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Sidney Alvin Lee - U.S. Army Airborne Ranger

Alone on the hillThe enemy came at us from three sides.  I knew we couldn’t hold out much longer, but I wanted to try, so I sent my gunner in search of more ammunition.  Alone now, I fired to keep their heads down, to give my gunner a chance, but low on ammo, I had to pick and choose targets and fire in short bursts.  The enemy knew I was alone on the hill, so imagine my surprise when the shooting stopped, and I heard,  “Black G.I., why you fight us?  Throw down your weapon.  We will not hurt you.  They hate you in your country, black G.I., but we do not.”

Bullshit.  No way did I buy that crap.  However, I welcomed the lull in the action and lay still.  I wanted to buy time by making them believe I was considering their offer. 

Don’t ask me how the hell he did it, but a few minutes later, my gunner made it back with several cans of ammunition.   He’d been hit and was in bad shape, but even wounded, he’d scrambled around that hill until he got what he went for.  The kid was a God damned hero.  I can’t tell you his name.  This is a little off subject and probably sounds crazy to you, but I remember clearly the events of that time but not the names of people or places.  I remember exactly what that gunner looked like.  I would recognize him if I saw him on the street today, but I can’t remember his name.  Hell, I can’t even remember the name of that God damned hill he almost died on.

  • Studies show that decades after experiencing combat trauma, veterans diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder maintain high levels of neurochemicals in the neocortex.  This firefight and many similar or worse changed forever how Sidney perceived his world.  In his mind and body, Sidney Lee never escaped the battlefields of Vietnam.


1. Racism in the Military
2. Tossed into a River
3. Dad's Death
4. MLK
5. Jump school
6. Rosie Marie
7. A lot of action
8. The world turned to shit
9. Attacked from three sides
10. Green tracers
11. The last day
12. PTSD symptoms kick in
13. Too petrified to move
14. No support from Uncle Sam