Dan Mathiesen Tentaventis Vietnam
"The most scariest part of being in Vietnam was the chance of getting blown up or shot."
I was thinking about home at the time when all the sudden there was a loud boom. I was in Tentaventis, Vietnam. It was the war. The only reason I’m here right now is because I was drafted. And now I might be dying because me and the squad just got blown up. Now all I can think about is my family, and what happens if I die.
Our squad has just got stationed to another post. The only way we could get to our new post was going through the monsoons. It started to rain and the smells were very musty. All I could see were the streams running down by my feet. All I could here was the frogs chirping. The wind picked up a little and I was so freezing cold and shivering. I was so determined to get through the monsoons, and make sure none if our men get shot. We were all whispering to each other to make sure the enemy could not hear us. Finally we got through the monsoons and got to our new assigned post.
I think the scariest part of being in Vietnam was the chance of getting shot or blown up. I didn’t think I could handle that fact of never seeing my wife. The thought of dying in war is just not what I want. I want to die when I am older and I have grandkids. The thing is I don’t even think there is a point of this war. It is basically just a political war and not a big problem.
I was just getting used to the everyday life of a solider. You know being in war, and the possibility of getting shot or blown up was just part of my life. I can’t stop thinking about my family and how I am only nineteen years old and was just married. I don’t know how I got drafted and put into this stupid war. Vietnam is not the best place to be.
I was just getting my break and going back into war when all of the sudden my Lieutenant called me in and told me I was going back home. I couldn’t speak for a minute. Then I finally asked “why am I being sent home?” The Lieutenant said “because your sister has died”. I tried to act like a man at the time but I started to cry. I couldn’t hold it in. Then he told me I was leaving in a little bit and being shipped home.
Once I got home I went right to see my wife, Maddy. She came up to me and said it will be okay. The next couple of days passed and I felt like an outsider because I had been gone for so long. Then came the day of my sister’s funeral and I couldn’t believe the girl I grew up with is dead. She was so young, 16 years old, a Junior at Crestmoor High School in San Bruno. I was so sad. All I could do is just stay with my wife.
This journey showed me to cherish your family as long as you can. Also, make sure you know what you are doing and doing it because you want to. I am one of the many men who risked their lives in the Vietnam War. I didn’t like what I was doing and didn’t get a choice because I was drafted. I did it because I had to and I wanted to protect this country. So cherish all the time you have with your family. I always thought war was harder but death is the hardest part.