A B O U T  U S



Once a Marine Always a Marine
Provided by John O'Connell


LZ Russell was a U.S. Marine Corps 105 Howitzer artillery fire support base on a hill that was 10 miles from Laos and a stones throw to the Demilitarized Zone that divided North and South Vietnam.  Named after a former Marine Corps Commandant, the LZ (a helicopter “landing zone”) existed for one year in 1968-69 with  its six gun artillery battery continuously manned, supported and protected by around 300 Marines including Artillerymen, Infantrymen, Support Units and a small detachment of Navy Medical Corpsmen...all kids, mostly.  Many hundreds more rotated on and off the hill during that year.  We all went our separate ways after the war, but there were many unanswered questions in our minds; especially concerning the battle of Feb. 25, 1969, when we were attacked by NVA Suicide Sappers and the accidental explosion of ordinance on September 21, 1969 and the chaos that followed.  Many of us were sent home on stretchers and unable to find out what became of our buddies, or the details of the attack.
 Thirty years later, In April of 2000, two of these men found each other on the 3/12 Network  web site and the LZ Russell web site and association began. Since then, we have found over 100 survivors and over 40 of our dead. Many have sent us personal accounts and several hundred pictures of this one year history of a US Marine Corps battleground in the Vietnam War.  We also included official documents gathered, in part, with the aid of the Nixon Library.
 Coming together like this, 30 years after the war, has been a healing experience for many of us. Many are now getting help for PTSD and many more have been able to find closure. We have created an active Humanitarian effort in Vietnam and at home. We have also created a comprehensive history of what it was like to live in a Vietnam battleground and its implications on the lives of those who lived it that is referenced by scholastic, historical and medical organizations around the world.
 Welcome to LZ Russell. 


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