Explosives, a Couple of Flamethrowers, and No Ordinary Men Against a Forbidding Jungle
Tall, muscular, broad-shouldered, with a full head of white hair, Brig. Gen. John M. Wright Jr. scrambled up a termite mound, some 30 feet wide at the base and seven or eight feet high, and gestured for us to draw into a semicircle.
“Gentlemen, I give you the termite,” said Wright, parade-ground volume. He bent to scoop something up, then waved it aloft. “Half an inch long, blind, unable to hear or speak. Yet termites built this mound.”
He paused to let that sink in. “Termites succeed because they are many and they work almost without rest. Gentlemen, for the next 28 days, we will become termites.”
Wright pointed across the dirt airstrip where a day earlier we had landed in C-130s. “Triple-canopy jungle,” he said. “Big trees about 200 feet high. Then secondary growth up to about 80 feet. Under that, bamboo, thorn thickets, shrubs, and vines. And beneath all that is grass—turf. If we could magically pluck out all that foliage, it would look like a golf course.
From article in The War Horse
September 21, 2022| Marvin J. Wolf
FROM Marvin J. Wolf
On this page are true stories, magazine articles, excerpts from books and unpublished works, short fiction, and photographs, each offering a glimpse of my life, work and times. Your comments welcome. © Marvin J. Wolf. All rights reserved.