My name is Daniel O’Bryan and I was an E7 in the Army from 1962-1982. I was drafted because I dropped out of college. There was a lot of terrorists what with Fidel Castro. We had an army in Vietnam, but we needed more. Before me, I had family serving in WWI and WWII.
Military life was a big change. It was interesting though; it kept me busy and physically active. I did a lot of training around the states. I spent 2 years in Vietnam, 1968-69 and 71-72. In between and after that, I was in germany, deploying to Bad Toelz,Ulm, Scwabishhal, then Wertheim. This was during the Cold War, and it was mostly a period of aggressing against Russian soldiers, as well as a lot of recon. When I was in Vietnam from 1968-1969, I was in Phu Bai and Quang Tri. From 1971-172, I travelled to Loch Ninh, Quang Hoi, then Sông Bé. My duties were to simply fire away at the North Vietnamese.
One moment I will never forget is getting pulled out by an Air Force CH53 outside of Guan Hoy, about three km away from the battlefield. I will never forget holding onto the ladder looking down at the Vietnamese fighting each other and getting back to safety.
My wartime experiences have really affected my life. I formed the closest bonds I’ve ever formed in the service. Furthermore, it advanced the respect we had for everybody who tried to help train us. Make sure that no matter what you do, bring everything you have to. Even if you don’t need it, maybe you’ll happen upon someone who needs it; during combat, you only have what you brought with you.
I am proud to have served my country. I would do it all over again, but if I could change one thing, I probably would’ve finished my education before serving.