Wayne Sandbulte, Vietnam veteran
Willmar, MN, Kandiyohi
About 30 years ago my government sponsered trip to a tropical country ended with a flight to California. Today I am excited about my plans to travel to the first reunion I will attend with my former Marine heliocopter crew members this Summer.
I am one of those veterans who spent many years suppressing the memories of flying as a gunner on Marine heliocopters from Marble Mountain Air Facility near Da Nang, Vietnam. I went to college on the GI bill and like many other veterans went to work and established a pretty normal American life. I met and married my wife shortly after I returned from Vietnam and we have two adult children who are both manufacturing engineers. I think both of them have questions about my involvement in Vietnam because I never talked about it when they were growing up. I did not have any contact with former friends.
Now I am firmly convinced that if we hadn't fought that war we would have fought a war with the communists someplace else. Would the Berlin Wall be gone, would the Russian empire be broken up and many other changes have happened if we hadn't fought that war? I am also very proud to be a veteran and I would do it again. It gave a farm boy from Minnesota an opportunity to meet people from all over the world, work on very modern equipment, and grow up in a very disciplined environment. Much of that discipline stays with me today.