Vietnam 1st Battalion
A Company 1966 – 1967
I was born in Dayton, Ohio and raised in Olympia, WA. which is located in the most southern tip of Puget Sound. Good salmon, steelhead and sturgeon fishing – a hobby! I graduated from Olympia High School in 1965 and then worked in high lead logging for Simpson Timber Company in the Olympic Mountains of Washington State.
I was drafted into the Army November 1965. After Jump School at Fort Benning, Georgia, I was assigned to the 101st at Phang Rang, 1st Bde, 1st Bn 327, Inf ABU Company (June 2, 1966). I was proud to serve every day with these SOLDIERS. My first combat experience was four days later at Dak To. I was very confused after a few days there, and can’t say I’ve figured it out yet. We joined with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Marines at Tuy Hoa – another experience I’ll never forget. The ROK troops trained all day; we went on ambush at night and learned a lot from them. On a patrol at Tuy Hoa, along a rice paddy, we were moving along on patrol, in formation when a water buffalo attacked and kicked the —- out of me in about 1½ seconds. I still thank all you guys for shootin’ that SOB before it killed me. You know how it was — we were taken by chopper from spot to spot for a year, sometimes engaging Charlie, sometimes just walking for days. I guess we met em’ and fought em’ all over the central highlands, ABU.
I returned to the WORLD June 3, 1967, arriving at Fort Lewis, WA fifteen miles from my home. I was then assigned to Fort Campbell for six weeks and finally Fort Bragg for six weeks, after which I was discharged in November 1967.
I married my wife of 40 years, Rhodetta, in 1968. We have two children, a son and a daughter, and FIVE grand children. I was a professional firefighter for the City of Olympia for over thirty years. It was a privilege to go to work every day and have my goal met every day “helping someone, anyone”! I continue to be very proud to be among the members of ABU Company, and the 101st. I am currently a member of the Color Guard for VFW Post 318 and have become very involved this past year. We commonly go to two to five Funeral/Memorial services each week to honor the veterans from all wars. It’s a way to continue to serve my country.