Jim Wood joined the Marines at age 17, and at the end of his "hitch" he served in Vietnam with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion.
He told the story of the first day his team climbed up a steep hill through the serrated monkey grass. Because he was the "new kid" he ended up carrying a 75 lb. load of supplies. Jim became worn out with his heavy load, and the post monsoon heat and humidity. His patrol leader, Joe, had the men take the road, which was an easier path but a more dangerous option. An hour later, Joe stepped into a booby trap receiving severe burns. Jim, who was carrying the first aid kit, put out the fire and tended to Joe's severe wounds.
"I always thought I had in some way caused the injury by not being acclimated, that I was the reason the patrol took to the trail," Jim told Mary Kay Mitchell during the interview. A few years ago, when Joe and Jim became reunited on Facebook, he found that Joe credits him for saving his life. Turns out the whole patrol was worn out by the heat and mud.
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