Service-Disabled Vietnam Veteran
Following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather, and great grandfather, Garry volunteered for the draft in 1967. Even though his Army Military Occupational Specialty Testing qualified him for Warrant Officer training, Garry chose Infantry training. After completion of his training in Tiger Land at Ft. Polk, LA, he was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One) in Vietnam. The Big Red One had no permanent base camp and Garry’s platoon was constantly being moved to conflict locations for engagement with the North Vietnam Army (NVA) in the jungles north of the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon. The Division led the way in the innovative use of helicopters in air mobile operations to counter the difficult jungle terrain.
On May 26, 1968, Garry’s platoon engaged a large NVA force in the Bin Duong Province that was pushing to a direct attack on Saigon. Carrying a M79 grenade launcher, Garry took out a NVA bunker which drew an enemy grenade attack not only on himself, but also to comrades. As a result of this attack, Garry was permanently wounded and evacuated to a field hospital for initial treatment. At day’s end, the result of the engagement was 10 US soldiers killed in action, and 24 wounded in action. The NVA lost 25 killed in action and withdrew.
Due to his wounds obtained in combat, Garry was released from the Army with an Honorable Discharge and permanently disabled at 80%.