The Spirit of an Angel (Chapter 5 - Operation Coyote, page 2 of 5)

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"Shit, I bet it's cause we got caught in the village that night. I knew we weren't gonna get off that easy." Exclaimed Cincy.

The whole squad's demeanor had changed; everyone was in a crappy mood.

This would be my first operation. From talking to the others an operation is the worse and most dangerous part of being in Vietnam.


As Cincy and I were walking through the chow line I noticed the two young Vietnamese girls were there as usual. One was Mai, she gave me an appreciative smile.

Hey Joe, what's that all about?" asked Cincy.

"What do you mean?"

"I saw the big smile she gave you. How you know her?"

"Hey Cincy don't worry, I'll have nothin to do with any prostitute."

"Prostitute? What are you talking about? She's no prostitute. What makes you think she's a whore?"

"You, that's who. You said those girls in the village were whores?"

"Yeah Anderson, but not those two. The whores come in from Chu Lai. Those two are just a couple local girls."

I knew she couldn't be a prostitute. I was mad at myself for even thinking it.

As we moved out of the line I was relieved that Cincy didn't ask any more questions.

Mai and I kept stealing glances at each other. Each time we made eye contact she gave me an appreciative smile. I could only respond by displaying my embarrassment. Cincy was giving me strange looks as well, he knew something was up.

As our squad set together in silence I finally I asked.

"What'll ya think this operation will be like?"

"Hey, that's right. You and Flick haven't been on an operation yet, boys you're in for a treat," said Chuck.

Roe continued. "It's an ingenious plan by our notorious leaders. They take us out in a God forsaken place in the middle of nowhere. It may be for a couple of days or even weeks."

"Yeah, and you can be sure it will be a place loaded with gooks." Said Cincy.

"We live in the field eating only c-rations."

"Yeah, and sometimes not even that."

"We're march from sunup to sundown. The mission? Hell, who knows what the mission is, only our brave leaders know and their asses are safe and sound somewhere in the rear."

"One thing you can count on Anderson, some of us will not be coming back," said Roe.

There was a brief moment that no one said anything. As if we all were thinking the same thing. Wondering who…maybe me?

Chuck continued, "We do a lot of searching for gooks. We search caves, open fields which a lot of times turn out to be minefields. We search villages and burn them to the ground."

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