This is a story about Bruce Norton, who joined the Navy and then became a
> Navy medic.(Corpsman)
> > He was assigned to 3rd Force Recon Company in 1969-1970 in Vietnam. He
> served with Alex Lee, who wrote his own book about commanding 3rd Force
> Recon Company.
> > Norton, like the Marine sniper Carlos Hathcock, was raised in the woods,
> and learned to shoot and find his way around the woods as a kid. This came
> in handy in Vietnam.
> > He learned to shoot rats in the city garbage dump in his home town in
> Mass. They hunted at night, with flashlights taped to their rifle barrels
> to spot the rats.
> > While in Vietnam, he went through a typhoon and was in the jungle, with
> his 6 man team. They tied themselves together, and to some banana trees to
> avoid being blown away by the 120 mile per hour winds.
> > He was on patrols that encountered a bear on one, and a tiger on another.
> > He lost several friends in the Ashau Valley. Alex Lee describes the
> Ashau Valley as spooky and filled with evil spirits in his book, Force
> Recon. Horton, on the other hand compares it to the Garden of Eden.
> > While in the Valley, he describes how he got very sick on water the North
> Vietnamese poisoned by killing a pig and throwing the carcass in a pond.
> Norton drank the water, not realizing there was a dead carcass in there,
> even though the North Vietnamese left signs on the nearby trees announcing
> this.(The Marines could not read Vietnamese)
> > The 3rd Recon Company was disbanded when he was there, after Gen
> Nickerson, who created the Company, got transferred back out of Vietnam.
> > Norton notes the outstanding leadership in the Company. Alex Lee, Major,
> Commanding, had the Legion of Merit, Silver Star, Bronze Star, 3 Navy
> Commendation medals, Navy Achievement medal, 2 purple hearts. Today, Lee is
> still considered a genius at small unit tactics. Clovis Coffman, another
> officer won the Navy Cross.
> > Two of his best friends, died bravely in the Ashau Valley winning medals.
> Charles Sexton, won the Navy Cross in the Ashau Valley and Paul Keaveney
> won the Silver Star.
> > Norton stayed in the military, leaving the Navy and made a career
> > of the Marines, and was a Major when writing this book in 1990.