As soon as I knocked on the door I could hear the dog's bark, that same old annoying bark. I waited the usual five minutes for the elderly blind man to come to the door. I could hear his stick hitting the wall and the railing as he felt his way down the stairs. As soon as he reached the door the dog stopped barking as if the hound knew what the old man was thinking. The man struggled finding the handle but when he did he swung the door open, causing a cool breeze to hit my face. The old man seemed irritated and not too overjoyed to have my presence. The old man waited a few seconds and said in a scraggle ruundown voice, "Who's there?" I hesitated to answer as I looked at his wrinkled scared face; for a man from 'Nam, he looked good. I snapped out of my brief pause and answered the man, "Hello sir, my name is Carter, Brian Carter, and I'm writing a book on the war, the Vietnam War." The man showed a look of invidiousness. I quickly continued, "...and I'd like to get your opinion or story of the war and your platoon if I could." The man's glossy eyes looked up on me and he gently said, "Sure...come on in." The man began to speak about the dog; it was a beagle with deep brown eyes that made you want to pick him up. He led me into a room with chairs and a grandfather clock with a ticking sound that could drive a sane man insane. The blind man sat in a brown chair and began to tell his story. "We were just off from Cambodia. It was a bright sunny day, a beautiful day, not something you usually see in Vietnam, you know. We were walking down a dirt road, the usual patrol, nothing new...I remember talking to my buddy; his name was Samuel. He was going to be a business man when he went back." The man stopped and wiped his face and continued. "It was quick, I mean quick, we were just talking and then...he was hit. He dropped. We all did; it was an ambush. All I could hear were grenades exploding and bullets whizzing by my ears. I managed to pull myself in a ditch next to my commander who was calling in a napalm strike. We were to hold them back until the jets arrived. All I could see was dirt flying and blood. I began to return fire; more and more of us went down. Soon we only had four men: Carter, me, my commmander, one soldier missing both his legs and the medic." He stopped and tried to look at me and spoke, "I'm sorry, but I understand if you don't want to continue." The man spoke quickly, "I will. The commander then gave the order to fall back to Alpha. As we did, the jets came and napalmed the heck out of the Viet Congs. We were extracted twenty minutes later." I watched him closely, but he didn't speak so I did. "Did all four of you survive?" "No, the man who was injured bled out and the medic was killed heading to Alpha or extraction if you will." He stopped again. "If you had a choice, would you have fought in Vietnam?" The man hesitated but answered, "Personally...I wouldn't. That medal of honor wasn't worth the loss and stress I faced, but for my country, I would do it again, yes." He seemed chocked up but I knew it was hard. I stood and walked over to the man and shook his hand. I felt the coldness as I told him goodbye. I passed the dog one last time, glancing at its hazel brown eyes and walked out the door.
English 10 The Domiciles Project