This was Leggs’ * last day on Hill 65. Of all the people in Kilo Battery, Sergeant Leggins had helped me the most. He was a “Jack of all trades.” His military specialty was tracked vehicle maintenance. This MOS would send him to CONUS with orders to Marine Corps Base, 29 Palms (commonly referred to as 29 Stumps). He took it in stride saying, “Las Vegas here I come.”
There were mixed feelings when saying goodbye to close friends. Although we were happy to see them get out of Vietnam unscathed, the companionship and brotherhood we shared would be missed. We wished each other well, but it was bittersweet and left an empty feeling (of loss). I learned to “Improvise” in Cook School . . . Leggs took it to a higher level and made things happen.
During lunch Captain Smotherman returned the TIME magazine and dropped off two books: The Sun Also Rises (Hemingway) and The Bridges of Toko-Ri (Michener). These were the books he read at night outside the Exec Pit, using his headlamp as a light source. **
* See previous blog, “Convoy Road – Dai Loc” January 13, 1968