In the summer of 1968, shortly after the U.S. entered the Viet Nam War, a young Duane Reynolds joined the Army. He spent basic training in Fort Knox before being sent to Missouri to train as a combat engineer responsible for building field fortifications, bridges, explosives, demolitions, and such. A mere six months after enlisting, Duane was sent to Viet Nam.
Duane’s unit was part of the Ninth Infantry Division, which handled the building and repair of all military bridges in the Mekong Delta, south of Saigon. Later he was reassigned to a mechanized infantry unit.
When Duane’s year-long tour of duty was up, he spent Christmas at home. But his strong sense of patriotism had him volunteering to go back to Viet Nam, rejoining his unit in January 1970 as American troops pushed into Cambodia.
Duane left Viet Nam for good in August and was then assigned to a basic training unit in Washington where he trained and served as a drill instructor. He was eventually discharged in July 1971, having received multiple commendations during his extraordinary service, including a Bronze Star Medal.
We owe our freedom to the valiant members of our military. On Veterans Day, we give our humble thanks to Duane and all men and women who have served our country. Their sacrifices and bravery can never be forgotten.
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