Robert J. Murphy


I was born and raised in Brockton, Mass. Home of Rocky Marciano.  I enlisted in the U.S. Army on Feb. 13, 1967, and ETS'd on Feb. 12, 1970.  RA ya know! Got my Draft Notice while I was in Basic!  I took Basic in Fort Jackson, S.C. & also A.I.T. there, Received an MOS in Supply.  I went on to Fort Riley, Kansas after that. They promised me Germany when I enlisted, but guess where I ended up? Not Germany! I arrived in Viet Nam on Jan. 12, 1968.  I was assigned to HHD 52nd Sig. Bn. in Can Tho , about 100 miles south of Saigon.  I was assigned to Supply, and was made Company Armorer, in charge of weapons. It was pretty quiet for the first two weeks I was there, some booms and Machine Gun fire off in the distance. Then all Hell broke loose. The TeT Offensive began, 03:00 31 Jan. 68, it started raining mortars, followed by ground attacks for the whole Month of Feb. and then some! Charlie broke through our perimeter in a couple areas and was on the airfield.  We were sent to reinforce the perimeter, reactionary teams.  The Cobra gun ships saved our butts, letting Charlie have it with mini-guns & rockets, but in doing so, two of our guys were killed that were in the guard tower, they were in the line of fire from the Cobras.  This attempt to over-run us failed this time, but Charlie was not finished, he kept trying, 2 or 3 more ground attacks, significant ones, during the month of Feb. 68. Things settled down after the first week in March or so.

Sometime after the Tet Offensive, I went on a convoy to Vung Tau.  I had to go up VC Hill, which was located there, to either bring supplies or pick some up, can't remember which, to a signal outfit on top of the mountain.  I do remember the hairy ride up and down that hill!!  I'm pretty sure I had seen some monkeys on the way up the Hill, in a formation of rocks.  Doug Leach was on the Hill for 18 mos. and never saw any monkeys.  Well, maybe he was watching the hairy road, and not the hairy monkeys watching him! Huh? I also remember a big cave in solid rock up on VC Hill.  I went inside.  My job on convoys was machine-gunner on the Captains jeep.  I went on convoys to Saigon, Long Binh, Bien Hoa, and other detachments throughout the Delta.  I went to Cu Chi once, where the 25th Inf. was located.

When I rotated back to the World, I had to spend a year at Fort Stewart, Georgia.  That wasn't fun!  Too much Chicken Sh__! S&S - Shine & Salute!  I even got Busted to PFC! I was into drugs and booze pretty heavy, trying to bury my experience in Nam!  I made it through that year, I really don't know how, but I did!

The TeT Offensive was a very traumatic experience for me, and I'm sure a lot of other guys to.  I still have flashbacks & nightmares to this day!  I never talked much about my experience in Nam to anyone.  I met another Viet Vet in June of 1999 at a motorcycle rally in Laconia, N.H.  He asked me a few questions and later asked me if I'm collecting any disability??  I said "for what?"  He said for PTSD! What's that? He explained to me, and said I have a lot of symptoms of PTSD.  He advised me to get my BUTT in the VA and file a claim!  Never heard of PTSD before, until that guy told me!  Been in the dark for many years! Couldn't see beyond that stack of cases of Beer!  I drank heavily up until 8 years ago!  I quit!

I filed a claim for PTSD in Oct. 1999.  I tell ya, dealing with the Veterans Affairs people, really sucks! They first told me that this Process would take 6 mos. They have a toll free # to call and check the status of your claim.  Well, through-out the claim period, I probably talked to 10 different people at the VA office, and they all had a different story! They really try and discourage the Vet.  That's their plan I'm sure!  I bit my tongue!  10 months went by, they told me it could take another 10 mos. to a year!  That's when I got my Senator involved.  I should have done it earlier!  Within 3 mos.  I had a check in my hand! So any of you Vets out there who have a claim filed, get your Senators & Congressmen involved, and keep on 'em, keep calling and checking the status,  squeaky wheel gets the grease!  They awarded me 50 % for PTSD and 10% for Tinitus, ringing in the ear.  My Basis for my Claim was the Tet Offensive.

Well so much for this Vet.  I live in Pittsburgh, N. H.  Northern most town near the Canadian border. Moose Country!

Welcome Home All! 



1st Signal Brigade
United States Army
Republic of Viet Nam
Updated 05/26/2003

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