I joined the Army in 1970. I went through basic training at Ft. Campbell, KY then Combat Medic training at Ft. Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. I then went to II Field Force, 2nd/32nd Artillery at Fire Base Lanyard on the Cambodian border in III Corps Vietnam.We had several groung attacks but only one that breeched our perimeter. We had six or seven men wounded and one KIA that night. Lt. Pace died that night. If it wasn't for the Quads and Dusters we wouldn't have made it out of there. The engineers were building a new Fire Base across the road from us. This one was going to be built up out of the mud. It was named Fire Base Pace, after Lt. Pace. We took sniper fire on a regular schedule. There were approximately 80 soldiers on the base with 2 8" howitzers and 2 175mm cannons, along with two Dusters and two Quads. We fired on the HO Chi Minh trail daily. The NVA sent over 5,000 regulars to attack us. Most of us were hit with either mortar, rocket or automatic weapons. I was wounded while patching up a soldier that had most of his leg blown off. Our Colonel just happened to be on our base during that attack. He was pinning a Purple Heart on both of us in between his vomiting. We were able to get him out on the Colonel's chopper. The next day we had a Cobra shot down. Our base was too small for a chopper to land inside. The pilot climbed out of the Cobra and ran through the barbed wire and claymores begging for someone to save his gunner. I had four others come with me to the Cobra where a recoilless rifle had come through the bottom of the chopper and nearly blew the gunner's right leg off. The bone from his hip to his knee was gone with just a little skin on each side holding it together. I shouldn't say gone, it was splattered all over the inside of the Cobra. I had to crawl in upside down to grab his leg and put it on the stretcher with him. Several months later I was being presented with a Bronze Star for Valor and the Warrant Officer that accompanied the Colonel was actually covering me from his Cobra that day. Small world. I had extended two more months so I spent 14 months in Vietnam. I returned home in November of 1971.
About "Purple Heart Story - In Their Own Words" – this is a series from those who have submitted their story online.
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Bill McCraney http://www.polk-county.net/newsdetail.aspx?id=34903
Maurice Johnson http://www.polk-county.net/newsdetail.aspx?id=34905
Arthur Iverson Meeks http://www.polk-county.net/newsdetail.aspx?id=34911
John J. Beckman http://www.polk-county.net/newsdetail.aspx?id=34943
David E. Mac Morran http://www.polk-county.net/newsdetail.aspx?id=34958
Randall "Jerry" Glover http://www.polk-county.net/newsdetail.aspx?id=34959
Florence M Littles http://www.polk-county.net/newsdetail.aspx?id=34997
David Fuller http://www.polk-county.net/newsdetail.aspx?id=35008
Earl Shaut http://www.polk-county.net/newsdetail.aspx?id=35045
Joseph P. Sloan http://www.polk-county.net/newsdetail.aspx?id=35046