2018-08-23 / Letters

“News” Column Evokes Memories Of Reader’s Vietnam Service

To The Editor:

This is a big thank-you from me for your column “From Days Gone By,” more particularly those 50 years ago last Thursday and earlier about Capt. William E. Shaffer, wounded, Vietnam, 1968. Now family and friends in Fulton County can be aware of my service. I couldn’t talk about it. Nowadays it’s easier through memories provided by your column. Many vets have this difficulty.

My trip home from Nam was on a stretcher by air to a hospital in Baltimore, thus avoiding the public crowds spitting on uniformed returning troops. I was received with open greeting by hospital personnel. Then out of the Army and home. Your News published a picture of me with my awards and that was the end, for 50 years. Recently my Army buddies have become proud of their service. Reunions are held and events of then recalled. It’s still a lot to swallow but 29 of my guys in C Troop, ¾ Cav. did not make it home alive. Three of those happened the night I was hit. Three to five RPGs hit my tracked APC, shrapnel cut the right femoral artery. Air evacuated to the hospital in Cu Chi, I received eight units of blood while still conscious. Luckily they saved the leg. I went on to have a useful civilian career and family.

Now I’m proud of my service in front of family and the public. Things have changed, thanks to your efforts to explain what happened to veterans.

William E. Shaffer
Proud Fulton
County native

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