G Brent Gulick 166 38 785 Captain, Infantry Airborne Ranger and SF
Vietnam and Cold War June 1968 to Jan 1983
Witness to War.
1. Yes three different times.. First was my first day with the 9th Division in Tan An. Four RR shoots into my barracks. Second was Cambodia, it was both NVA and US Artillery fire and last was with the Americal Division at LZ Stinson
2. All of them were close but the Tan An attack was the first and the one I’ll always recall.
3. You never had a day when you were not sure you were looking at the enemy. The shooting part with the NVA happened in Cambodia first and then whenever I went to the field.
4. I lost a Team leader Bob Bryan from Colin, NY who was the best guy I ever saw in the field. He was killed 10 days before he was to go home. The worst one was after my Platoon minus ambushed a 40 man platoon of NVA. I was very shaky after that contact, got my first Bronze Start from that fight and my best friend Lt Mark Toschik gave me his 3 day in-country R & R at China Beach-a real place. While I was there he was killed in a helicopter Ambush Ala Black hawk down. He was extracting one of my teams when they blew the tail rotor off his Slick. Took me 30 years to get over that one.
5. Was wounded in August of 1970 when I took a reinforced team into a fire fight to back up one of teams who was in contact. The team leader went one on one with an NVA with a RPG and got him but was blown 12 feet in the air and lived. I stayed with the team and later that night we heard noise and went to throw hand Grenades at the noise. We got into a Hand Grenade throwing contest and I and a Team member got hit. He was dusted off and I stayed with the team. Dale Dinwiddie got his Purple and I just applied for my Purple Heart after he pushed me to do it-The Army does not believe why I waited so long, they tell me there are over 22,000 awards that in a Back order status. I have statements from my old CO and Sgt Dale Dinwiddie plus TOC Reports but they have not granted me this award and is with the Army Appeal Board. Life goes on. BTW have two Bronze Star medals and three ARCOM’s, CIB-my most prized award, and four air medals and yes I have the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry-Silver Award
6. There are so many times that I was lucky. Just luck. One was not a Combat situation but when I was transferred to Foxtrot Ranger Company 25th Division. Was back up slick in getting two teams out of the Fish Head not of Black Virgins Mountain which is now an amusement park. The NCOIC wanted to do a Ladder extraction of the Team and I was not for it but wanted to use a Strabo Rig. It would have taken more time and gave in to using a 40ft ladder. The first guy up passed out at the top of the ladder and fell 40 ft. back down and landed on his neck with all his gear. The first slick pulled out and my slick went in to try and land and pick him up. We hit and wacked our way down 80 feet of trees and triple Canopy Jungle, all with the sound of gun fire/from the trees breaking and being shredded by the Rotor Blades. I thought we were going to die when the Rotor Blades came off but they stayed together and we picked him up and took him back to Cu Chi 25th Hqs. Went to see him in Third Field Hospital and later found out he lived and became an Attorney in Carrol County MD.
7. Vivid memories, when I took over Command of the Ranger Company and that ceremony. Was award my Bronze Star and said good bye to my CO who went home. Also when disbanded the 9th Division Ranger Company at Long An
8. The funniest thing was the time I ran from the RR attack at the Tan an Airport. The only place I saw that gave cover was a ditch 30 feet away-pitch black and running I jumped in and then realized that it was the drainage ditch from the latrine... I took three showers and still smelled terrible. Well we went for a steak dinner one time and in walks this group of navy people who were Seals but had a strange beret. They may have been boat people but we mocked them for the way they wore their beret. They got angry real fast and chairs were thrown and the fight started. I took one swing and the next thing I was being thrown out a 2nd story window. I landed in a tree. I got down and ran up the stairs and got pushed down the stairs. One of my Team leaders yells at me that I needed to leave-NO place for an officer…So I left to the sound of breaking glass. It was kind of funny.
9. The Rangers ran an Air Op called Parakeets. They would pick up the Team that was out on Patrol and the Hunter Killer Team-One Cobra Gunship and a LOC would work an area mostly around stream beds and the Nipa Palm -they were trees that could hide NVA in the area. These operations would always be a high stress op and one that no one wanted for we were inserted when they found something-a bunker or blood trails or the LOC Got into contact. The rangers would go out each night for one-two or three day patrols. We worked intel that the Agency gave Bde and most of it was at least a B@ grade or good intel. We would always do a VR of the area in the day and set down Artillery preplots that could be fired quickly and were preplanned. The direct action missions or raids were what we did. Went out with five six or seven men almost everyday to ambush a well travel route or water way near to villages or in the Plain of Reeds. It never stopped even after Cambodia. Will say that staying well was an issue for the water was foul and it was being sprayed with Agent Orange or Agent Silver. Plus the bugs and snakes were always around. Many guys got trench foot and I had several bouts of Amebic Dysentery . Food never would stay in your body. Last we did BDA work and one time I was so angry with the NVA that I got the USAF to take out three Grid Squares…Great sales job on my part..I got so angry
10. They worst one was the ambush of 40 NVA-the results were 22 KIA and an eight or all night firefight. My 52 man Company had a bigger KIA count then two Brigades of the 25th Div. The NVA worn both Tan and green uniforms and sometimes Blk
11. The last mission I ran was as an S2 with the Americal looking for two downed pilot in Laos The 1/52 Bat went looking for POWs and found two base camps. I only had 14 days left but I wanted to go.. The G Company Rangers repelled down 80 feet to get to the camp. Two of my guys were from the 9th Div were in on the Raid. We did not find POWs but destroyed a bunch of Laos.