Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day ... Vietnam/Southeast Asia (1964-1973)

By Commander Tom Nelson (Ret), U.S. Naval Reserves
Memorial Day Remarks - May 25, 2009
Gypsy Hill Park Gazebo, Staunton, Virginia

Number of deaths: 48,209

He served as an ammunition bearer with the weapons platoon during a reconnaissance mission. As the patrol was moving through a dense jungle area, it was caught in an intense crossfire from heavily fortified and concealed ambush positions. As the patrol reacted, it became evident that the heavy weapons could not be used in the cramped fighting area.

This soldier dropped his recoilless rifle ammunition, and ran forward to join his commander in an assault on the enemy bunkers. The assaulting force moved forward until it was pinned down directly in front of the heavily fortified bunkers by machine gun fire. He stood up to draw enemy fire on himself and to place suppressive fire on the enemy positions while his commander attempted to destroy the machine gun positions with grenades.

Before the officer could throw a grenade, a grenade landed in the position. He alerted his comrades and his commander hurled the grenade from the position. When a second enemy grenade landed in the position, he again shouted a warning to his fellow soldiers.

Seeing that no one could reach the grenade and realizing that it was about to explode, he with complete disregard for his safety, threw himself on the grenade.

HONOR: Corporal Michael Flemming Folland, U.S. Army

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