I was a Marine at Chu Lai on guard duty at a low risk bunker post on the perimeter facing the South China Sea. Viet Cong that did not have weapons and carried explosive charges to blow up targets were getting on base that week.
It was about 12:30 a.m. and about 100 feet behind the bunker on the base, shirtless Charlie stepped out of the woods carrying a weapon but not pointing it in our direction.
I swung the M-60 machine gun around and yelled “Halt.” At that point Charlie took a few quick steps and jumped into a depression. I was just about to pull the trigger when I heard English and a white cloth come up.
I called for him to come forward and Charlie turned out to be an Army soldier who was drunk.
The soldier was only in Vietnam a week and was going to an indoctrination course at a unit near the guard post.
The point I want to drive home is I was in a combat zone, there was a threat with a person having a semi-automatic weapon posing as VC but was not shot because of circumstances. Yet black people who are unarmed are being killed.
Colin Kaepernick is the Rosa Parks of today calling attention to this situation that must be addressed. It’s not fair to the black people in those circumstances or to the overwhelming majority of police officers who handle all kinds of situations with a great deal of professionalism unlike some of these shootings.
Joseph Lamb Sr.
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