Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Leech VN

(C) James J Alonzo

In southeast Asia, most times the climate is hot, and humid. There is an 8 month monsoon season in Viet Nam, followed by a dry season. Both seasons have one thing in common, it's hot as Hell! If you didn't was a rash or what we called jungle rot of the crotch, you learned to use powder and not wear underware. Because when you sweat so much your underware has high levels of moisture and ammonia. Hence the rash or jungle rot.

The unit I was assigned to patrolled what was known as the "Iron Triangle" and was located in the Delta.

This story is about one day in the Delta the 101rst Airborne was patrolling parts of the Iron Triangle, that was swampy, hot, and humid. As I was crossing a stream of slow moving rotten smelling water, I felt something crawling up my ankle, inside my pant leg.

"Swell!," I thought, "Just what I need, leeches!"

I knew when we stopped, I 'd have to drop my pants, lite a cigarette, and burn the leeche's ass off to get him to drop off. Leeches carried diseases, so it was best to get them off before they filled up with my blood and dropped off on their own. However at this time we had to be careful for we were in a hot area of Viet Cong.

Just as those thoughts were completed we received small arms fire from the VC, and dove for cover. As I was diving for cover, my attention was torn between getting shot or the leech, which despite the gun fire, was crawling up my thigh heading towards my manhood!

The higher we climbed up the hill, the higher the leech climb the inside of my leg, the less I was concerned about getting shot! That leech was pretty high up my leg by the time I got up that hill.

We had spotted a handfull of the Viet Cong who had been shooting at us while taking this hill, returning fire at the enemy, our Platoon Sergeant radioed the company for a artillery fire mission.

During a lull of small arms fire I bent over and desperately dropped my pants, my backside facing our troops as they were climbing the hill. I had lit a cigarette by this time and was in the process of burning the little bastard off. I was in the nick of time for the leech had gotten as close as an inch away from my manhood. Meanwhile the small arms fire started again.

While performing this task, other soldiers had passed me by and were shooting at the retreating enemy, I am sure they were confused at what I was doing when they came in view of my backside.

In true Airborne Trooper spirit under fire, the first trooper to see me fighting the leech, Terry Yater, on spotting my backside, never broke his stride passing me, climbing the hill shouted back at me,

"Jesus! Jim, it is bad enough that I'm getting shot at but do you have to moon me too?!"

Mission accomplished, The leech was finally removed, I pulled my pants up, adjusting my gear, and continued on to the top of the hill. I was pissed, for I knew I wouldn't hear the last of this.

© Copyright 2011 James J Alonzo All rights reserved.
James J Alonzo has granted Agent Orange Legacy its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.


acp said...

I could just picture this as I read your blog. Humor is so necessary in difficult situations to keep us going. I think you should be given a purple heart, just for providing something to laugh about in such a stressful situation. Thanks for sharing.

James J Alonzo-DiCenzo said...

Thanks for you kind words. I try to write about Viet Nam and use humor.