• Today's Daily Devotion
The Long Night
LIEUTENANT Frank D’Orsi had never prayed so hard in his life. Throughout a long, rain-soaked night his small combat engineer unit was probed by NVA soldiers looking for a ...

The Long Night

Early the day before, D’Orsi had set out from Di An with his engineers and two infantry platoons in a convoy heading north to recon roads and bridges for a 1st Infantry Division operation to follow. Late in the afternoon of the second day a radio message warned that an NVA regiment was headed toward them. As the rain came down in sheets, D’Orsi’s men started making every possible improvement to their defensive positions. He sent extra two-man LPs (listening posts) out ahead of the lines. Darkness came early.

At about 1:00 a.m. one of the LPs started keying their radio handset. Unable to speak, they were frantically clicking the radio on and off to signal movement around them. Suddenly the resounding crack of multiple grenade explosions erupted in the night. D’Orsi then heard an excited voice through the static. The LP broke radio silence to report large numbers of NVA troops approaching. They requested permission to pull back into the lines. Giving one of the most difficult commands of his life, he ordered them to stay in place. He felt it was too dangerous to move.

This went on for the next three hours, as other listening posts reported movement and responded with grenades. Using the only support available, D’Orsi called in artillery fire, closer and closer to his own lines. Every man waited for the inevitable. They knew the NVA pattern was to probe the lines before massing for an all-out assault. D’Orsi waited and prayed, “God, help us through this. Please watch over us.”

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