June 1971, jungle setting small shadowy clearing, some sun spotting through. Birds chirping, screeching. Villagers moving around slowly. Sudden explosions, more to follow. Havoc, bodies flying, yelling, screaming in foreign language, small automatic weapons firing, more explosions. American troops in quick motions sweeping into Village shooting and capturing inhabitants. Radio communications crackling back and forth. “street gang, street gang confirm Ishackle, Ishackle H.I. fire mission over…radio crackling a response… authenticate Ishackle over.” A young lieutenant responded with a string of numbers and letters. The response crackled. “Street gang, street gang you have ten mikes, fire mission out.” “Everybody out Arty is coming in get moving fast! Didi mau” yelled the young lieutenant.
A sweaty soldier with no uniform shirt wearing only a flak jacket and a sweaty olive drab green towel around his neck lowered his sawed-off shotgun barrel and cautiously lifted the bamboo hatch covering the ground. He slowly peered over the edge of the opening, as his eyes widened. “Fuck me!” he exclaimed. “Sarge over here, quick!” he yelled. Two other GIs gathered and looked down wide eyed.
The shallow cage revealed an emaciated, disgustingly filthy man. He was nearly naked streaked and smeared with his own excrement. He was clothed in dirty rags, his patchy blonde hair was gouged and revealed bare splotches of scalp with a deep wound, blood oozing and streaking his face. He slowly raised his hands against the light, his blinking, deep blue, azure eyes looked more dead than alive. He made only low moaning guttural noises.
A burly man in a sweat drenched fatigue uniform joined the others. He looked down and with slow realization became wide-eyed, he started yelling, “Jesus jumped up Christ! Get him outta there and be careful!” Three men gently lifted him out of the buried bamboo cage. As they pulled him to freedom, they realized that he was almost like picking up a small child. They saw the open sores all over his body and the deep lash wounds crisscrossing his back, oozing and pus filled. Maggots were hanging from the open wounds, as the putrefied mess sent one of the men reeling and gagging.
The man was hoisted onto a makeshift litter and moved to an LZ some distance away. He was loaded into the Huey chopper along with other solders and started to ascend as two other choppers quickly moved in.