Um. The Vietna—There was just so much hate and resentment towards these people and may be so...as far as our psychological building how we were, like we were trying to be John Wayne and macho and hard and people got knocked around all the time. If you asked a person a question and they answered you back in Vietnamese, how would they know English? Well, I know they wouldn’t know English, but you’d just be pissed off and just smack the person. Hit them in the head with a rifle butt. Women were strip searched all the time. Very common. They’d be strip searched and um um people would put their fingers in their vaginas. Um. Supposedly looking for stuff.
It was just a bunch of good old boys sort of. I, I, I don’t know if you understand what...how that is, but what that means. It’s sort of, like, go in high school a bunch of guys hang out together, get drunk. Where I lived, we’d go fight with the Cubans and stuff like that an um we’d do things that wouldn’t be acceptable if somebody did that to our sisters or our friends. But, we were all good, good old boys. We were all friends and with the peer pressure and just how you did things that it’s just, it was acceptable. Um. It’s where acceptable, unacceptable stuff would be acceptable.
And, it in Vietnam it wasn’t any different. No one had to say go up and hit that woman. I mean, you’d ask her a question and she’d, she’d make believe she didn’t know what you were saying or if she didn’t know what you were saying, you just hit her in the face with your rifle, rip her clothes off, whatever you wanted to do basically. When officers were around, it was a little bit harder. But, the only time officers were around was when um there would be an operation as opposed to a patrol and there was many, many more patrols than there were organized operations and even when there was an operation, there weren’t that many officers around. Officers were being killed and wounded all the time and in a company there would only be a captain and three lieutenants, and generally, we’d have a captain, maybe two lieutenants and a staff sergeant and they couldn’t be everywhere. And, there, um, it
was common for officers to come upon stuff and yell at people, um, for treating the Vietnamese badly. Um.
Even um people who were prisoners, who who were actually Viet Cong
as opposed to people who were Viet Cong
suspects and I specifically remember in Operation Stone, there was a man who was wounded and his leg was dangling cause it had been blown apart. He was being carried on a rubber poncho. And, he was laying this way like I am, flat, and the movement of the men carrying him was this way and his leg was dangling off the poncho and the guy in the front kept putting the poncho down and the guy’s foot would hit the ground and the man would grimace and yell out and his body would come up and everybody would laugh. And um either Captain Carter of Lieutenant Skipsrud(sp) I don’t remember, yelled at the people and told them to keep his leg from hitting the ground and went over there and lifted it up and put it on ah
put his leg on the poncho so it wouldn’t be doing stuff like that. But, um, the soldiers in general didn’t care. There was just too much hate and resentment.