“Native Americans were some of the fiercest warriors in history and they continue to be so. I’ve got a story for you. I was a Machine Gunners assistant in Nam. Deadly fucking weapons, those things. During the battle for Hue, my gunner was killed, and I was reassigned to assist a different Marine on the M-60. His name was Joseph (redacted), a Sioux Native American. We were covering a street during the battle, and when I tell you it was target rich, I mean there were VC absolutely everywhere. My 12 man squad alone must have killed 20 men in an afternoon.

Joe fired almost a whole belt into a group of them crossing the street and they lay there in front of our positions. Some of the riflemen shot some rounds into them to make sure they stayed down. We held the position well into the night.

In the dark I noticed Joe went missing. I couldn’t find him. I whispered, “Joe! Joe! Where the fuck are you?” Shortly after he appeared behind me and tapped me on the shoulder, shoving something into his trouser pockets. I thought nothing of it. Later on the next day, we were taken to a rear area after being relieved and we got our packs off some trucks. As we were sitting down on our packs I noticed Joe rummaging around in his pack. I stood up behind him out of curiosity and saw what was in there.

Scalps. I shit you not, son. Three of them. To be honest, I’m not SURE if they were scalps, but he definitely had clumps of hair in there. I assume Joe had gone out in the dark with his bayonet and cut three scalps off of the dead VC he has killed with the M-60. I looked at him, as he knelt he turned to me and looked up. He had a grin and raised his pointer finger to his lips. “Shhh.” He whispered. Joe was one of the craziest, bravest, and wildest men I had ever met. I’m sure glad they’re on our side now.

-Anonymous US Marine. Vietnam War. Hue City. 1968.

This story was documented by Battles and Beers. Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.

This story, and hundreds more like it are now available in my book “What War Did To Us” Now on Amazon.