Fernando’s R&R Scheduled

View from the Southern End of Hill 65 – Photo by Navy Corpsman Buzz Baviello – 1970

Saturday, January 11, 1969

The southern-most OP on Hill 65 overlooked the big bend in the Vu Gia River.  The distance from the OP to the river bank was less than 200 yards, and debris was spotted tangled in the shoals.  Bravo Company sent out a patrol to investigate the flotsam.

The partially submerged sam-pan contained three dead NVA and an 82mm mortar.  Marines from the patrol said, “The gooks in the boat were boys (about 15 years old) who were wearing brand-new gear.”  An Amtrac was sent to recover the equipment, and the bodies were left on the side of the road for the locals to contend with (there was a graveyard nearby).

Fernando returned from FLC with our supplies and the mailbag.  I got a letter from Jenny; she was back in Fresno with three weeks of college left.

The big news was that Fernando’s request for R&R in Hawaii was approved for mid-February.  Almost everyone choosing Hawaii for R&R was either married or engaged.  Fernando chose Hawaii in order to be with his parents again.  They had never had a vacation and were excited to join their son in Hawaii.  Other family members would run the restaurant in El Paso during their absence. *  R&R would have a different meaning for Fernando, and I admired him for his intentions.

* See previous blog, “Fernando Arrives” August 4, 1968

Next Edition:  Steps





2 thoughts on “Fernando’s R&R Scheduled

  1. I had knew lieutenant from NY that went R&R in Hawaii and married he’s sweetheart , came back and died after stepping on a mine.
    Very good person. The sad part I can’t remember his name.


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