at the cook and he said

"Excuse me sir do you have any extra milk in the kitchen?"

The cook looked at Sergeant Hoover and he said

"I will be right back Sergeant."

After waiting for several minutes the cook returned with a small container of milk and he said

"Here you go sergeant."

Mike said Thank you to the cook for the milk and he walked back to the hospital.

After he got back gave the milk to Doc Kennedy who then poured it into the homemade bottle and he fed the baby.

Captain Randolph then turned to Sergeant Hoover and he said "Sergeant Hoover I order you to go over to the base armory and get an M14 and a .45"

"Then I want you to go and talk to all of the base sentry's and found out if any of them saw how in the world this baby got onto the base."

Sergeant Hoover saluted Captain Randolph said

YES SIR! Then he walked to the armory.

When he got to the armory he signed out an M14 and .45 then he walked to every sentry post on the base and talked to every sentry.

But they all said the same darn thing they did not see anyone or anything suspicious at all.

Mike returned to the base hospital and gave Captain Randolph the news.

"Captain I talked to every single sentry and they all said the same thing they did not see a darn thing."

Captain Randolph ran his fingers through his gray hair sighed heavily then he looked at Sergeant Hoover and he said to him.

"Alright Sergeant Hoover please go have some breakfast I will have a meeting with Chaplain Brooks and see what he has to say about the baby situation."

"After you have finished eating come over to my office and I will let you know what chaplain Brooks said."

Mike left the hospital went to the mess hall and he had his morning meal when he was done eating he turned in his empty food tray and coffee cup.

Then he walked over to Captain Randolph's office and knocked on the office's front door politely. Mike waited patiently for a response when suddenly Captain Randolph shouted loudly

"Please come in Sergeant Hoover!"

Mike opened the office door and walked into the Captain's office.

"Sergeant Hoover reporting to the Captain as ordered!"

"At ease Sergeant at ease."

"I had a brief meeting with Chaplain Brooks and he thought that it would be best if we handed the baby over to a local orphanage that is nearby."

"You Doc Kennedy and Chaplain Brooks will take a jeep ride over to the orphanage and deliver the baby."

"To the Nuns that are in charge of it your dismissed."

After he was dismissed Mike walked out of Captain Randolph's office and he headed for the base motor pool.

When he got there he signed out a jeep and drove it to the base hospital once he was there.

Doc Kennedy climbed into the Jeep with their precious cargo in his arms.

After he had picked up the Doc Mike drove over to Chaplain Brook's office and picked him up.

After a long bumpy jeep ride the three soldiers arrived at the orphanage and they turned over their precious cargo to the nuns.

After a short prayer lead by Chaplain Brooks the three soldiers then got back into the jeep and they headed back to camp Saigon.

When they got back Sergeant Hoover got out of the jeep and was almost out of the motor pool when the base P.A. system announced

"Sergeant Mike Hoover report to Captain Randolph's office immediately that is all!"

Mike quickly to the Captain's office. When Mike got to their he was out of breath and nauseous so he took a drink of water from his canteen.

Then took a few deep breaths and went inside once he was inside Mike noticed that all of the members of his Special Forces team were inside of the office.

"Captain what's going on do we have another mission?" The Captain looked at Mike and he said

"No Sergeant you don't have another mission not right now any way. A letter came special delivery from your wife here you go."

Mike took the letter from the Captain he opened it up and read it quietly when he finished he began to cheer.

"Gentlemen I have some good news to report my wife has given birth to a happy healthy baby boy. He weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces length 19 inches."

When he finished his announcement he looked around and he said to his buddies

"Fellas I wrote down a small speech in honor of my son's birth would you mind if I gave it please?"

The captain and the other members of his team looked at Mike and they all said

"Sure go ahead and give your speech we would like to hear it."

Mike cleared his throat and He said

"This was written by another green beret a short time ago "the first time that I heard it I thought it was very special so here I go."

Fighting soldiers from the sky fearless men who jump and die men who mean just what they say the brave men of the Green Beret.

Silver wings upon their chests these are men America's best one hundred men will test today we'll test today but only three win the Green Beret.

Trained to live off nature's land trained in combat hand to hand men who fight by night and day courage deep, from the Green Beret.

Silver wings upon their chest these are men America's best one hundred men will test today but only three win the Green Beret.

Back at home a young wife waits her Green Beret has met his fate he has died for those oppressed. leaving her this last request put silver wings on my son's chest Make him one of America's best he'll be a man they'll test one day have him win the Green Beret"

When Mike finished speaking there was not a dry eye in the room. After 5 days of stand down it was time for another mission for Sergeant Hoover and his Special Forces team.

Mike and the other members of his team reported to Captain Randolph's office for the briefing.

"Alright gentlemen listen up. Because for this mission you are going to be going into the enemy's back yard".

"There is a N.V.A. supply depot deep in bowels of North Vietnam your mission is to destroy this depot."

I'm not going to lie to you this mission is going to be dangerous."

"But you are the best men that I have and I know that you can accomplish this mission."

"Now unless you have any questions or comments about the mission you're dismissed."

Mike and the other members of the team left the Captain's office and they prepared for their mission.

The next morning Mike and his team woke up dressed then they ran to the mess hall for a quick breakfast, after they had finished eating.

They went to the base armory and signed out there weapons gathered together there other gear and they walked quickly to the base helicopter pad.

Once they got there Chaplain Brooks prayed with the men. When the chaplain was finished praying they got on board the Huey Helicopter that was waiting for them.

After they were strapped onto their seats the pilot revved the Chopper's engine and lifted the Huey off the Helicopter pad and off they went.

After a long nerve racking Helicopter ride the chopper landed and Mike and his team quickly got off of the chopper.

After they had gotten themselves organized Mike waved off the Chopper and it left. After they had let the noise of the chopper dissipate Mike tapped his point man Sergeant Nate Harris on the shoulder and he said

"Nate lead us to the supply depot."

For the next half mile the team quietly made their way toward the depot. When they finally got to it they searched each building. After they finished their search Mike looked at his team's demolition specialist and forward observer Sergeant Ryan Sherman and he asked him

"Ryan how long will it take you to setup the C-4 charges to destroy the depot?"

Ryan looked around the depot and he said to Mike

"Sir I will need one hour to setup the charges."

"Ok Ryan setup the charges the rest of the team will setup a defensive perimeter at the front of the depot."

While mike and the rest of the team setup there defensive perimeter Ryan placed the C-4 plastic explosive charges to destroy it.

After exactly one hour Ryan had all of the charges ready for detonation. The team retreated to a safe distance and Ryan blew the charges.

With the mission now completed it was time to get out of Dodge. The team made their way to an extraction L.Z. When they finally got to the L.Z. the team's radio operator Sergeant George Webster handed Mike the radio handset so that he could call in the Huey Helicopter to come and get them out.

"Hotel 6 this is Sierra 6 request chopper for extraction over."

"Sierra 6 this is hotel 6 wait one minute please."

After an agonizing minute Hotel 6 came back to the radio. "Sierra 6 there are no choppers available at this time to extract you."

"You and your team will have to wait at your L.Z. until tomorrow morning Hotel 6 out."

Mike handed the radio handset back to George then he let out a deep frustrated sigh. George looked at Mike and he said to his team leader.

"What's going on Sir are we getting out of here?"

Mike looked George in the eye and he said to him

"I'm sorry George but unfortunately we are not getting out of here until tomorrow morning."

After giving George the bad news Mike gathered together the rest of his team and he said quietly.

"Gentlemen I'm afraid I have bad news we will not be getting out of here until tomorrow morning."

After giving his team the bad news they then setup a defensive perimeter on their L.Z.

Mike found a post on the perimeter and then he did a weapons check.

First he checked his M14 then he checked his .45 and last but not least.

He checked on the load in his S&W Model 10... 38 caliber revolver after a very long day and night on the perimeter L.Z. a Huey Helicopter came and extracted Mike and his team.

They boarded the Chopper got into their seats and the helicopter lifted off of the L.Z. and flew the Special Forces team back to Camp Saigon.

After another long flight the Huey landed back at the base. After exiting the Huey Sergeant Hoover and the other members of his team went to the base armory and turned in their weapons.

Then they walked over to Captain Randolph's office for their mission debriefing.

When the debriefing was done Captain Randolph passed out the team's mail then he dismissed them from his office.

Mike returned to his bunker and went through his mail and wrote replies to all of his letters.

Then he carried the letters to the base mail facility and put them in the outgoing mail.

Sergeant Hoover then returned to his bunker gathered up his shower gear and went to the base shower facilities and cleaned himself up.

After he had gotten cleaned up Mike dressed and gathered up his dirty clothes and carried them to the base laundry facility and turned them in.

Once that was done he went over to the mess hall for breakfast then he returned to his bunker and spent the rest of the morning reading his bible.

After he had been reading for quite Mike left his shelter and he walked to the mess hall for lunch once he had his tray filled up with lots of food he found a table to sit at and he said grace and then he proceeded to eat.

When he was done eating he turned in his coffee cup and food tray to the kitchen and he left the mess hall. At 10pm Sergeant Mike Hoover was sitting at his desk in his bunker trying to unwind after he had eaten a very large supper.

When he heard a knock on his door a very loud knock Mike turned his head to the left side of the bunker and he shouted COME IN PLEASE THE DOOR IS UNLOCKED!

The door flew open and Mike's team point man Sergeant Nate Harris walked inside. Mike looked at Nate and he asked "Nate what's on your mind." Nate replied

"Mike we are on guard duty for the next 7 days from 10pm until 1am."

Mike gets up from his chair and he and Nate walk over to the base armory. They both sign out M14 rifles and .45 caliber pistols.

Then they walk to sentry post three and for the next 7 days from 10pm until 1AM they stand guard.

At the end of his weeklong guard duty Sergeant Mike Hoover and his team got ready for another mission.

They gathered in Captain Randolph's office for their mission briefing.

"Good Morning gentlemen I am going to keep this mission briefing short and simple."

"There has been a large amount of activity on the Ho Chi Minh Trail lately; your mission is to slow down this enemy activity."

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