The trajectory of an object in motion, such as a bullet, is slightly curved. The Vietnamese sniper that took aim at Jim Street in 1969 must have known this fact. His first round, aimed a few degrees higher than sightline, was pulled down by gravity as it travelled forward until its curved path found its mark downrange — Lieutenant Commander Smith, the beloved company commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines. Suicide Charley.
Jim Street, an eighteen year old grunt who dropped out of high school to join the Marine Corps, zeroed in on the deep black hole of his commanding officer’s neck as it began gushing blood like a geyser.
As if in unison with LCDR Smith’s lanky body, Jim’s cloak of invincibility fell to the ground, despite being flanked by the steel armor of four tanks and six amtracs. Now in the sniper’s sight, Jim has just formed the words that echoed along the tree line.
“Save the f’ing ammunition, we’re gonna get that sonuvabitch!”
Then the second shot rang out.
This is a story about how the trajectory of a bullet changed the path of a man’s life.Read more "Trajectory"