Unless you were involved or old enough to remember Walter Cronkite’s CBS News television broadcast on Aug. 14, 1968, I’m willing to bet that you didn’t know that 165 fiercely anti-communist Montagnards were rescued from work-labor slavery, torture, and apparently worse at the hands of combined Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces, by—you guessed it—Special Forces and an assault helicopter company. Boom! We could use some of those chain-breakers right about now. We just have to do our part from within, survive and bolster each other. The Montagnards had been held captive for eight years. We’ve been imprisoned for 20 years, at war for over a decade, but only officially subjugated since Nov. 3, 2021.
Here’s what happened beginning on Aug. 3, 1968 about 30 miles west of Nha Trang in the Valley of the Tigers in the Republic of South Vietnam. Three Montagnard men escaped their captors and travelled afoot for two days to reach the My Loc Outpost, which was occupied by the Green Berets of Detachment A-502 of the 2nd Special Forces Unit. The men, lead by Mang Quang, begged the Americans for help, explaining that if they weren’t back by the next day, their families would be killed, and it had taken them two days of walking to get to the outpost. They’d never make it back in time. The Montagnard’s were not kept under guard, but all escape routes were blocked, as they worked scattered fields of corn.
The Det-A men put out a call to First Lieutenant Tom Ross, the detachment’s Operations and Intelligence Officer. Ross arrived at the outpost, received an in-depth briefing, and determined a rescue was warranted. The operation wasn’t afforded the luxury of time for intense and thorough planning. Ross’s only option was to call the 281st Assault Helicopter Company, or God’s Own Lunatics, as they were known, for an assist.
The men of the 281st AHC held strong family values and were committed to the mission from the start. They could not be dissuaded even after Ross explained that they would be flying deep into a enemy-held mountainous region without knowing the size and strength of the enemies or even the location of the landing zone. The men of the 281st asked where and when they were wanted and showed up on schedule the next morning at dawn. On August 4, and then again on August 5 and again on August 10, the 2nd SF Unit and the 281st AHC collected the fleeing Montagnards and shuttled them to the safety of a refugee camp at Nha Trang. When the enemy began closing in on the landing zone, gun ships were called in to rake the area and allow the Green Berets to bring more tribesmen and their families to freedom.
In total, 165 mountain people were rescued. As Vietnam war correspondent David Culhane put it so eloquently: “This is a rare occurrence in this war, an act designed to give life and freedom in a place and time noted mainly for death and destruction.” You can watch the Culhane report from the Valley of the Tigers and see how, true to any operation and the malfunctioning of equipment, one of multiple loud speakers went down, but the backups kept on chugging. (Always build in redundancies.) You can read more about Detachment A-502 of the 2nd Special Forces Unit and their home base at Camp Trung Dung. Major Thomas A. Ross (Retired) wrote about the rescue for the 281st AHC website on the 50th anniversary. He also published a book, “Privileges of War,” and the subtitle tells you everything you need to know about whether it’s worth the read: “A good story of American service in Vietnam.”
Things will undoubtedly get worse before they get better here in America. Build your library of books, CDs, and DVDs as if there won’t be a digital library. Make sure you get older versions so you know nothing has been changed like they already have been doing to digital versions. This is particularly important regarding the bible. Don’t throw away your atlases and area maps; they’ll come in handy if our satellites are taken out. Practice doing hard things so that your mental resilience is already far superior to that of your fellows, the majority of whom have no idea what’s going on or on the way. Provide for your physical needs: shelter(s), water suppy(ies), food source(s), multiple store sites of products you need. Pre-chip vehicles will be highly sought after when the EMP strikes. Listen, you can try to prepare for anything, but you can’t prepare for everything—except in your mind. A strong mindset trumps the mastery of survival skills and the storehousing of supplies. A well-trained mind will get you through. Survival is the first S in SERE. Live, adapt, and overcome.
When hope runs dry, remember that there was once a breed of men who within 24 hours would come up with a plan and call in other men with little regard for regulations. There are victims of psychotronic control who could use men like that. Heck, we all could use men like that, but we have to be those men and women ourselves. If socialism rules the land, as Rush Limbaugh used to say, we simply do not participate. The paths may be blocked off, but we are free within our imprisonment to live in accordance with the Constitution and other founding documents, ignoring any and all attempts to subjugate us to some arbitrary mandate. We are free by God’s grace, we are free by law within Constitutionally-based communities, and we are free to defend ourselves if it comes down to that. Until then, we have the example of the men of MACV-SOG to show us how to think creatively, protect ourselves, work with our allies, accomplish the impossible, and inflict debilitating harm on a far superior enemy. Only this time, the battlefield is our own, nobody will sell them out, and their victory—our victory—is guaranteed.
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