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RF man recalls his time in the Vietnam jungle

(Editor's Note: This is the final profile of area individuals that served in the Vietnam War The Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C., will be coming to the Gas-Lite Park in the town of Trimbelle Sept. 20-24.)

David Roeker had been a year out of high school when he got the fateful news: He was heading to Vietnam.

The North Dakota native received word he was drafted in Sept. 1968. He obviously wasn't in favor of the move, but he went along anyway.

"Our parent's generation were World War II veterans and to serve our country was the honorable thing to do," the now 58-year-old said.

Roeker was assigned to the Army branch of the 101st Airborne Division. By the following August he was on his way to Vietnam.

Even the trip out there had its moments as the plane initially flew out of California with stops in Hawaii, Philippines, Guam and then, finally Vietnam.

"Each stop the plane had to fuel and we had to get out," he recalled. "And I remember with each stop closer to Vietnam, it got harder to breathe.

"It took me two weeks in Vietnam to get used to the air because it was steamy and tropical."

For more read the September 19 print version of the Herald.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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