WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Vietnam veteran says his Dad asked him what he was going to do about the war, so he made his way to the National Guard Armory and signed up to serve.
That was in 1965. Then just three years later, the entire National Guard was activated into the Army.
Ron Adame was then headed to the war.
“This is a picture of us in the Nam waiting for the choppers to come in,” Vietnam Veteran Ron Adame said.
Adame and the other soldiers were waiting for the choppers to come in, with their rucksacks packed.
He said in the jungle you just never knew what was going to happen.
“Am I going to make it today?” Adame said. “If I make it today, will I make it tomorrow?” Adame said.
He said combat was nothing like it’s portrayed in the movies.
He said there was no cutting up with the guys or good times for the 101st Airborne.
“We just did what we needed to do, which was ambush, search, and destroy,” Adame said.
He said one time he was tasked with leading the group to get them to a place where the choppers could get to them.
“After it was over, it was pretty cool, to lead the whole company, but it was kind of scary too, but we made it,” Adame said.
He said the choppers dropped supplies every four days.
“Of course, when the choppers come in and the VC were in the area, they go there. They are over there,” Adame said.
He said in the jungle you should never let your guard down.
“We were digging through our stuff and actually having a pretty good time that day,” Adame said.
He said that’s when they were hit from behind.
“They just unleashed a barrage on us, and we hit the ground and everything,” Adame said. “I turned around and looked at the trees and twigs and everything and they were just hanging.”
Adame said he always had two guys looking out for him.
“They said, you get between us, and we’ll tell you what to do,” Adame said.
Years after his time in service, Adame started putting it all to paper.
“It was fun, to start with, and it took me 10 years to write,” Adame said.
He said it all goes back to a night alone at Travis Air Force Base.
“Closed my eyes and it was almost an audible click, in my head, that said you made it, they can’t get ya, now you can go on and live the rest of your life,” Adame said.
He said the original title was going to be silence, because that’s what so many experienced when they returned.
“I think the way they were treated, I think tripped a lot of them who were on the balance part,” Adame said.
He said the young men saw so much in the jungle, he said back then they called it shell shock.
“We were on such high alert, I mean we were out in the boonies for three, four, five weeks at a time,” Adame said.
He said there’s one story you won’t find in these pages.
“We were in single file, and the squad platoon that was in front, got lit up,” Adame said.
He said they all hit the ground.
“Then, I felt something on the heel of my boot, go, plunk, and I went what was that, then it hit my leg, and my back, and then the last one goes “bink” off my steel pot, and this all takes place in a nanosecond,” Adame said.
He said it was an F-4 blazing above, firing a canon.
“Nobody even talked about it, just another day in the jungle,” Adame said, “You know, let’s go do it again somewhere else.”
He remembers getting a clean uniform, for the first time in many, many months.
“This picture is 51 years old,” Adame said.
This was captured just before he finally made it home.
“I am glad I did it, but nobody wants to do it again,” Adame said.
Adame’s book is dedicated to Danny Case, a high school friend of his.
He actually saw Case at the airport when he was coming home from Vietnam.
Case was headed overseas at that time, and he never made it home.
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