Vietnam Vets at Army Museum Share Personal Stories, Artifacts

One younger girl, impressed by her father’s service in World Warfare II, joined the Military to be a nurse.

One other younger man, motivated by tales of historical past and the Military’s place in it whereas in grade college set his sights on a profession within the army.

Each wound up within the Vietnam Warfare and a long time later shared their tales and tangible items of that non-public historical past right here, on the Nationwide Museum of the U.S. Military on March 29, Nationwide Vietnam Warfare Veterans Day.

Retired Lt. Col. Marcia L. Kidd heard her father, a Battle of the Bulge veteran, inform how he frostbite crept into his legs and an Military nurse massaged them heat by means of the night time. He advised her he needed to go residence and dance together with his spouse.

That impressed a teenage Kidd to look to develop into an Military nurse herself. Graduating fundamental coaching in 1969 she did follow-on coaching at Fort Gordon, Georgia the place the younger Military captain met her “soulmate” 2nd Lt. Richard Goodwin Kidd Jr. She adopted him to Vietnam, the place he served within the sign corps.

The pair managed to hyperlink up a number of occasions, getting relaxation and rest in Hong Kong the place they had been engaged.

After greater than 23 years she retired and he adopted, giving almost 30 years and incomes the rank of colonel.

The pair, who reside within the northern Virginia space, had been elated that the Military was going to construct its nationwide museum at Fort Belvoir. Richard didn’t reside to see the museum open in 2020. However Marcia volunteers on the website, explaining shows and answering questions from guests each younger and outdated.

The retired Military working room nurse unfold out a multi-panel quilt made for her by her fellow members of the Mount Vernon, Virginia Nelly Custis Chapter of the Nationwide Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The ladies in her chapter made quilts final yr for veterans of their group. Every panel is signed by the quilter who made it. Kidd’s images from Vietnam, black-and-white in braids and a discipline cap, scrubbing up for the working room, adorn the quilt.

“I acquired it precisely 50 years to the day after I acquired residence,” she stated. “October 16, 2021.”

She was one in every of 10 volunteers who answered the decision from museum workers to share not solely their experiences however any private results from their service on the Vietnam Veterans recognition day, stated Tammy Name, museum director and former Military officer.

Name’s father was a profession soldier and a Vietnam Warfare veteran, she stated.

Miguel Monteverde was solely a boy, in sixth grade on the St. Catherine’s Army College, Los Angeles California, when he was charged by the historical past he learn and sought a method to make historical past himself.

And it appeared to the boy that the Military was “all the time in the course of making historical past.”

After graduating from the Virginia Army Institute in 1966 he was commissioned as an artillery officer. He ran a battery in West Germany through the Chilly Warfare earlier than heading to Vietnam.

“We had a really sporting summer season on the ground of the A Sau Valley in the summertime of 1969,” he advised Military Instances.

Sporting may be an understatement. Monteverde’s unit, A Battery, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Area Artillery with the a hundred and first Airborne Division fired rounds within the Battle of Hamburger Hill, the place a number of battalions of paratroopers slogged by means of dense enemy opposition in a direct assault.

Although that battle raged in Could 1969, the taking pictures didn’t cease.

“We had been rocketed and mortared with alarming frequency,” Monteverde stated. “We acquired hit with a really, very heavy assault on the thirteenth and 14th of June of 1969.”

The battery prevailed in opposition to the attackers, however ways took an intense flip.

“We had been firing direct fireplace proper on the enemy coming at us,” he stated. “We policed up 54 our bodies out of the wire, we took no fatalities ourselves.”

When he left the unit, his troopers introduced him with a set of water buffalo horns, the emblematic animal image of Vietnam.

“It was a singular reward, so distinctive that my spouse has by no means allowed me to place them over the hearth in any residence wherein we lived,” Monteverde stated.

“This museum, actually, is a 185,000-square-foot tribute to the American soldier,” he stated. “It’s not the tanks and the jeeps and the water buffalo horns. It’s the story of all of us who wore the uniform of this nation.”

The troopers mounted the horns, pins and a small brass plaque on a picket board for his or her commander.

“I’ll inform you that I didn’t press my troopers too arduous as to the place they acquired the water buffalo horns,” he advised Military Instances.

The horns, on show the day of the presentation, sport the “Screaming Eagle” pin of the a hundred and first Airborne Division, the crossed cannons of artillery, the bounce wings of paratroopers and the defend insignia of his unit.

“They had been a present from my troopers. They made them. They put all that collectively,” he stated. “I actually do treasure them.”

Initially printed on Army Instances, our sister publication.


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