A Soldier Talks

  • Pete Ritch - Button It Up and Move Out

    While looking through photographs of my tour in Vietnam, in preparation for our USMCVTA Reunion in Charleston, I was surprised by the number of shots that included tanks with damaged track. It got me to thinking about instances during my tour in Vietnam, where we either hit a land mine or slipped track and had to button it up and move out.

  • Terry Summerlot - Broken Down at Night and Not an ARVN in Sight

    It was late April 1967 and we were on the tail end of a sweep just south of the DMZ. It may have been part of Operation Prairie...at least it was during that time period. Our tank was A-42 (3rd Marine Tank Battalion) and it always seemed to be plagued with mechanical problems. Some said it was a "bad luck" tank. Earlier in the war it had been hit and penetrated by an RPG and that was probably the beginning of its bad reputation. We had our share of superstitious guys in the battalion and at least one had told me that he thought the tank was "jinxed". But I had never been superstitious and I really liked going out in A-42. Maybe it was because the tank had a bulldozer blade on the front and I felt that was extra protection. For whatever reason, I was more comfortable on A-42. Paul Ratliff was part of that crew but I can't remember who the others were. It seemed as if our tank crews were changing weekly, back then.

  • Leon Sack - Five letters and a Christmas memory interviewed by Lois Swoboda, Project Volunteer

    After 46 years, Leon Sack received a letter that reminded him of a special Christmas gift from long ago. In 1966, 11-year-old Barbara Hood (Duffy) received an assignment from her sixth grade teacher, Charlotte Hogan. Her class was asked to write a letter to an unknown soldier stationed in Vietnam.

    When Master Sergeant Leon Sack went to the post office to pick up mail for his crew, the attendant told him about a group of letters received from school children back in the States and asked if he was interested in taking some of them.

  • Langley - interviewed by Lois Swoboda, Project Volunteer

    George Langley of Eastpoint, Florida was born on October 31, 1947. He left home an ordinary boy at 17 years of age and came home a decorated service man with a broken spirit.

    George's brother, Winfred, provided a history of the family's military service. Both maternal uncles served in the Navy during World War II, and one paternal uncle also served in the Navy. He survived the Pearl Harbor attack, but just a few months later his ship was sunk by a Japanese submarine. He and many others were categorized as lost at sea.

  • Kenny Merritt Remembers - interviewed by Lois Swoboda, Project Volunteer

    Like so many Vietnam veterans coming home was a very sad experience for me. We got no support, not just from people, but from doctors and psychologists. People looked at us like we were some kind of wild animal ready to bite. At that time we were not able to say we were proud of serving. Now we can. (READ MORE)

  • Patrick Bieneman I served in Vietnam from April 1968 to April 1969. I was an Infantryman in Charlie Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, of the 1st Cavalry Division.

    We were a reconnaissance unit made up of mainly three platoons. There were the "RED", the "White" and the "Blue" platoons. I was in the "Blue" platoon. It was a 17 man infantry recon platoon. The "Red" platoon was made up of Cobra and Huey helicopter "Gunships". These gunships were armed with thirty eight 70MM rockets and a mini-gun that could fire up to 5,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition. The "White" platoon consisted of Light Observation Helicopters. They were the "Eyes and Ears" of our unit. (READ MORE)

  • Peter J. Ritch - Memories from Peter J. Ritch, USMC 1967- 1970. Viet Nam, 1968-1969 and a member of the USMCVTA.

    In 1967, two days after graduating from college and having just received my draft notice in the mail, I beat the draft and joined the Marines. And just as my Marine Recruiter had promised, seven months later I was headed for "my thirteen months and a wake-up" in Vietnam. (READ MORE)

The Three Servicemen Statue South non-profit organization was created to raise the necessary funds to bring this one-of-kind detail of the original sculpture to Apalachicola, Florida. The Three Soldiers, Detail bronze sculpture, made from part of the original molds, is set on a black granite pedestal and is the centerpiece of Apalachicola's Veterans Memorial Plaza.

Jimmy G. Mosconis, President
Mark Curenton, Secretary/Treasurer
James S. Elliott
Al Mirabella, Jr.
George W. Duren
Helen Townsend Spohrer
Curt Blair
Dewey A. Blaylock
Jim Norton

Nick Yonclas, Legal Counsel
Genie Nichols, Assistant to President

Three Servicemen Statue South, Inc. - P.O. Box 172 - Apalachicola, FL 32329 - (850) 653-6044 - info@threeservicemenstatuesouth.org