I joined the US Army 2 days after high school graduation in June 1970. After UH1 Helicopter training at fort Eustis Va I was sent to Vietnam. I landed at Pleiku Camp Holloway in the Central Highlands. There I was assigned to the 57th Aviation Co- Gladiators. i was in Witch doctor maintenance Platoon for about 9 months then 2nd flight platoon for about 2 months. I returned home to Ft Campbell Ky for about a year and a half when I was discharged.

Later that year in August 1973 I joined the US Marine Corps where over the course I did a number if jobs including that of recruiter. I did 9 years of active duty, left the Marine Corps and became a Police Officer. I stayed in the Marine Corps Reserve until retirement with the rank of MSgt October 2000.

I must say, I had wanted to be in the military since I was I was 6 years old and could never image doing anything else. I have some PTSD issues and had prostate cancer (presumably from agent orange exposure). Through that and a lot of other stuff I have never regretted any  of my military service.

I went to a reunion of the Gladiators last year and it was quite an enriching experience. I reunited with several friends that is something that always helps with healing. But most surprising was I learned the big picture part of what I and my company and to some degree I did and how it affected the over all mission. I think to a large degree being a lowly sp4 at 18 years old and never having clarity of your surroundings adds to the your PTSD issues. I highly recommend looking on the internet, finding and  going to your old units reunion. Reconnecting with old buddies can be a very healing experience.

Leave a Comment