What Rog Told Me About Viet Nam

Roger full photo of military patches ribbons pinsNow I’ve given you all the Letters from Viet Nam from Rog, and I believe he wrote in a humorous style to hide the horror and terror of what he was doing. But there are other things I remember, things he told me. And right now it feels like two of the letters are missing (right before and after he got wounded) because I can remember things he wrote that I can no longer find on paper.

He wrote: Don’t believe what you read in the papers. We don’t fight for patriotism or democracy. We fight to keep alive, to protect our buddies–and we fight to get payback on our buddies who were killed. That’s why we fight.

He wrote: The wounded guys all look like zombies. Don’t come here, Phil. There is Clausen blood in this ground and one Clausen is enough for this war. Don’t come here.

I can’t remember if he said his machinegun was 50 or 60 caliber. He wrote: The door-gunner machine gun is so powerful I can chop down a tree with it. You can’t imagine what it does to a body.

After Rog died, his stepson Dave told me Rog used to scream in his sleep at night at home. Rog didn’t want to talk about it. But finally he told Dave, “I’m here at the shit plant (the water treatment plant in Palo Alto, CA). and the gooks are coming over wire, over the fence. The gooks are overrunning the plant and I can’t stop them. They’re coming….”

Philip Atlas Clausen is author of The Black Butterfly Woman, a Vietnam era novel about the war. Purchase now at https://goo.gl/MBDMU2 Available as softbound or e-book.

3 thoughts on “What Rog Told Me About Viet Nam

  1. Oh, these poor guys still suffer.
    I love them all.
    But, I don’t think I can read your book. My heart can’t stand it.

    But if you’ll tell me which one, I’ll donate book cover price to your favorite charity or an individual Nam vet.


  2. 50 cal were fired from larger gun ships. The huey was the common carrier of grunts with a door gunner on each side with 30 cal machine guns. In major fights at nite, the Army used a C-130, drop it’s back door section and roll an apparatus holding FOUR 50 cal machine guns ! When those guns opened up, they were raining death on those below. Sure tore up VC & NVA bodies.

    Liked by 1 person

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