The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on May 14, 1968 · Page 5
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 5

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 14, 1968
Page 5
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War Vignettes By GEORGE McARTHUR Asosciated Press Wirter CHU CHI, Vietnam AP) Otis Holbrook III is a man noncom's stripes at equal range. There is disagreement whether the Army or the Almighty Blytlievllle (Ark.) Courier News - Tuesday, May 14, 1968 - Page Flv». whose thunderous baritone can made Otis Holbrook a top ser- carry over a typhoon. I geant. He can bring a private to at-j There is no dipute that the 6- tention at 300 yards and peel a' foot, 200-pounder from Portland, Maine, runs Company B, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, 25th U.S.'Division. Hii has done so for two years in Vietnam, longer than anyone at headquarters recalls any other top-sergeant has held out. His company executive officer, himself a man with 11 'months in combat, says of the top sergeant: "I never thought I'd run into anything like him but I'm glad I did." ' The 40-year-old topkick's unin- hibited speech Is long on emphasis and short on diplomacy. It is hard to reproduce. ' On a top'sergeant's duties: "All a blankeiy-blank top sergeant has to do in this blanke- ty-blank Army is to kick soldiers in,the blankety blank and take names." Answering the phone from battalion headquarters: "Don't get excited up there in Panic Palace No. I don't was just doing my blankety- blank job." ; Encountering a soldier sus- •pected -of goofing-off: . "What the blankety.-blank are you doing back here, soldier? Going What war is this?" Despite a waistline beginning to show an old soldier's liking for beer arid strong water, Hoi- brook's action in combat match- to the post-exchange? kind of blankety-blank want no blankety-blank award. II es his fiery language. He has won a Silver Star for valor, carries shrapnel in' his legs from a wound liiat sent hm to the hospital for a month and still prefers to be "out on the line where I am blankety-blank needed." .. . In two years with the company, Holborok has seen 33 of his comrades killed in action and about 250 evacuated with serious wounds. He has seen 10 company commanders come and go—8 normally rotated, one I seriously wounded and another! transferred at his own request.' Holbrook could have gone home after a normal 12-month tour but twice extended. "The company needed experienced men," he said. "You" know the sergeants in this outfit now average about 20 and 21 years old. They just don't have ; the blarikety-blank experience." j Still, Holbrook realizes that lie; is a disappering breed in the changing Army—a fact that' countless old soldiers regret. Be plans to retire in December after 22 years' service and live in Hawaii where he served many years. THE EXTRA TAKES EXTRA CARE OF YOU IAREWETAKE STARTS WEDNESDAY!... OLD FASHIONED SAVINGS ON NEEDS FOR YOUR ENTBRE FAMILY AND HOME! /«, . '* r j&7 \ w, A* 8 ,2f* '«,•« \ IIVABIE, LOVAB1E SUMMER FASHIONS ... 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