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Our Stories: Vietnam


Part 1:  6 stories covering an advisor, negotiating a rescue ceasefire, a painful frightening night waiting for medics, valor to earn a purple heart, the mechanic that kept pilots safe and questions of faith.

In Chronological Order of Service

Harvey Hilbert: Las Cruces

During a night jungle patrol he came under intense fire. A cross-fire shot hit a fellow scout just before he was hit in the head. The wounds left them together trying to survive injuries long enough to be rescued in the morning.

Charles Revie: Las Cruces

– A West Point graduate and Army advisor who went on patrols with South Vietnamese ARVN forces and credits his marksmanship over those of the enemy.

Bob Worthington: Las Cruces

– An Army advisor tells his story in working with the South Vietnamese. His personal film helps document a half-hour when the war stopped to save a wounded infant.

Leonard Ramirez: (Part A) Las Cruces

– A Marine whose story will be told in two parts.  His is a harrowing story of constant peril and triumph that earned him a Purple Heart.

Alan Westrum: Alamogordo

– An Air Force mechanic who worked on various planes during his service. His expertise and repair work allowed pilots to safely carry out missions.

Armando Young Amador: Silver City

– A volunteer whose combat experiences made him question his faith, humanity and the sanity of war.


Part 2:  5 stories of one of the first pilots to land at Da Nang after Tonkin Bay, Part B of an earned Purple Heart, a minesweepers worst fear, a recipient of a Silver Star and keeping control of supplies.

In Chronological Order of Service

Robert Blount: Alamogordo

– A Navy pilot who flew in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He was one of the first pilots to land at Da Nang after the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

Leonard Ramirez: (Part B) Las Cruces

– A Marine whose story will be told in two parts.  His is a harrowing story of constant peril and triumph that earned him a Purple Heart.

Henry Morales: Lordsburg

– He was assigned to sweep for roadside mines and carries the regret of missing one. Yet, pride of being in the Army’s Big Red 1 is strong

Jim Harbison: Las Cruces (now in Vail, Arizona)

– A senior noncommissioned officer whose field promotion saw him assigned to the 1st Air Cav, received a Silver Star after getting shot down, and serve two tours of duty.

Richard Stet Reid: Alamogordo

– An Air Force captain who used a computer with 32KB to process supplies and had a family lineage that is deeply rooted in several generations of the U.S. military.


Part 3: The final 5 stories being in downtown Saigon the morning Tet started, a Purple Heart recipient that didn’t leave anyone behind, with 2 Purple Hearts meet the “Luckiest Man Alive,” the volunteer point man recounts the longest night of his life and the “raiding” Para-Rescue airman.

In Chronological Order of Service

Frances Williams: Las Cruces

– Civilian worker at White Sands recruited by the Army to solve logistical problems in Vietnam. She was in downtown Saigon the morning that the Tet Offensive began. She later volunteered at field hospitals.

Johnny Holguin: Vado

– A Marine whose own courage and valor earned him a belated Purple Heart, took a back seat to concerns and memories of MIA soldiers. Decades later, remains were finally discovered and they were returned home to rest.

Floyd Stringer: Alamogordo

– Awarded two Purple Hearts, the self-proclaimed “luckiest man alive” was an Army mechanic and crew chief who survived two helicopter crashes.

Udo Fischer: Alamogordo

– Not the typical Vietnam Veteran, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Germany who served as a Para-Rescue airman on different helicopters and several rescues. His artwork was used as the commemorative patch for the mission at Son Tay.

Jose Arsola Ray: Silver City

– Volunteering to be the point man carrying an M-60 machine gun led to the longest night of his life, being surrounded by Viet Cong in the jungle

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