David, Hey my Man- Good memories and some others . . . I believe it was Oct. 68 I was Duane's ATL and we got inserted in the wrong LZ, a very narrow strip of cover. We were too far out for commo so they sent a C&C ship up to relay for us. While we waited we had a mixture of NVA and VC in groups of three to ?? eight moving light and two sets met as they travel back & forth between two points. Duane looks at me, not good. How the hell did we (not the first/last) sneak into a base camp, now in daylight?? "shit happens" foot traffic slowed so we had a window.

Well, the chopper was circling out of our coordinates, so DeVega told me to flash our position. Well I went to the edge of this hedge row, brought the mirror up and lost my sun in the leaves, tried again, almost there, now a branch between sun and ship. Now I finally got them to put their sunglasses on. A loud whisper to Devega "Have they got it" as I turn my head for a response, I lost it again. Now, while I was doing this I set my "CAR" down (no slings) and didn't notice I was about three paces away from it. As I brought the mirror back up again I found I had an audience of four V.C. and they were bringing their shit down off their shoulders. I reached for my CAR-15 it wasn't there. Now, I've never been a diver, but I did the best back flip ever. Duane was behind a termite hill. His eyes went so big as he asked "what the fuck I was doing" . . . as the AK rounds began hitting the termite mound following me to the ground.

Ray Sullivan was with us. He used me as a sand bag as he quickly returned fire with his barrel over me blowing out my right ear. After emptying his second magazine & released it, I asked if he could give me my weapon. At that point Ray dropped the barrel of his car on me, burning through, making my ribs and BBQ sauce an item. Ray, was obviously shocked to see that I was still alive. He evidently thought I had been killed from the first burst. Therefore; my question unexpected shook him up -- he said he was sorry, I recall he was embarrassed, because I was his sandbag . I was glad he was first to fire.

The gunships took over, the slick was inbound. We were on the LZ and Duane very serious after popping smoke as usual. Duane and team scanning as we felt the ship approach. The Team DeVega, Mott, Appleman, Sullivan, me and ... Duane's, Ray's and my eyes locked in on each other. We suddenly broke out with insane laughter over what happened. I owe my life to those two Duane and Ray. I wish they were here; well we will have to continue that insane laugh again later. It's hard to describe how close that moment brought us. Duane was one of my mentors he very serious when in the bush, very likable and party hard -- Sully was a gutsy guy who would and could take on any challenge. Yeah my thoughts are with them and about then. Joe

Hi Dave- I hope all is well with you. I haven't gotten much sleep the past few nights.

I hope what I sent didn't upset you. It made me think after I wrote and sent it, how fortunate I am to have served with such good men. I wonder, alot of the time, why I'm here. I feel somehow like I cheated death and that someone else took my place. Do you know what I mean? Anyway I'm sorry if anything I wrote bothered you. It was late, I just wrote, sent it, then deleted some stuff. Be good to yourself--Always your Friend and Brother Joe Little

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