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Dear Dad

by Patrick Stone (AKA, 'Sarg'), 5/25/1975, 20th Birthday

This picture has many special meanings to me.
Here are a few. It was taken by me on August 21, 197O
on my 20th birthday at about 6:30 a.m. I was on jump
firebase "Dwarf" which was just south of Duc Pho inwhat was
then called the 11th brigade recon area. The picture was taken
looking east towards the South China Sea.

Within a mile of where this picture was taken lies an obscure
hill where on April 15, 1970 second platoon of company "C"
of the 4th/3rd battalion, llth brigade, was completely wiped out
by an enemy booby trap. Over 60 men were wounded and
14 were killed. It was supposedly one of the most deadly booby
traps of the war. Five months later on September 5, 1970 I became
the first platoon sergeant of 2nd platoon. In fact, it did not exist
until then because it took those five months to replace the people
that were lost in the booby trap. I had the dubious, honor of reorganizing
2nd platoon since there was no lieutenant at the time. Within a week we
were assigned a lieutenant to run the platoon, but on our first mission he
stepped on another booby trap, so I again became platoon leader.

Five days before this picture we walked into an ambush and "Red," a
friend, was shot through the chest. He lived.

Four days before this picture, a sister company shot a mortar that
landed on top of our command post and killed Doc Rivera and James.
Both were friends.

Two days before this picture, two men in our company walked
into a booby trap set by a sister company for the Viet Cong. Both
Fred and Jonathan were killed.
Both were friends.

Other than for God's eternal purposes, I see no reason to this.
What a lousy war,
These are the memories I live with every day.

Love in Christ,


Americal Division Unit Patch
The Americal Division is the only army infantry division to be formed outside the continental United States. The Americal division is also the only named army Division. All other army divisions have a number designation. The army later added the number designation of the 23rd Infantry Division to the Americal title. The four stars represent the constellation Crux. Crux is referred to as; 'The Southern Cross'. The Americal Division motto is 'Under the Southern cross'. The patch has been worn in combat by Americal Division veterans who served in the Pacific theatre during WWII and by veterans of the Vietnam War.

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