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Bowes was an 18-year-old from De Smet annd Murphy, a 19-year-old from White, when they met in June of 1968 in Brookings, on a bus en route to the Army induction center in Sioux Falls.
The two new friends attended boot camp together at Ft. Lewis, Wash., and got assigned to the same training — as mortar men.
When they got to Vietnam, they were both surprised to find out everyone was infantry, even though they had not had much training for that job.
Murphy said he thought when they went out into the jungle it might be for couple of weeks, and then they would be assigned to a base camp where there would be cold milk and cold beer.
“I was mistaken,” he said. They were only back at a base camp once, for a few days.
Murphy said they got their water out of a creek or stream. “Some of it was fresh, but some of it was bad news,” he said. “Lyle was 18 and I was 19. That was the age of most of the guys — 19, 20, 21. If you were 24, people called you ‘Grandpa,’” he commented. “We grew up quickly.”
Posted on 11-13-2019
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