3:16 | Richard Hauner remembers growing up in a small town and his interest in history at an early age that eventually led him to want to join the service.
Keywords : small town father farmer working grandfather Austria World War I history lumberjack World War II stories
Being drafted to go to Vietnam meant that Hauner had to get accustomed to training and the military lifestyle quickly. One particular encounter with some fellow soldiers at basic training left him rattled.
After his basic training, Richard Hauner shipped off to Alaska and had to face the elements there. After arriving in Dong Tam, Richard Hauner was immersed quickly into the Vietnam lifestyle.
Richard Hauner realized quickly how much of a learning process being in Vietnam was. The many challenges that they had to face were quickly surmountable with smarts and a good bit of luck.
Daily life at camp and during warfare always came with complications for Hauner and his division. Though his division wasn't explicitly an infantry division, they did a lot of the same tasks that infantry did, making them learn quickly.
When reporters and entertainers came to Vietnam, they were often kept away from the actual elements of war. Richard Hauner had some funny stories from interactions he had when they came to experience real war.
Richard Hauner tells of his experience with the Tet Offensive, facing mortar fire and having to coordinate troop positioning. He managed to get on an aircraft to Bearcat where he cleared his post.
After leaving Vietnam, Hauner and his division felt euphoric to make it home safely. For a few years after, he had some problems with PTSD that started to go away with the help of a psychiatrist.
Richard Hauner gives his insight into the consequences of war. He tells leaders to make war the last result because it is so draining on a country.
In a letter home, Tommy Clack expressed his worry that something bad was going to happen and it did when his unit engaged the NVA near the Cambodian border. He saw the enemy soldier stand and fire the RPG that changed his life forever.
As Marine Captain Ron Christmas fought to regain the city of Hue, he found the enemy adept at concealment and surprise. Every soldier in a spider hole was armed with a rifle and a RPG launcher. He also encountered a nun with an AK-47. His action during this time earned him the Navy Cross.
The RPG that severed Joe McDonald’s foot didn’t kill him. The machine gun fire that hit him as he still tried to help others didn’t kill him. The grenade taped to his hand might have killed him if the VC had found his hiding place.
Sgt. Tracy Sheils never had to pull rank. He had rank, meaning his men respected him and carried out his orders. His mother was concerned about his brothers getting drafted and sent to Vietnam and so was Sheils. He didn't think they had the makeup to survive in that war, unlike the Marines in his unit.
To Tracy Sheils, Vietnam was not a bad thing and it had a noble purpose, stopping the spread of Communism. He had to go home in civilian clothes to avoid any trouble and it did not sit well with him. Neither does the prosecution of Americans such as Lt. William Calley.
His one trip to the hospital was memorable. Fed up with the chaos and screaming, Tracy Sheils couldn't wait to get back to his unit. He talks about surviving an ambush, how he took up smoking and why that was a good thing, and why his flak jacket was worthless.
He thought it was hot when he stopped in Hawaii, but when Tracy Sheils got to Vietnam, he found out what hot really is. His 2nd night there, the base was targeted in a rocket attack. That's when he found out what scared really is. Soon, he would see action in Hue and the A Shau Valley, and earn a combat promotion.
As the 95th began to get settled in Da Nang, they started building tents and getting some semblance of a base going so that they could take on patients. As an OR tech, Balk assisted doctors during the various types of procedures that went on at the base.
After some intense time in-country, Bob Averill and his battalion got the chance to take a brief leave to the beach for some recovery time. Following his time on Hill 174, Averill was reassigned to command a Combined Action Company, taking him away from Hotel Company and into a new area of operations.