May 1970 to March 1971

I was primarily an M-60 gunner. But I also walked point a little during the monsoon season when we had to lug around that heavy-as-hell soaking-wet rope to do river crossings with. It almost made me want the '60 back again. I said almost. I also carried the radio in a Charlie Company 6-man recon team, that Zippo organized. In 1971 I re-enlisted and was reassigned to HQ Company-3rd Bde...right up the road from Charlie Company, driving a re-supply truck to some of the fire-bases that were north of Evans (including Carroll) as well as driving the water truck to fill up the showers, mess halls, & any other water points.

Jim "Zut" Davis sent me [Steve Mounce] this story. I thought it was interesting, and asked if I could forward the story to you [Bill Higgins], to add to your collection. He said it was OK. I had asked him if he knew "Little Tex" Sonnier.

I'm not completely sure. I sort of remember a guy we called Tex and he was kind of on the short side, so I guess some guys might've called him Little Tex. And if I remember sonnierright, he used to have a thin black moustache. He was the only Tex I can remember. There was one day we had to hump up a real steep hill just across a stream on the other side. Tex was with us.

And we had a new guy with us too. He was built like a big pro football player. I was supposed to be the security guy, waiting down near the stream with my M-60, while the rest of the guys climbed up that steep little mountain before me.
It was a wet day. Hot and humid as Hell. Well, by the time it was my turn to climb it...all the "hand holds" were gone. And it was wet, muddy and slick in places and rocky in some places. I got about 2/3 of the way up or so....and then I slipped...and fell hard, landing on a bunch of rocks in the stream below...and the but stock of my '60 that was strapped across my chest slammed onto my right hand with all my weight on it. When I got my wind back,I got back up on my feet, and started up the hill again. And there was a good deal of blood leaking out of the back of my hand and running down my arm. It was a mess.

Now this new guy I mentioned, also had to go up this hill. He'd been having a rough time and was just ahead of me. He kept whining over and over that he couldn't make it. And I didn't have the kind of patience that Sgt Brett had when he helped me up a big hill a couple months earlier. So I just kept yelling at him the whole way up. Taunting him. In my mind he had to be mad as Hell....and be pissed he'd get his adrenaline flowing and his blood pressure up to make it up that thing. It was so bad, I had to actually punch little dents in the mud with my fists, to get some kind of a little hand hold for my fingers to grab. All the roots and rocks and stuff had already been pulled out.

When we finally got to the top of that thing...I was exhausted. And just flopped my ruck down against a tree. I sure was hoping that new guy was as tired as I was. ( I feel dumb I can't remember his name) Well once he hit the top of the hill, he flipped off his ruck, got up and ran over toward me, cussing, mad as the Devil and wanting to fight.

And that guy I'm remembering named "Tex" saw what was going on and he got in between and stopped us from fighting. And frankly I'm really glad he did, man...because that big dude would've killed me. Tex was about a foot or more shorter than the dude that wanted to punch my head in. But he was one tough little dude. And he had a good way about him, that everybody liked him.

So "if" that's who little Tex is. Then I know who he is. But if its a different guy than that...then I don't think I know him. I've seen pictures of him. And he doesn't look like the guy in my memory. But that doesn't necessarily always mean anything. I wish I could help you more buddy. Also...I'm real sorry for such a long-winded answer. But I don't know how else to explain it. Ha.