, and his story begins at 17 years of age in 1974 right after high school. Being too poor to afford college and too young to join the army, he got a marriage license so they would accept him. The military was perfect because it offered job training for civilian jobs that could help him succeed when he got out. After a year of training, my dad was sent to Laos for what the military calls OJT or "on the job training" where he held the rank of Corporal, his job was as an intelligence analyst. .
From Laos he volunteered for a special ops mission called The Evacuation of Vietnam. The main objectives were to locate certain people on a list, and get them out. The helicopter would drop them far away from their objective so that it would not alert the Viet Cong that they were there. Vietnam was beautiful, but uncomfortable. My father's team wasn't the typical army. They didn't eat rations, they didn't use bug repellent, and they didn't even use soap. They ate what the Vietnamese ate, and they would wash in the rivers in order to get acclimated to the area. The key to their success was stealth and surprise, the Vietnamese couldn't know they were there. So by eating the same food as them ensured their feces and urine would look and smell the same as the Vietnamese's, and not wearing bug repellent and using soap ensured they smelled the same as them, making it much harder for the Vietnamese to find them and not know where they are. .
They would track for miles through dense foliage and jungle as quietly and quickly as possible to reach their rendevous point. When they got there, the people they were there to rescue didn't want to leave. That didn't matter however, they had a mission, and the mission was going to be carried out. On the way back out, they were responsible for the people who couldn't move quite as quickly and efficiently through the jungle as the special forces was trained to do, so they had to sacrifice stealth for speed to get out of there as quickly as possible.