Occupation: Retired truck driver
Service: Four years
Branch: Air Force
“My younger brother served in Vietnam and he was killed in Vietnam.
“I stayed state side because they wouldn’t let me go.
“I had a widowed mother and they didn’t want the whole family serving overseas.
“He was in the Army, I was Air Force, my other brother was also Air Force.
“I enlisted and he waited to be drafted. He went over and was an armored personnel carrier driver. One of the days he was there, they were led out into an ambush and they were surrounded. He was able to defend the rest of his company so they could get out.
“Him and another partner of his were killed along with eight others.
“The way it was set up the whole company should have been killed, but he put himself on the line to save his fellow soldiers.
“I think the hardest part was knowing he was over there serving and there was nothing you could do. You just had to wait. Truthfully it was a lot harder on my mother than anybody else, but she was a firm believer that what we were doing was the right thing to do.
“Just like today, we need to serve our country.
“They don’t just come to us handed on a platter. We need to fight for those freedoms and too many people don’t understand that.
“(I mostly think about) our servicemen today. The past is history. By getting to the present, it takes us to that moment, but we are in the same situation all over again with fighting for the freedoms we have.
“We don’t get them by people protesting on the street corners or going to Occupy Wall Street or something else.
“We get our freedoms because of our brave brothers and sisters that are willing to sacrifice their lives, if need be, so we can be free.
“We are living stateside and all we have to worry about is the storm coming out of western Alaska. We can go to the grocery store and get what we want when we need. We have an abundance of everything and there are people over there that have nothing.
“I was actually a desk jockey.
“(If I could do it again) I would get into something totally different because what I did was boring. I had an opportunity to be a load master and I would flying in and out and … at the time, my recruiting officer talked me into doing something different.
“I probably would have done it as a career. I don’t think I would have gotten out after four years.
“But, it was a tough time. My brother was killed in ’68 and in early ’69, I had the choice to stay in or get out and I just decided it was time to get out.
“Mom wanted that more than anything else. She was alone. My dad had died back in ‘59 and she needed me there. God had a plan with everything that happened.
“If it would have been a different situation, I probably would have made different choices.”