I found this awesome video on Youtube.com from a Vietnam vet who took a camera out on patrol and got some super-rare footage of Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) soldiers while out in the jungle. From the author of the video:
Super 8 movies from field missions of the LRRPs of K Company, 75th Infantry early in 1970. There are two field missions on this video. The first is a standard LRRP four man team, Romeo 18. I was the assistant team leader. Gary Heald, Billy Powers, and Mark Estopare were my teammates.
The second mission is a double LRRP team sent to the site where three LRRPS were KIA a week or two earlier. The lone survivor of that team was Sgt Jim Doss, who was KIA a few months later.
Both missions would be peaceful and uneventful. You didn’t expect me to be taking home movies with bullets flying, did you? In fact, there is a definite mood swing toward frivolity as the second mission winds down and the birds are in the air.
I have written several short stories based on my Vietnam experience. Check them out at http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/rwholmen
What a terrible waste of time, money and men - Vietnam turned out to be! If anyone thinks we accomplished anything by going to War in Vietnam,,,,then he/she needs real psychotherapy!!!! We did not stop communism, we did not save democracy, we did not do one damned good thing by sacrificing 55,000++ mens lives. What fools we all were...for even believing (for even one moment) that a casue was "righteous!
@BobKilpatrick I read as much as I could about the missions and was lucky enough to talk to some friends about it, but I had almost forgotten there were many single Huey insertions and extractions were solo because I'd hear stories about the tricks groups of helicopters would use to try to mislead the LZ watchers. Thinking about sitting in that one bird (or hanging on the ropes, rope ladders, jungle penetrator) makes my legs want to draw up into my torso!
@katgirl231 Amazing. Just another day at the office... and many of those extractions were "single-ship" also. No gun cover, no chase ship, middle of nowhere. If there was trouble, it turned into big trouble right away.
I enlarged and tried to enhance the LZ photo to let people see more of the photo: http://twolftfeet.com/JPEG/lrp_lz_gator834-1186x640.jpg