Dale Dye
remembers
Gus

The Reluctant, Wandering Hobo of The War

    Gus, for Christ's sake, stand at attention and listen up!  I'm finally going to say a few things about you.  I'm hacking this crap out for a web-page, but you and I know we are talking to each other...just like we used to in this AO before you went PCS to wherever in the hell you are now.  We had a secret in those fast, hard times, 67-68 in The Nam, didn't we, Gus?  Huh?  There it was...and there it is, right?  We knew there was something inside that had to come out and the war was gonna make it happen for both of us.  You, the reluctant, wandering hobo of the war, and me, the Lifer gone astray among the Snuffies, who wanted to taste, feel and smell so he'd never be a boot again. We knew it right off when you mentioned Hemingway over warm beers and I quoted the line about war being man's greatest adventure. We knew we were kindred spirits, perhaps more closely akin than others in our little gaggle of lusthogs, didn't we?  Truth be told, it was you who gave me the Daddy DA nickname, Gus.  Two years older than the rest of the maggots, a little grey in the hair, a second enlistment in the Corps and I had to be the Daddy, right?  But it was you looking through my flak-jacket into my heart, Gus and that's what you always did to make your stories sing.  That was your talent, man, and none of us had it like you had it...although we all envied your vision.  You knew we were tighter than deer-ticks and closer than Alabama kinfolk when you called me and asked me to get involved in the filming of Full Metal Jacket.  You got Stanley K to write me a nice letter.  And you bitched like a grunt left with ham and mothers when I turned it down to do Oliver Stone's Platoon.  You were the first guy on the phone to me with congratulations when my name was mentioned at the Oscars that year and you were my biggest fan ever after as I chased the same illusive dream that sat out there on your own horizon.  It's easier now, Gus, in one way.  Success makes people listen to you.  It's a lot harder in another way: without you. Miss you, man, with all the heart I've got left.  By the way, shitbird, we all miss you...and we remember you fondly when one or more of the Snuffies gets together.  Stoke The ARVN and I are working on films these days and we never get through one without lifting a couple of beers in your honor.  That should make sleeping in a fighting hole a little easier for you, Gus.  You're loved.  Daddy DA.

Written by Dale Dye
February 2000


 

Dale Dye served in Vietnam in 1965 and 1967 through 1970, surviving 31 major combat operations. He emerged from Southeast Asia with numerous decorations, including a Bronze Star for valor and three Purple Heart medals for wounds suffered in combat.  He is the founder of Warriors, Inc., which provides technical advisory services to the entertainment industry worldwide.

Photos of Dale Dye in the Photo Album:
Snuffies
A Gung-Ho Bunch
Kinship Didn't End After War
Veterans
Plain Fucking Crazy?
Daddy D.A.

Dale Dye at the Internet Movie Database
Dale Dye at Amazon.com
Saving Private Ryan Website:  About the Filmmakers
 


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