US ARMY 45th Signal Battalion (1966-1969)
In 1966, after getting in a little bit of trouble, Gary Wylie and I decided to join the Army on the buddy system. He decided he wanted to go into the Green Berets. Not me. I went to AIT (advanced individual training) at Ft. Gordon, GA as a teletype operator. Most hated job ever. Working in a telecom wasn’t for me. Wished I had went with Wylie. I got to Vietnam sometime in the fall of 1966, 90th replacement, hold over three weeks. Made friends there.
Stationed at Nha Trang. Worked at Com Center three months. Old Sgt took pity on me and put me in the air courier department. I loved it there and every day saw so much beautiful country. I was a door gunner courier. Had to have a secret clearance (but that’s another story.) I delivered documents all over the Central Highlands. I thanked God I wasn’t stationed in some of the places, like Mang Buc. We flew into the 2nd Battle of Dak To. I loved my job. Besides the obvious we were always worried in the chopper about birds. Leaving Nam for Cam Ranh Bay we hit a flock of birds in the chopper: one day more and I was done. Birds!
Ft. Hamilton, Brooklyn, 9 months more. Ft. Meade, MD till I was out.
Made it okay, got out, steaks and home.
I cried the day Wylie left Vietnam. He and I went to college together later. We were best friends until he died.