Liberty In Peril


                                                                                       The Llano Ledger

Vietnam 3                                                       7-1-16      ©2016 All Rights Reserved


Want to know what courage means?  Determination?  Intestinal fortitude?  Guts?  Consider the case of Army Capt. Paul “Buddy” Bucha.  Fox reports:

"Army Capt. Paul “Buddy” Bucha faked out the enemy while leading a motley crew in Vietnam.  ...The Medal of Honor recipient was hailed as a hero after he made North Vietnamese fighters believe his 187th Infantry Regiment was much bigger than it really was. The combination of bravery and cunning helped him earn the nation's highest military honor, an award bestowed upon him by the president."

The Captain was no slouch.  Nor were his men:

“We were called the 'clerks and the jerks,'" he recalled. "We were a few smart guys and a lot of badasses … considered the losers of all losers.  But as a company commander new to Vietnam, "I, too, was a loser,” Bucha recalled fondly years later. “So we were sort of meant for each other.  They ended up being a very disciplined, proud, and frightening force," he said."

They certainly were:

"On March 16, 1968, soon after the Tet Offensive, Bucha's 89-man company took part in a counterattack designed to push the North Vietnamese away from Saigon.  On March 18, after they found a clearing and resupplied, Bucha directed his troops to push into the jungle, where it was getting dark.  A soldier spotted a group of Vietnamese water carriers and women, which usually indicated an established enemy location. Bucha gave him permission to fire a few rounds to test what was out there.  The entire mountain returned fire…. I said, 'Oh, my God,'" Bucha recalled."

It gets worse.  Far worse.  The Captain and his men endured the unendurable:

"An entire North Vietnamese Army battalion hit Bucha's unit with heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and claymore mines, pinning down the lead group of 12 Americans."

Imagine you're young.  In a situation like this.  Fear rampant.  Yet, courage is not the absence of fear, but acting despite and in spite of it:

"Bucha ordered his troops to withdraw to a more defensible position, and for the next several hours they were in a fierce firefight. He feared his group would be overrun, and a dark thought crept into his mind: "What a hellhole to die in."

Indeed.  What to do?  Never, ever, never give up.  Use your training, educational experience, and creativity to survive.  He positioned his men all over the area and instructed them by calling out their number to hurl their grenades en masse, giving the enemy the impression his force was much, much larger than it was:

"A U.S. helicopter finally arrived, and Bucha directed the evacuation of the wounded. When the enemy withdrew the next morning, he learned that his team had killed more than 150 North Vietnamese."

He lost ten men.  When he learned he earned the Medal of Honor, he informed a sergeant he didn't deserve it:

"But the sergeant convinced him he would wear the medal on behalf of his men, and on May 14, 1970, Bucha accepted the award from President Richard Nixon."

Notice every Medal of Honor holder always thinks and opines they don't deserve it.  That is, those who survived and lived to tell about it.  Sadly, most did not.  This humility, along with their heroic achievements, are what make these men so unusual.  The best of the best.  The quotes were written by Carole Glines of Fox News.  Hat's off.  No one could have done it better.

Tim Chorney, Publisher
Liberty In Peril

Tim Chorney, Publisher
Liberty In Peril
The Llano Ledger
P.O. Box 151
Buchanan Dam, Texas 78609
United States Of America