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I am a combat veteran of the Vietnam War having served as a
Special Purpose Vehicle Mechanic working on Air Force crash
fire trucks & crash rescue trucks repairing and maintaining
these trucks as needed during the daytime. For my first two
months at Binh-Thuy AB, I also served as a U.S. Air Force
Security Police Augmentee at night helping out the regular
Security Police who had manned our own defensive positions
that were spaced out around our perimeter at our very, very
small and remote Vietnamese air base called Binh-Thuy down
in the heart of the Mekong Delta or Indian country as some
of us called it. We would man one of the defensive bunkers
with either an M-60 machine gun or just our M-16 automatic
rifles during the night to guard against any VC attempts to
sneak onto our air base so that they could plant their own
deadly explosive charges onto the aircraft or helicopters
which were assigned at our base. We had some guard towers
that were along the perimeter that were spread out between
several of the bunkers and they had their M-60 machine guns
as well as their night scopes which made night movements by
the VC outside of the perimeter fence visible by magnifying
any ambient light like the stars and making the night look
look like a greenish pre dawn light which made it easier to
see any movement that you couldn't see with just your eyes
on those pitch black nights where you could barely see your
hand held out in front of your face. Those nightscopes that
were up in the towers would give us the advanced warning we
needed if they saw any kind of movement outside the barbed
wire perimeter fence. I served at Binh-Thuy from Nov.1968
through Nov.1969, at which time I then rotated back to the
United States for my thirty day leave before reporting to
my next duty assignment at Scott Air Force Base located in
southwest Illinois just a short distance from the Missouri
border near St. Louis where I'd complete my remainding two
years of my active duty service. After I had completed four
years of active duty I was then released from active duty
and would be assigned to the inactive Air Force reserves.
On the 1st of February in 1974 after completing the final
two years of my six year enlistment, I was offically given
my Honorable Discharge as a SGT. E-4 and then once again
became a civilian. Eighteen years and ten months from the
date I'd left Vietnam I had requested some of my medical
records from the U.S. Air Force Personnel Department due
to my attempts to have the Veterans Hospital in Detroit
check me out in regards to my own heavy exposure to Agent
Orange while serving in Vietnam and they told me that I
needed proof that I had asked for my skin condition on my
arms and legs to be checked out while I had still been on
active duty before my Honorable Discharge. Well I did get
the records which did prove that I had been treated for
my own exposure issues related to Agent Orange, but I had
also received another surprise from the U.S. Air Force as
well, it seems my unit had been awarded the South Vietnam
Cross of Gallantry with Palm Leaf and we had also received
the Vietnam First Class Civic Actions Honor Medal with Palm
Leaf from the government of South Vietnam while our unit had
been assigned down at Binh-Thuy AB and I was also informed
that for our combat actions at that remote air base that the
U.S. Air Force had also awarded my own unit the Air Force
Outstanding Unit Award with V device for Valor in combat.
I had not received these awards while in the Air Force nor
had I even been aware that my unit was awarded these special
honors for our own service during the Vietnam War. It was a
very nice surprise for me indeed, especially after all that
time that had gone by since I had left South Vietnam in 1969.

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Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Valor
It is awarded by the Secretary of the Air Force to numbered units that have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units. The services include: performance of exceptionally meritorious service, accomplishment of a specific outstanding achievement of national or international significance, combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States, or military operations involving conflict with or exposure to hostile actions by an opposing foreign force