Night Excursion
Heavy Casualties
"A grunt is a grunt and no matter where you put him ... "

Copyright (1999) by APVNV Pat (Beanie) Camunes
D/4/31 196 Lt Inf Bde
TayNinh 12/66-04/67 -  TamKy 04/67-12/67"


Today our plan consists of a night excursion. Plans are drawn up and areas of possible heavy activity are marked on our waterproofed maps. The right equipment and supplies are carefully selected and then cautiously weeded through to eliminate what is not necessary to accomplish our task this evening. Our cleaned, oiled and only highly efficient equipment is serious and not a laughing matter. We are seriously intending to take a heavy count tonight.
The pre-darkness of dusk falls upon us and we quietly and carefully move out to the predetermined area that we have chosen for tonight. We move silently, so as not to instill any warning of our approaching destination and the only hint to our approach is the occasional reflecting glint of gleaming moonlight. We are determined and nothing will get in the way of our goal tonight.

Our AO (Area of Operations) is finally arrived at and our preparation is begun. Everyone with me this evening is assigned and responsible for his own area to maintain. Equipment is set up carefully because so much of it has been prepared to a razor hone and we avoid our own unnecessary bloodshed that could very easily alert our prey to our presence ... the deadly game starts and the nerve racking waiting begins.

WHAM! The first strike begins immediately to my left and quickly moves around to me and the rest of my party. We are determined and THEY WILL take a heavy toll. Excitement abounds … cries of exhilaration, disappointment and occasional injuries are breaking the silence we had formerly adhered to. We are inflicting a heavy toll, as was our prediction, and it continues on with a renewed commitment.

The attack is furious and it stops as suddenly as it had started. A quick and unofficial count of our captured and dying prey is excitingly taken. We have again become the winners in this war of wits.

Under the moonlight we move back to the quiet and gentle shores of Medina Lake, Texas and after docking our boat, we count the damage that we have done to this year’s white bass run. We had prepared, executed and had accomplished the same results that we lived by so many, many years ago in Vietnam.

A grunt is a grunt and no matter where you put him ... he is still a grunt:

I am an Infantryman,
A killer, a hunter.
The VC is my game.
I am an Infantryman,
To many is the name.

But when the war is over
And all the guns of battle cease to ring,
And all the facts are brought to light,
I, the Infantryman,
Shall be crowned King.   

APVNV Pat(Beanie)Camunes
D/4/31 196 Lt Inf Bde
TayNinh 12/66-04/67   TamKy 04/67-12/67