Paint It Black



Martin slept with one eye open.  Much as he had done the second night on patrol, but this was more extreme.  The white faces around him, didn't seem that much different from his now.  They were fighting together, and he needed them to survive.  The men on watch surveyed the scene around them, looking for any signs of enemy presence.  Which was rather difficult as they knew fierce warfare was now taking place inside the city.

As morning came, Sergeant Cobb woke the men to prepare them for the day's struggle.  Eating his C-Rations, Martin looked at the skyline of Hue, imagining what was going on inside.  He felt uneasy about the task he and 1st Platoon had before them.  Going in first, but knew he had to perform his duty, just like the next man.

The long file of men made their way out of the city's edge, following a long street that led to the center district.  Helicopter gunships poured out fire on buildings that supported sniper activity.  Patton tanks had been called in to relieve Alpha Company, which had been held down for several days fighting the NVA and VC near the tower and east wall.

An unfortunate fellow who had been taking point was shot in the head by a sniper along the road.  The men of 1st Platoon fanned out to flush him out of hiding.  Ray Frederick opened up with his  M-60, riddling the closet structure with a vast amount of bullets.  The sniper had ducked out of the back of a house close to that one, and headed down an alley away from the Platoon.  Sergeant Cobb, sensing something big darted out after him, Corporal Henson following not too far behind.  Lieutenant Montgomery looked up, noticing the two men had gone.  Thinking the Sergeant was on to something, he grabbed two men, and followed.

Martin was busy adjusting to the adrenaline in his body when he felt the Lieutenant grab him by the collar.  "Come on, there's work to do!"  Casey, beside Martin, got drafted too, and the small group followed the Lieutenant, close on the heels of Sergeant Cobb.

Cobb had a feeling the sniper was heading back to the interior of the city.  He motioned to Henson and followed down the alley the man had fled in.  A quick burst of automatic rifle fire let him know he was close but not entirely correct.  He looked up to see the man had darted into another house off the alley, where several more guerillas were held up firing on Cobb and Henson.

Just then, they were joined by Lieutenant Montgomery and Martin and Casey.  "You came at the right time!"  The Sergeant informed the Lieutenant.  "Charlie's over there!"  He continued, pointing out the house they had made a temporary fortress.  Montgomery sent Casey back for the LAW [light anti-tank weapon], and he returned with a private who had that weapon on his person.

After a few rounds fired in the direction of the house, the soldier rose and aimed the small bazooka at the structure, firing a rocket into the window.  "Good shot!"  Lieutenant Montgomery praised the man, as the home erupted in smoke and flames.  The group returned to the Platoon who all were crouched in defensive positions, hiding behind the walls of the houses on the street, waiting for notification of what was going on.