791 – A Christmas story from the Vietnam War

Christmas in Vietnam, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

If I could just remember his name …

Christmas is normally a time of joy when the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated around. Ordinarily it is a time when families get together and have a good time with gift exchanging and the consumption of lots of good food. If you were serving in Vietnam during the Christmas season it generally was not as nice as it was for the folks back home.

One Vietnam Veteran’s poignant Christmas story is on the War Stories website titled: If I could just remember his name … It was submitted by Paul Scimone, L/Cpl., H&S co. 3rd Med. Bn., Phu Bai, RVN. In his piece he tells about an experience he had on Christmas Eve at Phu Bai in 1967. He was serving at the time as a driver/litter-bearer for 3rd Medical Battalion in the 1st Marine Division.

Things were relatively quiet around their area on that Christmas Eve with only one medevac flight coming in around 9:00 pm. On it was young Marine from the 2/26 Marines who had a serious head wound. The doctors quickly determined he was brain dead but were amazed that his vitals were almost normal. The doctors said to put him in the shock and debriedment room where he would surely pass away and then his remains would be shipped off to the Graves and Registration at DaNang the next day.

Scimone rolled the gurney with the wounded Marine into the S & D room, left him there and returned to his “hootch” he chatted with his buddies about what they thought might be going on back home for Christmas. After a while of doing that he began to think about the young man that lay dying on the gurney in the S & D room. It began to bother him the wounded soldier was dying alone on Christmas Eve. The rest of his story just might bring you to tears.


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