Ed Griffith Story
I am including (by permission of Ed) some of his emailed comments and stories about his time in D company 1st Bn 8th Cav. I have taken the liberty of linking to my dictionary (for the non-military folks) and to some of the photos he was kind enough to send. Should you have questions or comments feel free to email Ed directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was just sitting here reminiscing and surfing the web when I came across
you web page. I was the Arty FO with D 1/8
for most of the time you were there. You said you only saved one picture
from your tour, but I have several you may want. Here is just one of the RTO's
of D 1/8, as they are pretty large files when scanned, what is the best format
to send them to you in? I also have 2 of the big
snake you mentioned being killed with Beetle and Rudi!
I was the FO with D from late Sept. 69 till early Apr. 70. I then became the Arty Firing Battery XO on the fire bases until the last of Aug. then homeward bound. I was officially assigned to C Battery 1/21 Field Artillery but we supported 1/8 for most of my tour (then we moved to 2/8).
Loved what you did with the pictures keep up the good work. I read a little more on the page yesterday and the memories came flooding back. I remembered well the "snake" incident and the one where the point man found the unmanned machine gun. I remember the bird and lizard very well. After I went to the Arty Battery as XO they had a pet lizard in the Inf. Bn. TOC. One of the radio operators got either drunk or stoned one night and the other RTO's bet him he wouldn't eat the lizard so he bit it's head off and they paid off the $10.00 bet Another memory that really stands is on a firebase. It was "Ellen" I think, just after Capt. Perkins joined us (probably before you came) we were on the first night of a stand down after a really "bad" month in the jungle. I was in a sleeping bunker with Perkins and really sawing logs when he shook me awake. He said "We're taking incoming" and I asked where they were hitting. He said in the wire and I said wake me again if they start hitting inside the berm and rolled over and went back to sleep. As I said it was a "Bad Trip" that time in the jungle.
Do you remember the older First Sgt. who lead independent recon patrols for the company? He is in one of the pictures I scanned yesterday but I don't remember his name. I got 115 pictures scanned and will sent you a CD if you give me your Snail Mail address.
I got home from Nam in Sept. '70 and planned to spend a few months just living the good life. Here in WV (West Virginia) I was eligible to draw unemployment as a soldier returning from active duty, but had to "look for work". On one of those "searches" I took a test and filled out an application at the request of the unemployment office. Three weeks later they called me and told me to report to the State Capitol the next week with enough clothes to last a month. I had been hired as a Conservation Officer (Game Warden) and was assigned in the mountains 3/4 of the way across the state from home. I moved and have been in the area ever since.
I stayed a CO just over 8 years (through one bad marriage and into the beginning of a great one) and then transferred to the environmental law enforcement section of the state agency that regulated mining and quarrying industry. I progressed through that agency from rookie inspector to the #2 (Deputy Director) position in the state. In late 2000 my wife of 25 years died from cancer and in 2002 I took a look at my career and options. With my military time, 31+ years on the job and accrued unused sick and annual leave, I got credit for 38 years and 9 months toward retirement. That calculated out to $50.00 a month less bring home than I was making working so I retired (I owed it to myself). I now play on the computer, do genealogy (my hobby for 25 years) and play with my 3 grandsons. I live in a small town, Princeton, WV about 11 miles north of where Interstate 77 crosses from WV into VA, and have been here since 1971. We are just over 3000 ft here so it has been snowing off and on for the last three days but it generally melts off in the afternoons.
Good job, if we had had just a little more time we would have made a Redleg out of you. As I remember you got to be pretty good at doing positions from the "hanging" sound shots we used to verify our locations. The 1SGT was an older man who had Korean War experience and maybe a previous Viet Nam tour. He had retired from the Army and came back and volunteered for Nam so his son wouldn't have to go. He spent his time in the field rather than the rear. He led a special squad that did special patrols and recon. His point man was called "Gator" because he was from FL. The reason I asked if you remembered his name was a story about one of his patrols. They found a bunker complex and in moving through it they discovered it was occupied. During the fire fight he started to throw a grenade down the entrance to a bunker. Just as he threw it, the NVA in the bunker fired a rifle hitting his helmet a glancing blow just above the ear. It knocked Top out cold as ice. When we got to him he was waking up and when Perkins asked how he was he simply said with some emphasis, "That M-F tried to kill me!".
This 6 yo (year old) is my oldest grandson. I have two others, one born last October and one born in November but they don't come to stay over without parents because Paw-Paw doesn't do diapers.