Grady Myers, whose Vietnam Army comrades knew him as Hoss, was ill by the time he knew about Charlie Company's annual November reunion in Branson, Mo. He died before he could attend. No doubt he'd have felt right at home there, telling tales and bragging about family with the best of them.
Grady was an M-60 gunner in Company C, 1st Battalion, 8th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. In his memoir "Boocoo Dinky Dow: My short, crazy Vietnam War," Grady explains, with amusement and chagrin, how Company C became known as Combustion Charlie. Its reputation for pyrotechnics began on Christmas Eve, 1968, just after Grady arrived at Fire Support Base 30. Holiday steam-letting got out of hand. Among other craziness, a guy calling himself Chicken Man took over the radio and broadcast some decidedly unofficial communications.
I was reminded of that hilltop party when I came across this veteran's tape recording from that same Christmas -- in the case of this sober radioman at forward Landing Zone Jake in III Corps.
Grady Myers, aka "Hoss," never made it to the Charlie Company reunions, which began in 2006 as part of the annual Veterans Day festivities in Branson, Missouri. But he would've loved the spirit ... and probably have designed a logo. Shown here, from left, are Butch Mauldin, Andy Day, Bob Robbins, Frank Wernet, Van Dyne Waugh, Robert (Bud) Langan, Pat Carnes and Teddy Fisher. Butch, Andy, Bob, Bud and Teddy were involved in the March 9, 1969 ambush in which Hoss was wounded.
Frank Wernet, Van Dyne Waugh and Bob Robbins carry the Charlie Company banner in the parade. You can learn more about the unit's history at its website.
Bud Langan was injured in the same ambush as Grady. And now he's riding about in a big red wheelchair -- just like Grady did in his last few years. In the reunion pictures provided by Bob Robbins, Bud has a huge grin on his face.
Julie Titone is co-author of the Grady Myers memoir "Boocoo Dinky Dow: My short, crazy Vietnam War." Grady was an M-60 machine gunner in The U.S. Army's Company C’s 2nd Platoon, 1st Battalion, 8th Regiment, 4th Infantry Division in late 1968 and early 1969. His Charlie Company comrades knew him as Hoss. Thoughts, comments? Send Julie an email.