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Walt Hardester

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A Night At V.C. Hotel
By Walt Hardester
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Last edited: Tuesday, November 22, 2011
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent stories by Walt Hardester
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           >> View all 67
From my invincible younger days:
Even though there were two large rear echelon bases located here, unlike Saigon, Bien Hoa City was off limits to military personnel at all times, due to a V.C. presence in the City. Charlie didn’t wear his black pajamas while in town, they looked like everyone else. So you see, when Charlie wasn’t shooting at G.I’s he was extorting money from the business owners, particularly the hotels and apartment houses for “Protection.” The V.C. were in effect an "Oriental Mafia" using organized crime to fund their operations, which most rebel forces usually do everywhere in the world. Bullets cost money.

The Medics in my detachment had an agreement of sorts with the M.P. platoon that patrolled the city. We basically kept their favorite brothel disease free in return for immunity and free passage to go into town for a night of debauchery at their brothel or one of the hotels.

I had a favorite hotel I liked that was left behind by the French. After a couple trips I met a young lady. She was an accountant in Bien Hoa. I rented an apartment and began to spend the night more frequently in town because I could always get a ride with an M.P. back to post in the morning. I also always carried a .45 with me when I stayed downtown, and kept it under my pillow.

One night my friend woke me up, put one finger to her lips and said, “Shush, V.C. downstairs.”
You all can relate to that ball that forms in your gut, I had one. I could hear men talking to the landlady. I heard an agitated tone in her voice, but the men were just laughing and their tone sounded controlled and matter of fact. I had the pistol and was ready to defend myself. But what I didn’t know, was that the V.C. probably knew I was there anyway and didn’t care as long as they got their money. They finally left and I went back to sleep.

The next morning as I was leaving, the there were two M.P.s standing beside a jeep across the street. This kid came up to me, knowing the City was off limits to G.I.s, and tried to extort money from me by threatening to tell the M.P.s I was there. I just blew him off and strolled across the street to my M.P buddies and said, “Hi guys, can I get a ride?” They took me to my barracks with no problems.

The night at V.C. Hotel was the scariest moment of my young life, also the very first time that I realized my mortality.

I never stayed all night again.

(c)2009 Walt Hardester                 


Reader Reviews for "A Night At V.C. Hotel"

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Reviewed by Jon Willey 9/19/2009
Walt, invincibility is bravado before it has been properly introduced to the starkness of reality, isn't it? -- your story acts as a reminder to all of us of the terrible time our brave soldiers spent in that hell hole in southeast Asia - thank you for your dedication and commitment to the cause of freedom and America -- peace and love my friend -- Jon Michael
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 9/17/2009
scary stuff-well told story!
Reviewed by LadyJtalks LadyJzTalkZone (Reader) 9/16/2009
Thank you for sharing this. I've read so many stories lately that people have shared with me and added their insites in my project. Those nights and realization of your mortality are common to you all. Thank you, LadyJ
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 9/16/2009
Powerful and compelling story, Walt; very well penned! BRAVO!
(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :(

Thank you, sir, for your service, and WELCOME HOME, SOLDIER!!
Reviewed by Felix Perry 9/16/2009
A real story of your life and one that sent fear into my blood as I pictured the situation you were in. As a Canadian (and too young at the time) I did not go to Vietnam but there were a lot of Canadians who did and you had our respect for the terrible war you fought in. My salute goes out to you my friend.

Reviewed by Georg Mateos 9/16/2009
Medics in Nam were the real boys-with-steel-balls, and everyone that came back patched alive from the combat zone knows to whom they owe their lives.
Thanks for your service Medic.

Semper Fi

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