Nicknamed “Curly” by Sgt. Sneed and Sgt. Wise
I was born and raised in Santee, California and joined the Army after completion of high school in 1969.
After boot camp at Ft. Ord, Ca and AIT in Ft. Jackson, I did a two week training course at Ft. Sherman Jungle School, Panama CZ en-route to Viet Nam. Upon arriving at the 90th replacement company I was promised a “Good Assignment” by a Sergeant if I’d stay and pull guard duty for them there. Funny thing while I was there for the three weeks of constant guard duty, all I heard from the locals was “You want to be assigned anywhere but the 101st, those guys have it the worst.” With guard duty finally over I packed my duffle bag and headed off to my final assignment over there which was with the 101st of course.
After SERTS I arrived at the Delta Company area. Delta Company 1/506th was on their last night of Stand Down, so it was a big party back in the rear. I remember seeing our Captain “Ranger” on the shoulders of another intoxicated soldier playing “Chicken”. Wow this can’t be too bad, I thought to myself. We all went out into the bush the next day and was flown into Ripcord A/O my fourth day in the bush. With all the deaths and wounds our guys suffered for the next two days (Chapter in the Book about Ripcord titled “Wrong Place, Wrong Time”) I realized surviving the next 11 months looked pretty grim for “the Kid.“ By the grace of God I made it home.
I retired in 2006 from the California Highway Patrol and spent the next two years as a Police advisor in both Afghanistan and Iraq returning home to marry my wonderful bride Michelle. Michelle and I have a combination of 8 adult children and at the last count 10 grand kids with more on the way!
After nearly 25 years out of the blue came a letter from Tony Cox a fellow Delta Company survivor. I attended my first “Ripcord” re-union in 1995 at Golden Colorado. Now with all the support of Tony, Gib, Merle, Lt.Smith, Dale, Chuck, Roger, Dick, and so many more, Michelle and I attended our first Re-union in 2010 and are looking forward to this years re-union in 2012. After watching all the WWII vets passing away now, it prompts me to be with ALL of the Ripcord survivors even more…