Fifty years ago. Vietnam. I left Rebecca, my wife of 7 months, at the Cincinnati airport, flew to California and left from Travis Air Force Base on July 27, 1970. We landed in Alaska where I got a photo of a stuffed Kodiak bear that must have been 8 feet tall. I called back to Ohio to find that my nephew, Matthew Jonas, was born in Ohio before we took off for Japan where we refueled, then into Vietnam.
I am a Vietnam Veteran. I served in the Aviation Section of the 45th Engineer Group as a rotary wing aviator in UH-1D and OH58-A, instructor pilot in OH 58-A and maintenance officer.
I frequently think about the twenty members of my West Point Class of 1968 who died as a result of their injuries in Vietnam. Their names are on The Wall. Others have developed malignancies as a result of toxic exposures in Vietnam such as Agent Orange. We were soldiers.
I loved the helicopter flying, from the DMZ in the north to Quang Ngai and My Lai in the southern area of our operations for the 45th Engineer Group.
I'll be reflecting on the Vietnam experience for the next year with regular blog post reflections.
Later Reflections about Vietnam