Alan Wilkerson

HEADQUARTERS Company ’67/’68
[email protected]

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I landed in-country March 6th, 1967 aboard a Boeing 727 from Oakland, California. I originally volunteered for RVN two years or so before, but because I was stationed in the Dominican Republic with the 82nd Airborne from Feb 1965 thru June 1966, the US Army with all its wisdom, said “I was already overseas in a combat theater and therefore unable to transfer”. When the 82nd ABN finally returned to Ft. Bragg, I again applied for RVN and was finally accepted. I was also told I’d have to extend my original three-year Army enlistment for 9 months to be able to complete a 12-month RVN tour because I had less than 6 months left on active duty. I accepted gladly!

I was first shipped off to Phan Rang for “P” Training, and then assigned to HHQ 1/327 as a platoon medic with “A” Company. Right after the Mother’s Day series of battles, where I earned a Bronze Star for Valor, I was promoted to SP/5 and Senior Aid Man assigned to “A” Company. I had the pleasure and honor to serve with Capt. Pete Mitchell through early November 1967 when I chose to return to base camp because I could no longer stick a needle into an arm because of nerves. I remember Phan Thiet, Phu Bai, and numerous other names I still cannot spell. But couldn’t tell you where I was to this day. It’s all still mostly a blur.

I consider myself both lucky and honored to have had the opportunity to serve our great country with other brave warriors-patriots and then to make it home safe with no physical wounds by continued listening to that “Small Still Voice”. My emotional wounds are the same shared by all who served. RVN was not easy on any of its participants.

I have spent the last 17 years working for Computer Software companies in a Training and Education role. I’ve found that manufacturing has many of the same dynamics that War has in that, it is the Goal and the Team that matters, not the individual. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time teaching and training, almost as much as I enjoyed RVN. I continue to learn something everyday, but nothing comes close to the volume and quality of that which I learned about Life in general and about myself from my one tour in RVN. I still consider those 12 months to be the finest I’ve ever experienced in my short life, and would serve again in a heartbeat if asked!

I have only one child to my knowledge, a 21-year-old daughter named Alicia Lyn from my second marriage. I’m currently on my third and last marriage to a wonderfully patient woman named Janice Marie. She loves to camp, but whenever I step onto a trail, the old habits kick in, and I’m back in Nam. Sometimes, I believe that trying to survive in RVN was easy compared to the complex social times we live in today. I miss the comradely I felt in RVN. I miss the back I could lean on just by asking! I guess that’s what the “327th Inf of the 101st Abn” website is all about. I’m glad I was found and invited back “inside the wire”.

Airborne!

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