"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Experiences In Country: by Dannie Watkins

Orange County Purple Heart Proclamation November 2013

Hello CJ,

I have never been one to talk much about my experiences in Vietnam. I was young, and I was exposed quickly to the realities of real combat.  I did what I had to do to try and stay alive. 

I was wounded twice and I bare the scars, as a result of the wounds. 

I returned from Vietnam on November 1st, 1968, and went to the 82nd Airborne at Ft. Bragg, NC.  I was there for four months and then I was sent back to Vietnam to the same unit I left, 173rd Airborne Brigade. It wasn't any easier the second trip. 

I stayed in the Army as a professional soldier and in combat arms for all but a four-year stint I spent on recruiting duty. I retired in December 1989, with twenty-three years, nine months, and seventeen days of service time. 

I spent tours with the 173rd Abn., 82nd Abn., 2nd Infantry Division, 7th Infantry Division, and a tour of duty at Fort Knox as an instructor. 

I'm proud of my service and understand the stresses of war and I feel for these young soldiers of today who make back-to-back tours at a young age, just as I did. The mind never heals from the trauma of war. 

When you remain a soldier, you accept what you have done and what you train to do daily to be ready for it to happen again. You are a professional and try to do your best at it every day. 

I received four Meritorious Service Medals during my Army service. Most soldier enlisted or officers seldom earn one. Being a professional takes daily dedication and a commitment to Duty, Honor and Country. 

My Legacy: Getting Orange County California to Proclaim the County as a Purple Heart County.

Dannie Watkins
U.S. Army - Retired
Life Member 173rd Airborne Association 
Life Member Disabled Veterans of America 
Commander Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 752 
Secretary Vietnam Memorial Westminster California
Gone Fishing.

If you are a veteran, especially one who was wounded in combat, I'm available to help you in any way I can. 

Also See: "Argument with a Mental Health "Professional"

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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1 comment:

  1. Thanx for sharing, Dannie. If not the 'last', you gave the 'full' measure. Welcome home!


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