I feel that a large part of my life has come full circle today.
My Vietnam experience as I attended the induction of my Gun Truck Brutus in the Military Veterans Museum and Education Center in Oshkosh Wi. I call it my Gun Truck because I was the last N.C.O.I.C (Non Commissioned Officer in Charge) of Brutus.
Brutus is still to this day one of the, if not the most recognized and famous Gun Truck Legends from the Vietnam War from the story’s of North Vietnam Army and Viet Cong reward’s to destroy it to the number of confirmed or unconfirmed kills are as on going today 44 years later as it was the day I first arrived in Cam Ranh Bay Vietnam in 1971 when a Green Beret leaving Country heard me say I was assigned to the 359th Transportation company. He looked me in the eyes and said that company has a gun truck named Brutus. What ever you do don’t be a crew member on that truck. I just came in from the bush in that area and the V.C. have a Bounty on it, they call it the ghost truck, they keep killing it and it keeps coming back. Then he said it was just hit again and one of the guys was killed. (He was talking about Larry Dahl (MOH) who jumped on a grenade that was tossed into the Gun Box and saved the rest of the crew from certain death. Earning him the Medal of Honor.) He was the second man to die on Brutus the first was Jimmy Callison 3 month’s before. His story seemed true when I arrived in the 359th and started hauling 5 thousand gallon tankers of jet fuel, gas and diesel and saw Brutus lined up in the convoy. It seemed pretty real with it’s 2 50 cal front gun’s, mini gun’s and twin 50 cal in the gun box and ready to kick out with us protecting the convoy. Having no clue that before long I would indeed be asked to join the crew and become the N.C.O.I.C. Brutus and me saying yes as it’s better to be able to shoot back than just be a target. What a true Honor that was to serve on such a legend.
Sitting here today in this Museum at this with so many of my Brother’s next to the man that asked me to join him and the crew, with my Son’s and all the Brave Crews from other Gun trucks that came from all across the country to see Brutus inducted into this Great Museum to Honor all the Hero’s who died or wounded who served on Brutus and the other Gun Truck’s, Truck driver’s and all Veterans. I realize now as we all reach our final end of this convoy called life we have delivered our part of this history.
Steve Campbell 10/1/16