One day in Vietnam Capt. Perkins flew over to Chau Doc to help me as I had to string a new radio antenna so he and I could do our jobs better. As usual it was around 128 degrees and the humidity was only 99.4%. Before I climbed the tower, I asked him if it would be all right to remove my shirt and just work in my tee shirt,and he replied "Sure"! I was half way up the tower with cable over my shoulder when B-42 Special Forces Commander LtC Smith pulled into the Air Force Radio Compound. As he exited his jeep he spotted me going up the tower. As he was more interested in image and protocol over fighting a War, he started screaming at me to "Get my A** down and get my shirt on, as no one in his Command would be out of Uniform!" With sweat running into my eyes I started down the tower. LtC Smith was screaming that "If I ever catch you out of Uniform again, I'll have your Stripes!" Capt. Perkins stepped forward to say "I gave him permission to take his shirt off, Sir." Colonal Smith said "I don't care, no one in my Command will be out of Uniform for any reason, and I'll have his stripes, if I see it again." Then Capt. Perkins did something that just blew me away. He said, "If you take his Stripes You will have to take My Captain's Bars too, Sir!" "Just remember if that happens I fly no more and you air cover will be delayed." Col. Smith was livid but never said a word as his jeep left our compound.
That is the kind of Man your Dad was. He backed his people all the way, even if he had to put his Career on the line. I was never so Proud to work or fly with Anyone in my life as I was with your Dad. I would have gone any where with Him and gladly laid down my Life for him if I had to.
I'm asking for a favor if I could. If you have any photo's of your Dad while he was in 'Nam, would you email a copy to me for my office wall?
If you need any help in finding out what Medals your Dad should have gotten, just let me know off his DD-214 the dates he was in Country!
Geoff---great story..THE WAY it should be done.
Geoff-I just read your story today. It gave me goose bumps and glad my dad stood up for you. I'm so glad he meant so much to you and it is great I was able to connect with someone that flew with him. The Veteran Service office in our county has been working with me and guess what---I have the correction to his D214 that adds Air medal with 1 silver and 4 bronze oak leaf cluster and DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS...I will have to post a picture when I get the cross..it has been 45 years waiting....I have been scanning my dads old slides and will get some pictures for you soon. Thanks-
Happy too hear you making progress on your Dad's Service Medials. How many Campaign Stars on his Vietnam Service Medal? Would love to see his Medals Display when you get it done. Any help I can be just ask. Also any Pics of Him you would like to share with me would be greatly appreciated. I did down load the two pics of him on this site. You have brought back memories I haven't thought of for a while. My favorite passage comes from the last scene of a movie called The Four Feathers:
" You may be Lost,
But You are not Forgotten,
Those who have journeyed far
To Fight in a Foreign Land,
Know that a Soldier's greatest Comfort
Is to have his Friends Close at Hand,
In the heat of Battle,
It ceases to be an idea,
For which we fight for a Flag,
Rather we fight for the Man on our left,
We fight for the Man on our right,
When Armies are scattered,
And Empires fall away,
All that remains is the Memory,
Of those precious moments,
We spent Side by Side."
Again, any help I can be. Anything you could tell me about Him after Nam. Did he continue to fly? Sometime I'll tell you about a game we played with the plane and the Bassoc River.
Geoff-If you click on my dads picture then it takes you to photo-then click on it and a picture of him in Vietnam..if you want another one I can send just thought that may help.
You say you love the connection Teresa and I have made. It's all because of YOU and this site. I about gave up ever finding info on any of the Brothers I served with. Stumbling on to this site has been awesome but never would have happened if you never had the Heart to start it. For that, this Old Soldier says Thanks and I Salute You for it!
Geoff, I really do appreciate your kind words. It makes me smile when I see things like this. Really, the website is not work for me, but an outlet to satisfy my selfish passion for stories. Ones like yours and Teresa's are absolute icings on the cake! It does make it seem worthwhile when such a neat connection is made. I hope you two continue to share your joint discoveries here, because I sure am enjoying what you come up with.
You and all other veterans are to be thanked way before me. But if you insist, you can thank me by getting all your friends on here to share :).
Geoff-My dads dream was to fly. He grew up in rural Ohio on a farm and helped with milking cows and all jobs related with farm work. He graduated from Ohio State and was also in the ROTC program. Dad was trained in the Air Force to fly mainly C-124 cargo planes. He flew cargo planes for 10 years or so. His flying assignment in Vietnam was Forward Air Controller. I know he took his flying very serious and gave 110% when he flew. He completed is tour in 1968 and never flew after that. I believe he considered being a commercial pilot but didnt pursue that adventure. I appreciate all of your stories you have been sharing because he never shared much. I'm sure he discussed more with my brother but not me.