I have blogged before about Helmets and "Lucky Talismans" and helmets in general. I remembered when I first got my helmet at my first dury station in Germany I immediately stuck my "LPS" bottle in the band around the helmet like I remembered seeing all the GI's doing during Vietnam.
My squad leader told me "You can't do that crap any more". So I had to take it out. Oh well...
The Vietnam War tested the United States in new and horrid ways.
Unprepared for guerilla tactics, dense jungles, and unwilling to
interpret their foes’ actions as anything other than the working of
Moscow’s efforts to expand Communism, the nation spent years in a
conflict with no seeming end in sight.
Conscripted troops were constantly cycled through the war to prepare a
generation for World War III, while politicians and commanders
continually failed to understand the lessons learned in America’s
previous guerilla campaigns.
For the troops on the ground, Vietnam was a humid hell filled with
enemies and a people barely considered human. Part of any soldier’s
equipment at the time included a helmet, called a steel pot by the
troops and officially known as the M-1 helmet.
The soldiers of Vietnam, being products of a time when the nation’s
youth struggled to assert their individuality, started doodling on their
helmets to express themselves.
Such artwork drew media attention as early as June 18, 1965.
Appearing in an Associated Press article by Pulitzer Prize-winning
photographer Horst Faas, the photo caption noted Larry Wayne Chaffin of
the 173rd Airborne Brigade, sporting a simple line across the bridge of
his helmet: “WAR IS HELL.”