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Newbie gets scary meeting in Vietnam

One of my platoon sergeants in the 1980s told me this story. He was a newly arrived soldier in Vietnam and had just joined his unit. The first night he was there their base was mortared and the young soldier headed for a nearby bunker to take cover. Just before he entered the bunker this senior NCO grabbed him and told him he’d better not go in there. The young soldier looked at him as if to ask why? The NCO then pointed in the bunker and said do you see those? The soldier then saw in the darkness two pair of red eyes. Cobras were taking refuge in the bunker as well.

Vietnam is a hotbed for the deadly King Cobra. These monsters typically reach a length of 13 feet and their venom can be deadly. A combination of neurotoxins and cardiotoxic compounds are injected through the snake’s 1 centimeter long fangs into the victim. Although there are anti-venoms available, it can take just 30 minutes for a bite to kill a victim depending on where a person is bitten.

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