By Herbert Gillock
I was cleaning out my billfold the other day when I came across one half of a badly worn Vietnamese bill. My mind began to drift back in time, to many years ago. It was a hot summer night in Xuan Loc Vietnam 1966. I guess it was a night like most other nights in Vietnam. We were sitting on the ground drinking Bud’s and throwing the cans in an oil drum and reminiscing about the good times to come.
My best friend Baker took a Vietnamese bill out of his pocket and tore it in half. He said, “Here Herb, you take half and I’ll keep the other. When we get back to the states, we’ll match them up and celebrate”.
We were getting to move out early the next morning and already mounted on our track. The Lieutenant came over and told me to take the 1-8 vehicle and let Sgt. Coy Vaughns take my squad for the day. What started out to be a routine mission became a nightmare. Death was only moments away. A mine buried in the road claimed the life of my best friend Baker and Sgt. Vaughns lost his right leg. We would never celebrate that reunion in the states.
Time after time I have taken this bill out of my pocket and I have always wondered, what happened to the other half? To this day, I still carry my half of that bill.