Every rifle company and rifle platoon had some guys who were respected for their experience and/or accomplishments. They became the squad leaders and held together the fabric of the platoon as the membership changed. Platoon leaders and platoon sergeants came and went, as did the medics. The riflemen stayed together until they were hurt or went home. The best of them passed on their knowledge to the new guys, both to prepare them for leadership and to keep them alive in the meantime.
In 3rd Platoon, Joe Hare was one of those leaders. Joe was a veteran of Operation Junction City, Billings and the bloody Battle of Xom Bo II, plus numerous operations, battles and firefights that followed. By the end of '67, he had added Operation Shenandoah II, with the battles of Ong Thanh and Loc Ninh to his record.
In this photo, Joe was clearly a New Guy. The nice unfaded green color of the camouflage cover on his helmet, jungle fatigues, and gear attests to that.
Photo courtesy of Joe Hare