“Combat Is Completely Chaotic”: Service In Vietnam And Cambodia With D / 1-5 Cavalry

John Santy & Lloyd Pontier


John Santy grew up in Long Beach and Anaheim, California, with his parents and three sisters. He got married at 18 and enlisted in the Army to support his wife and child. He completed basic training at Ft. Ord, California, and the Non-Commissioned Officer school and Airborne School at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Lloyd Pontier grew up in Midland Park, New Jersey. He enlisted for the draft and ended up getting sent to Officers Candidate School after basic training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. He initially was assigned to 10th Special Forces Group before deploying to Vietnam. Eventually, Santy and Pontier ended up in the same platoon, sharing many of the same experiences before they each returned home. In this interview they talk about growing up, joining the Army, service in Vietnam, and their lives after the war. They describe typical patrols, and recall events that stand out vividly in their memories, like getting wounded or spotting a bunker complex. They discuss crossing the border into Cambodia and the intense fight at Fire Support Base David. Their accounts of that battle provide additional perspective into that chaotic night. Finally, they reflect on what their service means to them.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Leadership Camaraderie Teamwork Morale Military Techniques
interviewer David Siry
date 15 April 2018


name John Santy & Lloyd Pontier
institution OCS
service Infantry / Special Forces
unit 3rd Platoon, D / 1-5 CAV
service dates 1968 19701982