83rd Neal Schwartz

Neal Schwartz (68-69)
"B" Battery

"You have to be careful when you give an order even just giving it in jest. I once walked up behind some of my guys that were tracking Major M_______a with a Quad-50 (or maybe it was only a Dual-50). Anyway, the Major was flying in the Battalion LOH and getting ready to land down below and then try to sneak into our area. These guys didn’t see me walk up behind them. When I realized what they were doing I said, “Shoot the Son-of-a-Bitch down” and I started to walk away. Then the guy on the 50’s with his thumbs on the triggers turned around with a huge shit-eating grin on his face. He was one of our most active troops and I knew you could always count on him to obey any order even if he knew it was meant to be a joke. It scared the crap out of me as I could just imagine our Battalion chopper going down in flames and all of them telling the courts martial board that I gave the order. It was definitely either CWO Schwab or CWO Skeen that was flying the Major that day, and they were the only reason my troops didn’t carry out that order. No one cared for the Major. I learned a lesson not to jest in a combat area.

Actually, there’s even more to the story. One time the same Major was sneaking into our area and the boys were waiting in a powder bunker with a 4x4 to clobber him after he came through the wire. He liked to sneak into the area and see if anyone would challenge him and then escort him to HQ. Anyway, I just happened to be walking by, and trying to figure out why a guy was standing in the powder bunker with a 4x4 on his shoulder cocked like a bat. I asked them “what’s going on?” They said the Major was trying to sneak in again and they were going to give him a lesson about sneaking into someone’s perimeter through the wire. Again, I said “Carry On” and immediately left the area. I still believe today that they didn’t carry it out only because I had interfered. If only they would have trusted me a little more. This particular Major is the only reason I refused an offered RA Commission and decided not to make a career in the Army."


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