Clipped From Independent
L.B. MARINE IN VIETNAM DREAMS FITFULLY OF HOME 3:30 a. m.--Reveille--His Last? 3pl. Bob Boyer, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Everett toyer, 4440 Maury \ve., is a squad eader in First Platoon, icho Co., 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines. Two of lis superiors call him "a fine Marine." This 's his 23rd combat operation in 21 months. Boyer, expression as tight as the grip on his Â· ammo dip in right hand, looks out of assault helicopter as it nears landing zone for Operation Foster. By BUCK LANIER Milltary.Editor COMBAT ZONE, Vietnam -- Bob Boyer turned restlessly in his bunk. It was 3:30 a.m., and reveille was about to sound. He clung tenaciously to those last precious moments of sleep, but his mind was already awake. Third in a Series Damn, he thought. Why do the Marines have to "tart everything so early? He tried to remember the dream he had that night. No luck. He thought about his last job, at McDonnell Douglas, about his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Everett Boyer, of 4440 Maury Ave. Ho couldn't concentrate, though. Even the breakfast ahead -- hope it's better than the last one, he thought -- couldn't hold his attention. He was about to begin his 23rd cumbat operation in 21 months. Only 21 years old, lie was a squad leader in the 1st Platoon, Echo Co., 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines. And this was Vietnam. He thought about his next assignment -- Da Nang -brushed it aside and chuckled to himself. Maybe I'll get to Tokyo for some Christmas shopping. His reverie was interrupted by the shrill blasts of rev- ^^^Â»AT*V8Â« ,WÂ»M * Moments after helicopter drops troops (left), Boyer quizzes man (above) about the possibility of Viet Cong lurking in area. Below, Navy Corpsman 3.C. Fred Giese of San Diego confers with Boyer on company's next move. ellle and the bark of a medic -- "Joe, go check that toe. Joe was Lance Cpl. Joe Loerzel. He'd been complaining of a sore toe for days, and Boyer hoped he'd take the medic's advice. Don't want to be short a rifleman, Boyer thought. Besides, Joe always seems to come up with some extra C-rutions from someplace. Loerzel came hack from sick bay, mumbling that he never heard of treating a sore toe with shots in the buttocks, but Boyer wasn't too sympathetic to criticism of corpsmen. How would we manage without them? he won- The men wolfed down their breakfast and were called together for takeoff in the H-46 helicopters. Boyer remembered hearing the tail sections had been in bad shape. Supposed to be fixed now, he thought. They got in. The copiers lifted off. Damn, they're noisy. They penetrated into the landing zone. Got to get out fast, Boyer thought. They fanned out, and moved in to INDEPENDENT TUESDAY, NOV. 28, 1967 SECTION B--Page B-l search a tiny hamlet recently raided hy the Viet Cong. With sporadic rifle fire echoing in the distance, one of Boycr's fellow Marines, Pfc. John Sweeney, poked his rifle nonchalantly into a tunnel and was stunned to discover he was jabbing a Viet Cong in the face. Boyer shook his Head. How do they build these complex tunnels? Sure glad Sweeney saw him first. Guess we'll have to collect the Kids and take 'em to .the resettlement camp. First, we gotta make that hill the other side of the rice paddies. Looks about 1,200 meters away. Rain started to fall. The Marines slogged up Huu Chanh hill into another hamlet. It, too, had been raided. There was no food, so Boyer and several others dropped a few C-rations into a bag for the peasants. The rain continued to pound down as the men dug in and set up a sniper watch. Boyer, thinking about the church mission he wanted to start when he got back, wanted to sleep, but couldn't. He didn't feel comfortable. It was too quiet. I tbink we're going to get hit. NEXT: Later that night and the next day for the company.