Dad served 20 years in the military. Some of those years he was serving away from his family in dangerous areas during the Vietnam conflict. Fortunately, he shared some of his Army experience with me. I will share a few stories below but again if you’d like to share, you may use the comment section at the bottom of any page or send them with pictures to me for inclusion in this tribute using my contact information posted here.
Dan Army Story #1 – Hospital Supplies on Sunday
Dad’s character was that of a strongly principal oriented man. The following Army story makes that pretty clear.
At some point during his Vietnam tour, Dad was the officer in charge of supplies at a small field hospital. One Sunday, they ran out of some critical supplies; so, Dad took off through the jungle in his jeep, goggles for a windshield, a powerful gun strapped over his shoulders, and a pistol on his hip. After some time and lots of dirt roads later Dad arrived at the gate of the main supply center in Saigon, or some other large outpost. As Dad explained, “I looked like hell, was covered in dirt”.
Dad pushed the intercom button and explained the situation and that he had come for supplies. A voice on the intercom came back “Sorry sir, we are closed today”. Dad pushed the button and gruffly said, “I’ll give you a choice. You either open this gate and help me get the supplies or I’ll blow a hole in this gate and come in and get them myself”. The gate opened and Dad got his supplies but did not leave until he approached the Major’s office and said to his clerk “Is Major ***xyz*** here?”. “No sir, he is off today” the clerk replied. Dad told me that he knew he looked mean, all covered in dirt with his fat gun slung over his shoulders and a pistol on his hip, “Tell the Major that Dan Moody came to see him and the next time I see him, I’m going to shoot him!”
One day Dad was in his hospital office and the phone rang “Dan, this is Colonel **so-in-so**. I need to come in and talk with you but I have Major ***xyz*** with me and he told me that you said you were going to shoot him the next time you see him. If I bring him with me could you not shoot him?” “Well..” Dad replied, “for you Colonel, I won’t shoot him today as long as he keeps his mouth shut”. Apparently, the meeting went well and Major ***xyz*** did not say a word.
Dan’s Army Story #2 – Helicopter Down
I spent a lot of time with Dad talking about his life and one day, this one came out. Dad somberly told me this story.
Dad explained to me that for political reasons President Nixon lowered the official number of soldiers in Vietnam by assigning large numbers of soldiers to non-war zones like Bangkok on paper but really keeping them in place in Vietnam. Dad was officially stationed in Bangkok even though he was really in the field and the war zone.
Dad was in a helicopter that was flying 50 miles inside the Viet Cong enemy territory when a bullet hole emptied the gas tank and the helicopter had to emergency land. Dad told the pilot that the two of them should leave the helicopter and attempt a trek through the jungle out of the enemy zone. Dad said he tried for about 15 minutes to convince the pilot but the pilot insisted on waiting for help at the helicopter. Dad grabbed his gear and left. The pilot never made it back.
Dad explained that he would walk through the jungle at night and sleep in the trees during the day. He said many times during the day he would hear the enemy below him. Twenty days later Dad walked out of the enemy zone and into a US Army camp.