Hostile fire had been exchanged for days at Firebase Tomahawk in the northern part of South Vietnam. Alpha Company was trying to take a hill that would give them a key position on a ridge line when they came under fire. PFC James Michael Holmes was our point man, and he took a shot in the torso. He went into shock and he died.
I had seen hundreds of casualties and dead, but this was the first personal friend I knew and lost, and I've lived with that memory for 33 years.