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December 23, 2012

SALUTING OUR VETERANS: Former airman recounts his service days


On Mondays, it was back to work.

Nights were sometimes the worst. Da Nang was called Rocket City because of all of the rocket attacks through the years. The base was hit by rocket rounds fired from the mountains surrounding the base. This would happen two or three times a week and sometimes, a month would go by before we would be hit again.

The night before I left Vietnam, there was a rocket attack and a fuel tank, holding about 500 gallons of jet fuel, was hit by a rocket, creating a huge fire ball.

I thought to myself, “this could be the end,” but things quieted down and we were able to fly out of Vietnam around noon the next day.

On Feb. 2, our airplane flew from Da Nang to Hawaii, and we flew from Hawaii into Norton Air Force Base in California, where the next day, I was discharged.

Six of us had rented a taxi to take us to Los Angeles International Airport, where we caught flights to our different destinations.

I returned to my hometown of Odessa, where I went to work in a chemical plant that produced plastic, some of which was used to make Tupperware products.

For the remainder of my career, I worked in and around the oil field in West Texas until my retirement in 2008, when I came to Weatherford.

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