Here's a wee story about my 4th of July experience during my Tour of Duty.
Delta Co. 1st Bn 4th Marine Regt
July 4th 1969, in the Bush, on a Rocket Patrol East of Vandergriff Combat Base.
We were on a Company sized patrol, looking to interdict the NVA 122mm Rocket teams that were targeting Vandergriff Combat Base. We were in an area known to have had rockets launched from it.
After hiking through the area all day, never finding any sign of the enemy we were looking for, we set up a perimeter on a hilltop covered in Elephant Grass, and began digging our Foxholes and clearing fields of fire. About a half hour into preparing our position for the night, a call went out to all the platoons, "Mount up and move out". It turns out that a Boot Marine had set up his C-Ration heating unit to eat.
This Marine had only been in country for a couple of weeks, and wasn't aware of the danger of setting the Elephant Grass afire. Well he knows now, because his mistake forced the entire Company to flee for our lives from the burning Elephant Grass. We rushed about half a click upwind from the now rip roaring blaze,to set up on another hilltop, the wind blowing at our backs as we watched the fire rip through the Elephant Grass, totally engulfing several downwind hilltops.
We set up for the night in our new position, and began the usual night routines LPs set up and watches organized. Soon the night turned black as usual, and the watches began. Then shortly after the darkness engulfed us, a cry went up from several mates on watch, off in the distance the sky was lit up with every color flare in the US inventory. A firebase in the distance was celebrating the 4th of July by launching dozens of waves of red,green, purple, yellow, and white flares in the darkness. It was a 4th of July unlike any I had ever seen.
"Gooooooooood moooooooorrrnnniiiiiinnnnnggggggg, Jody"! Good to hear from you.
I'm not authorized to wish you, "Semper Fi, mac." You'll have to settle for "Garrry Owen, trooper!" Have a happy 4th @Facman.