Chartier recalls his year in Vietnam
(Editor's Note: This is a first of profiles of area individuals that served in the Vietnam War that will lead up to when the Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C., will come to the Gas-Lite Park in the town of Trimbelle Sept. 20-24.)
Life can change in an instant.
Just ask Craig Chartier. In a three-day-span, Chartier remembered he went from having supper with his wife, to finding out he was drafted to serve in Vietnam, then, on his way to Basic Training, where he knew no one.
"Being a kid at 22 it was a very lonely experience," he said.
He then moved on to Advanced Training in Fort Lewis, Washington where he gained the final steps needed to becoming a radio operator for the 48 Trans Group out of the Army.
Six months later after that three-day span, on January 14, 1969, he landed in Vietnam.
"Landing in a combat zone is an absolutely shocking experience," he said.
It's safe to say it was a bit of culture shock for the Rice Lake native.
"It was such a different experience," he said. "Earth-shattering, mind-boggling, you had to adjust so fast."
For more read the September 5 print version of the Herald.