The Front Line


Conor O'Neil, Liam O'Neil, and Kieran Gavin

Stephen Wray Bird, born on June 1, 1947 in Haverhill, Massachusetts an everyday person who was attending Northern Essex Community College, but he eventually decided to stop going to school. This decision changed his life, and later that year he was drafted into the United States Army. Bird had served in the Vietnam war as a medic in the first cavalry division, which flew by helicopter. This division would fly over the jungle and spot enemy lines. On July 24 Bird and his division were dropped into a small opening in the forest to hold off the Vietnamese army forces. Bird compared this experience to ¨poking a hornet’s nest.¨ The opening became known as LZ Carol. This would serve as a base of operation, and create a defensive perimeter. Around eight o’clock at night on that same day Bird would be under fire from the Vietnamese soldiers. Taking cover behind a rock to avoid bullets, Bird prayed that no one would call his name looking for medical attention. With no luck, he heard his name being yelled. As he was on the move one of the Vietnamese soldiers had abruptly shot at him and all he saw was an ¨orange flash¨. He was shot in his shoulder and had no weapon to defend himself; he had no choice but to act dead. He was eventually rescued and was given morphine for his wound. Suddenly the gun fire had started again, and he sprang into action. In the moment his adrenaline ¨took over¨ the morphine, and eventually his company had met with another company. Within the hour, he was at a hospital being treated. Once healthy, he was sent back to the front line. Looking death in the eye,  he almost got blown up by a mortar. This was the last of his time Bird was on the front line. Finally Bird was sent home and he felt ¨relieved¨. After being asked if he keeps in touch with his company, Bird said that they maintain a website to keep in touch with each other ( . Bird believes that all men should serve our country, and he strongly believes that there should be “absolutely no choice of serving”. Anyone who avoids war, is cowardly according to Bird; it is for your country, therefore it is a must.  Stephen Wray Bird is an honorable man and says that he appreciates being thanked for his service; but he does not expect it because he believes it is everyone’s duty to serve.