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The VVMF Registry

Dan P. Gooch


Entered service at Ft. Ord California and, in view of the fact there was a Meningitis outbreak we were shipped out to other training centers. Took basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. After basic I was given the MOS of a Medic and shipped out to Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. After two weeks of training I was waiting in a line to sign up for the softball team and noticed that a Sgt. Johnson’s desk name plate said he was a “Reclassification” officer. He was from my home town and I convinced him to reclassify me as a cook. Spent the next 7 months at Ft. Sam and then shipped out to VN. My first day in the field was the start of the Tet Offensive. During my service in VN, all in the field, I was proud that we fed our guys a hot breakfast and a hot dinner most days, depending on our situation. As cooks we would go back to the base camp and get food/supplies and while we were in the rear we would go into the rear of the base mess hall and “re-acquisition” stove parts, spices, special food items such as meats and ice cream and bring it back to the field. Nothing like the look on a grunts’ face when they came through the chow line in the field and they found out we had ice cream for them! We would heat up water in 32 gallon cans so they could take a hot shower! We loved our guys and were proud of the quality of food we served them. Likewise they considered us essential and respected our efforts. Whenever we were back in base camp for a couple of days we were always admonished, along with the Medics, to “stay out of the fight”....and when I asked for the first time, “what fight?”...Sgt’s and experienced grunts would tell us....”Oh there’s gonna be a fight...and we don’t want our cooks and medics getting hurt, especially by the REMF’s (Rear Echelon M F’s)” and sure enough whenever we went to a NCO club a fight would break out and our guys would literally throw us in a corner and yell at us “don’t move, don’t get involved! Served with a great bunch of guys. We lost 1/3 of our company the year I served. I remember them in my prayers.

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