The Journey from ‘Nam beside My Buddies

November 11, 2013

This is the true account of one man’s journey home from ‘Nam.

by Harold Herrington,danang aka Dinkiedow


Medical evacuation home from Vietnam September 1st 1968.
I left from Da Nang Hospital where I had been since August 7th when I suffered multiple shrapnel wounds to my entire body.
In flames from the 155 explosion under me, my men came rushing to roll me and extinguish the flames.
Full of metal and several holes in my body from head to toe. I went to my radio and called for air medivac for my Sergeant and myself.
Oh, did I forget to mention I was second in charge and Radioman(Like Radar).
The Chopper picked us up 30 minutes later and off to Danang Hospital we went.
When we landed they removed us, placed us on wooden tables outside, stripped us and hosed us down of our blood.
Then I was left alone, Naked as a Jay Bird till it was my turn on the operating table.
With head wounds pain relief was not given.
They started cleaning my many wounds. Finally they gave me a spinal to relive the pain.
I awoke the next day feeling nothing from the waist down.
I called over a nurse asking to have my head lifted to see what was left to me.
All I saw was white bandages from head to toe, but knowing there must be something under there!
Two days later they took me back to the operating room where I found they hadn’t put one stitch in me yet, for there were too many wounded that day.
Wire stitches were in order.  Two holes were needed for each one.  Again No Pain Relief!
Many, many wire stitches–both feet, legs, stomach, chest  and  head, OUCH!
Within a week my body was inflamed with an infection.
I had a 105 temperature, and was bleeding yellow and green and stunk to high heaven!
Packed in ice.  Later I was good enough to travel home.
Cam Ron Bay Hospital was my first stop, then on to Japan. Finally USA bound on a cargo plane.
I was asleep when I boarded.  A nurse awoke me to find I was on a stretcher hanging from the plane wall. She informed me I was entitled to any meal on the flight because I was the only passenger eating.
I asked what she meant by that remark, only to lower her head which my eyes followed,
finding underneath me were caskets of my fallen buddies.
This was like a foreshadowing of the horrible treatment to which I would be coming home.
Semper Fi!
Harold Herrington aka Dinkiedow
100% disabled Vietnam War Veteran
1st bn/1st mar/1st mar div/delta com.also 4/68-9/68 2nd cag mafIII Combined Action Group

Medal and Ribbon Awards:

  • MM Rifle
  • Good Conduct Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal
  • Two Bronze Stars
  • Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon
  • Combat Action Ribbon
  • Vietnam President Unit Citation
  • Vietnam Campaign Medal W/1960 Device
  • Republic Of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation
  • Gallantry Cross W/Palm and Frame Ribbon Bar
  • Republic Of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation
  • Civil Action Color W/Palm and Frame Ribbon Bar
  • The Order Of The Silver Rose


  1. Bill Long

    Wow. Rough. I remember. Friends and family served. Scars . . . and scarred. Thanks for sharing.

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