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1968

Hidden Honors

Created by Tanner Evans 2012


1968: Vietnam War-Tet Offensive It was a horror movie. Bombs exploding, bullets flying, napalm dining on the fresh supply of soldiers and thick, chewy, dense jungle of South Vietnam, and there was nothing James Flynn could do about it. And to think that it all started as a simple scout mission, until one lunkheaded recruit accidentally pulled the trigger, giving the Vietcong their position like a doomsday gift. James dived behind a log, praying and at the same time loading his M-16 Assault Rifle. One soldier next to him, hit in the upper leg, jumped and squirmed with pain. James ran over and lifted the man onto his shoulder, all the while the casualty groaning in agony. James, never having encountered this situation before, carried the man to a soldier who looked like a medic. “Do I drop this here!?!” he shouted over the enormous clamor of the battle. The medic gave him an affirmative nod, signaling yes. James ever so softly set the man down, and continued on his path. A few weeks past, and James was allowed to come home from his tour. He stepped off the plane bound for New York, embracing his mom in one of his killer hugs. Driving down the highway, he marveled at the beauty of New York City. As they pulled into the driveway, he couldn't help but notice the signs posted on his lawn. “Hey Mom, what are those signs for?” he enquired of his mother as they got out of the of station wagon. “Oh, it’s just the rebels,” his mother explained.”They’ve been protesting about the war and the civil rights movements in the South.” When in the house, Frannie Flynn walked to her room and opened a drawer. Inside it contained three medals. A Medal of Honor, a Purple Heart, and a Bronze Star Medal, all of them posthumously awarded. Just as she was about to close the box, James walked in. “James, I’ve wanted to show you this for a long time.” Frannie spoke softer than a feather settling upon the ground. “I didn’t know that Father was awarded these!” he rasped and almost fell to the floor. “He wasn’t; his grave was.” she whispered as she silently shut the box and placed it on a shelf.


Some months later; “Take cover!” shouted the sergeant, as a grenade rolled to a stop a few feet away. Soldiers dived for cover, cowering behind anything that would save them from being torn up. A few block headed recruits ran past, only to have the charge explode, leaving them laying in the grass, sharp blades of shrapnel tearing open their skulls. James Flynn grimaced and led his team of five men towards a cliff. One private fell, screaming in agony as a stray bullet found his stomach. With his remaining four men, they reached the cliff and started to climb the ropes. Three men more he lost as the Vietcong line bombarded them with bricks and grenades. His only man left, Frank Suez, cleared the top of the cliff, and loaded M-16, picking off two defenders. “That’s two more to my score!” he shouted, placing the mine that was crucial to their mission. They repeated this twice, each at different spots. “That’s it! Let’s head home!” Frank yelled over a detonation of a grenade just a few meters away. Just at that moment, when everything became clear, a rouge Vietcong jumped in front of Frank, knife in his mouth. Frank, in apparent shock, raised his gun and shot around straight ot his chest, dropping the poor guerrilla to the jungle floor. “That's too close for my taste!” shouted the frightened private. Finally getting to the escape rope, they encountered a problem. There was no rope. “What should we do!?!?” Frank almost screamed over the enormous concussion of a shock grenade. The look in James’s eye’s told Frank the exact horror that awaited him. Frank swore as he figured it out. Then the look in James eye’s told him. They would have to do it. Or die. They finally reached the bottom of the cliff, panting and sweating. Suddenly they felt bullets came down like death rain. Frank was the first to fall, shot in the head and back. James felt no jealousy as he himself felt the pitter-patter of death rain on his legs. He screamed as he fell to the wet jungle of South Vietnam, writhing in anguish, his legs all torn up. Literally crawling, he dragged himself to the command base. Using the last of his strength, “I need a comm line, stat!”. He told the commander that the mines were placed. Suddenly, after he finished the mission, then and there, James Flynn lost all


meaning of time and memory.

Hidden Honors  

This historical narrative tells the accounts of a young man serving in the U.S. Army during the intense combat of the Vietnam War.

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