A photo of me taking a break in the march on a combat assault. We typically traveled at least 10 Km. from the LZ to wherever the designated spot was to dig in and build our NDP (Night Defensive Position). When we had a chance to rest we just went to ground wherever we were. The bulky and heavy rucksack and load of empty sandbags tied to the frame was at least useful to lean against when we had a chance. Unlike modern designs, our pack frames didn’t have belts to secure them around the middle. That made balancing your load crucial, because trying to maneuver and fire while wobbling back and forth was not a good thing. The green terrycloth towel was used to absorb sweat and help give a little more protection from the pull of the straps on the rucksack. On night ambush patrols we wrapped the towels around our heads to try to keep the mosquitoes off of our faces and out of our ears as much as possible. Between the sweat and bug repellent fumes the towels were so toxic that we might have used them as weapons if we could have figured out how to get the VC to stop and breathe deeply.
The can taped to the strap on my aid bag contained a 100 ml bottle of serum albumin, a blood volume expander which was what we used for IV fluid replacement. My aid bag was under my left arm and next to me on the left side was a claymore bag which I had stuffed with additional field dressings. After dealing with so many casualties in the Battle of Ong Thanh I carried as many bandages as I could possibly fit into pockets, my aid bag, the claymore bag and anywhere else I could find room. I also carried 10 quarter-grain syrettes of morphine (20 when I was senior aidman for a rifle company) in a waterproof pouch in a pocket of my jungle fatigues.