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POSTED ON 11.21.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear SGT Carmelo Diaz-Roman, sir

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

Curt Carter
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POSTED ON 4.1.2013
POSTED BY: A Vietnam Vet.

Thank You

Thank you, Doc.

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POSTED ON 3.23.2011
POSTED BY: Paul Grandy

Diaz - Personal Account of Casualty


SGT, B Co, 18th , 1st Air Cavalry Division

Gurabo, Puerto Rico

DOB 11 June 1944

KIA 1 April 1969

Panel 28W

Line 102

April Fools Day 1969 and the morning was cool. It would be another long day of humping the trails around Fire Support Base (FSB) White in Tay Ninh Province. We had been out for four days now and the routine hum drum had set in. One day earlier the third platoon had killed an NVA messenger about three clicks back down the trail. Other than that the only signs we had seen were sandal prints on the local trails. They were usually alone and must have been just passing through on their way to bigger and better places.

We had been moving slowly. Hump a couple hundred yards and take a break. No one seemed to be in a hurry. Things were quiet. At about 1100 hours we took a break at a trail intersection. I threw my rucksack off, walked a couple of yards up the smaller trail to relieve myself, returned, sat down and lit a smoke. Diaz, our medic, sat down across the trail. Behind him Rosie, the Radio Telephone Operator (RTO), and Platoon Sergeant (PSG) Hensley were on the horn trying to figure out our grid coordinates with the lead platoon. About 10 minutes later a marker round exploded in the air up ahead. At least now we knew where we were. Hensley was still on the horn. 'Saddle up', he said as he handed the handset back to Rosie.

Slowly, like a giant millipede, the column moved out on the main trail. I had taken about dozen steps when the jungle erupted with machine gun fire coming from our right flank. Within seconds the column was flattened out. Most of the fire seemed to be concentrated on Rosie in an attempt to knock out the radio. For a big man, 6 foot and 220 pounds, I had never seen anyone lay flatter to the ground. There was a constant falling of leaves and branches on Rosie as the machine cut up the jungle foliage just inches above him. In the original burst though the gooks had only put a couple of rounds through his pack.

There was no cover other than the bamboo and vines. The ground was flat with the exception of a small mound about 10 meters to my front. I was carrying the machine gun at the time and decided to crawl up to the mound thereby giving myself an opportunity to shoot down on the gook machine gun position. I had crawled about 5 meters when Jeff Ott, the squad leader told me to come back to the trail. Everyone else seemed to be in a state of confusion as to what was happening. The trail snaked around to the right ahead and Jeff was worried that

the lead platoon might fire me up. I set the gun up and started to fire. Old Man Taylor, the assistant gunner, kept feeding me ammo and for two or three minutes we traded shots with the gooks. They only had one machine gun. It wasn't too hard to suppress their fire. We had all shucked our rucksacks by this time. Diaz was crawling up and down the line checking to see if everyone was all right. Somewhere in the confusion Hensley had gotten hold of a LAW. Christ, I thought, this SOB is going to kill us all. The jungle was thick and the only thing I could think of was the rocket exploding on one of the bamboo shoots. Somehow he got it through though. It exploded about 20 meters up the small trail. The shooting slowed down temporarily.

By now artillery was tearing up the jungle about 100 meters up the small trail. A Cobra was also on station above. Hensley popped some smoke and the Cobra rolled in placing its rockets about 50 meters out. The order came to start pulling back. The Cobra was dropping its rockets about 10 meters closer each time it rolled in.

We pulled back about 20 meters and set up again. Jeff lit a couple of cigarettes and passed one to me just as a bullet zipped between us at head level. We just kind of looked at each other and got down. The gook machine gun was becoming more active. I guess they figured they might get someone standing up as we pulled back. They were right.

The rockets were tearing the area up just in front of our original position. Suddenly I saw heavy movement in the bushes. The only thing I could think was that the gooks were crawling towards us to get out from under the Cobras rockets. But for some reason I held my fire. 'Who the fuck's out there?', I yelled twice. Still the movement, and coming towards us. 'Speak up or I'm gonna blow you away', I yelled. My finger was closing on the trigger of the gun. Finally, a voice. 'It's Rosie. Docs been hit'. Rosie had been dragging him back and didn't want to speak and give his position away to the gooks. Jeff, Taylor, and a couple of others ran back up to help. Rosie threw him over his back with the back of his knees over his shoulders and started running back with him. Just like Eutsler it was the old dead rabbit again. Head and arms flopping around. Diaz was dead. He had a bullet hole right through the middle of his chest.

It was just a matter now of pulling back far enough so that Arty and the Cobras could saturate the area. About an hour after we set up the perimeter and cut a Landing Zone (LZ) a Huey landed and resupplied us with ammo and a hot meal. Why they never took Diaz out on that first bird I'll never know. To make matters worse they set up the chow line in front of Diaz's body, which was now wrapped in a poncho with only his boots sticking out. After that followed an old bomb crater. I saw many a man, including myself, get his plate of food, look at the body, and dump the food in the bomb crater. The whole setup didn't do much for the appetite.

Diaz's best friend Bennett was in a state of hysterics. Combat is one place where you don't make close friends. At least if you want to maintain some semblance of sanity. Diaz and Bennett read the Bible daily. Diaz was a conscientious objector and didn't carry a weapon. I always figured he tried to be just a little braver than the rest of us just to make up for it. Wes Smith took it pretty hard. As the platoon sergeant he felt some sense of responsibility for the protection of us. As for me I had developed a fatalistic attitude by now and figured that I would probably die on one of these lonely trails. Anymore it seemed that when things started looking better, they generally got worse. Much worse.

I fell asleep quickly that night. The lack of food and the firefight had sapped most of my strength. The thing about a firefight is that the adrenaline is pumping so hard that every muscle in the body is under maximum tension. Waiting for the impact of some unconsciously expected bullet that will deliver us to the dark confines of a bodybag and a final trip home. Where some minister days later would say 'He was a good boy who served his country well' even though he doesn’t know jack shit about you. And the world would forget and say 'Oh, its just Vietnam'.

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POSTED ON 11.9.2010
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

Carmelo is buried at Municipal Cemetery in Gurabo,PR. BSM AM PH
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POSTED ON 5.8.2006
POSTED BY: Joshua Roman


this is josh roman from austown fitch high school..... you will be reambered as a man who faught for his country you are now a leader to some kids that wants to be a soldier or someone in there life. your family must be very happy to have such a brave man in there family. you will not be forgoten for what you did thaks dearly Joshua Roman
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