I was a Marine in Vietnam. I had just turned 19 and was shore stationed with the 7th Marine Regiment 1st Marine Division Chu lie Viet Nam waiting to be assigned a permanent battalion.
During that time I was required to do my fair share of perimeter guard duty. This was my first time and, of course I was a bit nervous. The sergeant of the guard told us if you see movement at your front do not fire your weapon, but first throw a grenade. Firing your weapon would give away your position.
Our job was to make sure nobody passed the wire around our perimeter. We had put a C-Ration can with a few stones in them to make noise if anyone would get into the wire. We also tied small strips of white cloth in it so that we could see the wire at night.
It was around 0230 or maybe 0300 when whe wind picked up and rattled the barbed wire in front of me. The lizards were barking their unusual bark and the stones were rattling.
I threw a grenade! Nothing happened.
The wind died down and all was quiet except for the lizards and their infernal bark.
Then around 0500 the wind picked up again and I threw another grenade. Again nothing happened.
When corporal of the guard came around with our day time relief. He asked me where were my grenades. I told him that I threw them into the wire.
He said, "I didn't hear any thing explode last night."
We then walked down the hill and picked up my grenades with the pins still in them.