Lee Strunk and I did not become instantbuddies, but we did learn to trust each other. Over the nextmonth we often teamed up on ambushes and other assignments.
You want to work together during the ambush?
In late August I made a pact that if either of us should ever get totally rucked up—a wheelchair wound—the other guy would automatically find a way to end it.
Let make a deal where If either of us get rucked up, make sure to end it.
Sounds like a good deal.
And then in October Lee Strunk stepped on a rigged mortar round.
It took off his right leg at the knee. He managed a awkward little half step, like a hop, then he tilted sideways and dropped.
"Oh, damn!" "Damn oh damn,"
"Sure I do."
"Relax," "Really, it's not so bad, Not terrible. Hey, really—they can sew it back on—really."
I went over and keeled at Strunk's side. The stump had stopped twitching now. For a time there was some question as to whether Strunk was still alive, but then he opened his eyes and looked up at me with a look of desperation
"Oh, Jesus,"Jesus, man, don't kill me."
Later we heard that Strunk died somewhere over Chu Lai, I was devastated by his death, but at the same time reliefed that I didn't have to kill my friend
Dave, Lee didn't make it
At least, I kept my promise that I wouldn't kill him....