To See What Homer
Never Forget The Price Paid by Veterans For Our Freedom
Here you will experience life among the Grunts, who slept in the mud of the Ho Chi Minh Trail on the Cambodia/Laos Border. There are stories of unsung heroes, bravery, regrets, and haunting mistakes. I was a Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, Headquarters Commander in base camp, and a Company Commander in the field. Come along as I recall courage, death, anger, fear, sadness, and red Pleiku mud. Arriving a Second Lieutenant and leaving a Captain after two consecutive tours, nearly destroyed me psychologically. Go on to the 4th Infantry Division Unit Pages to get the full story. Over 300 Veterans have contributed materials to this site.
Ivy Leaf Shoulder Patch
the 4th Infantry Division
Click here for more info on patch symbolism
Bullets was the nickname
of 1/8th Infantry. We wore a bullet in the camouflage band of our steel pots, a sign we did not intend to be captured alive!
Above - Me as XO
of B/1/8 on run from Dak To to Pleiku during the dusty dry season.
Below - Bathing in a stream at Polei Kleng, just minutes before a mortar attack and my departure to join Task Force Alpha.
"Thou Shalt Not Kill."
Someone I deeply regret KILLING, was a young NVA Medic, Hoàng Ngọc Đảm.
This photo of Dam is on an Altar in his family's home. To view other Personal Documents carried by this heroic Medic, the story of our deadly encounter, and the impact of returning these personal documents to his family and village, nearly 35 years later, click on the photo. This simple act resolved only one of the nearly 200,000 missing in action cases Vietnam is still desperately investigating. In May 2008 I returned to Vietnam and aided the Hoang family in locating and returning Dam's remains to the family cemetery.
Nation Books released Wandering Souls: Journeys With the Dead and the Living in Viet Nam late in September 2009. On March 19, 1969, then young First Lieutenant Homer R. Steedly, Jr., shot and killed a North Vietnamese Medic, Hoàng Ngọc Đảm, when they met on a jungle trail. Nearly forty years later he returned to locate and bury Dam's remains in the village cemetery. This book tells that emotional journey with details from both sides. It is a captivating story written by Wayne Karlin, a former Marine Corp helicopter door gunner in Vietnam, who has written extensively on the Vietnam War and visits the country often. The "Thou Shalt Not Kill" section above tells of his aid in my journey. My version of the story pales in comparison to Wayne's. Everyone should read this story. It will touch your very soul.
To read my complete story, click My Combat Stories. To read about the other units, who served with me in the 4th Infantry in Vietnam, click on 4th Infantry Division Unit Pages. These links also appear on the floating menu for Java equipped browsers.
Any of you who served with me, please contact me and tell me what you remember of these events. I can't be sure my memories are accurate after over all this time and I know each of you have different viewpoints and memories. You all have stories to tell, many that I was too busy to even notice. Write, email, send photo's, video, audio tapes. I will incorporate all stories into this site's guestbook and return your precious materials to you safely. I want to tell our story from all our perspectives. It's time everyone found out about us and what we did over there. Not all heroes got medals, in fact most did not. I do not remember all your names, but I do remember your courage every day, when I wake up alive and free, and again every night before I fall asleep. Help me to keep the memories of those we left behind alive for future generations. As John Lennon so aptly said in his 1969 single, lets just "Give Peace a Chance".
Anyone who served with, or in support of the 4th Infantry in Vietnam is welcome to contribute to this site. That includes the family members of those who served. Your story about how their service changed them and your lives is just as significant as the tales of your loved ones service overseas. We were all changed by the Vietnam experience. Click Here for more information about how to help me build this site and tell the complete story....
Where are all you support and service troops??? We grunts would never have made it without you. I know you have stories to tell...we want to hear them also.
|Here you will find some maps of our Area of Operations, including a pan and zoom topo. Click the magnifier...|
SP/4 (T) Lawrence William Maple
HQ Company, 3rd Bn, 8th Inf
4th Infantry, Vietnam
My name is Christopher Maple and I am a Veteran of Desert Storm. My father recently passed away and in his things I found my Uncle Larry's DD-214.
My uncle served in Vietnam, I was told in 1968. His DD-214 listed HQ Co 3rd Battalion of the 8th Infantry. My uncle never talked about the war even after I entered the Army. He died several years ago. I was wondering if there are any sources, besides these pages, that might shed some light on his service.
(His MOS from the DD-214 indicated he was a supply specialist. He was in country sometimes between 30 DEC 66 - 17 DEC 68.) Webmaster
Posted: 2 FEB 2021
If you remember SP/4 Maple, send an email to the swamp_fox address listed at the bottom of the page and I will forward it to Chirstopher.
Great photo gallery of Charlie Company, 1/69th Armor sent in by CPT Ray Baird, CO 1968-69.
Looking for the owner of this Vietnam Era Jacket. Click here for the photo. CPT Long - Airborne - 4th Infantry
I arrived in country 10 June 1968, and departed 09 June 1969. We
were mechanized, meaning we moved around on Armored Personnel Carriers, relocating every few days or weeks. Our main base camp was Camp Enari in Pleiku, and sometimes we were stationed in An Khe and Kontum. I remember Chandler Pringle and Joseph Wiser or Weiser, both from Philadelphia, Andre Brown from Baltimore, Tommy Jackson, Raymond Cuss or Kuss, and Will Clark from parts unknown. I know Chester McDaniel was killed in 68. I remember Jose' Barrios and 2 more last names Saenz and Ramirez. Would like to reconnect with some of the men I served with in Vietnam.
Posted 16 NOV 2020
Use the Swamp_Fox email address to make contact. He doesn't have email, but I can get you in touch with Leonard.
Help this daughter connect with her Veteran father.
I hope this email finds you well. I am helping my mother look for her father, who was stationed in Pleiku in 1967. My mother was born August 1967 and also has a younger sister that was born 2-3 years after her, same father. A few years later, he came home to the states and brought my moms younger sister home and my mom was in a different city so was not able to come back with him. After everything, my grandma burned any pictures or letters that had to do with my grandpa because the communists were coming and they could not risk their lives. With that being said, we do not have any name or address. The only information I have of him is he should be about 74-78 years old, younger than my grandma, had a family member that was a nurse, and called my mom "Lucky" as a nickname. If you have any information or anyone I could get in contact with, please let me know. I would love for my mom and her father to be reunited, or for her to know any information about him.
Use the email address at the bottom of this page to contact me, if you can help.
Calling All 4th Infantry Division, Vietnam Veterans
If you have any copies of orders, travel, unit assignment, awards, anything with the names of your fellow soldiers, please send them to me. I will not release any SSAN or Service numbers to anyone, except those listed on the orders. These valuable historical documents can assist in getting records updated/corrected and often help veterans reconnect with the persons, who are only remembered by their nicknames. This is really important! Go through your stuff...copies of orders were often included in the awards case, when the award was made. Send a cell phone copy or scanned computer image to me or better yet, email me and I will give you my mailing address so you can send me a photo copy. Your documents could mean a lot to one of our fellow soldiers.
Thanks...Homer - aka Swampfox
Use email address at bottom of page to contact me for mailing address or phone number. You have to type in the address manually, and don't forget to include the "Underscore" character between the Swamp and fox. Swamp_fox
Please send me the link to any page with errors so I can make corrections.
Major Homer R. Steedly Jr.
Infantry Small Unit Commander
1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment
4th Infantry Division, Vietnam
2Lt. 1st Plt Ldr, B/1/8th Infantry ------------ AUG 1968 - NOV 1968
1Lt. Executive Officer, B/1/8th Infantry ----- NOV 1968 - MAY 1969
1Lt. CO HHC, 1/8th Infantry Battalion ----- MAY 1969 - OCT 1969
Cpt. CO D/1/8th Infantry ------------------ OCT 1969 - FEB 1970
Cpt. S-3 Air, 1/8th Inf, Battalion TOC ----- FEB-MAR 1970
I remained on active duty until 1975, then stayed in the Reserves until 1982, leaving the service with the rank of Major.
I served two tours in the Jungles of the Central Highlands of South
Vietnam, along the Cambodia/Laos border, patrolling the Ho Chi Minh
Trail system...Dak To – Ban Me Thout – Pleiku – An Khe – Qui Nhon, but
spent most of my time in the triple canopy jungles, sleeping in the mud,
heat, insects, and climbing those mountains and ridges with my 80 lb.
rucksack, always aware that at any minute the boredom could become
terror, as the enemy tried to kill everyone of us, 24 hours a day, seven
days a week, all the while waiting for that first explosion or the sound of AK-47 rifle fire.
As an inexperienced 22 year old 2nd Lt Platoon Leader on my first tour commanding 2-3 dozen men and on my second tour as a Captain Company Commander responsible for almost 100 lives, I never fell asleep until exhaustion forced me to and then slept fitfully, terrified that I might have forgotten to do something important, which could get some of my men injured or killed.
Now half a century later, as I approach my 75th birthday, I still find myself reliving those traumatic times, when men died under my command ... wondering ... if I had been smarter ... could I have done more ... was I diligent enough ... why them and not me.
I made it back alive, but a major part of my soul died in those jungles. I am no longer that innocent, shy, farm boy, who went to war for the country he loved. While I am the person I am today, because of the hard lessons I learned in Vietnam, I pray that someday our leaders will find a way to stop sending young men away from their home and loved ones, to kill young men doing the same thing.
Wonder what it would be like, if we spent all the military budgets of the planet on making life better for EVERYONE!
If you want to talk, email me and I will send you my phone number.
If you decide to call me, you have to leave a message and return number.
I only pickup for family. I will call you back as soon as I get your message.
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Webmaster:Homer R. Steedly Jr. (Email: ) Copyright 08/12/1995 - 02/10/2021. Commercial Use of material on this site is prohibited.