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Frank Gene Peais


Although I lived in several cities in my early childhood, I primarily grew up in Vallejo California. I attended Lincoln grammar school, Vallejo Junior High school and graduated from Vallejo High school. I earned a certificate in Industrial Management from Solano Community College and a Bachelor of Art Degree from Saint Mary's College of California.

After high school I began my forty plus years of Federal service at Mare Island Naval Shipyard as a pipe fitter helper. I worked at Mare Island for twenty-five year before it was closed. My career there ranged from pipe fitter helper to Industrial Process Improvement Manager, GS-13. While at Mare Island I held a variety of positions. I also had the honor of being elected as President of Chapter 16 of the Federal Managers Association (FMA) for two terms. I was also elected as FMA Zone 8 (Northern California) President for a term. I then transferred to the Head Quarters for Air Force Space Command at Peterson AFB, Colorado where I served as the command's Productivity Programs Branch Chief for fifteen years.

Shortly after I began work at Mare Island I volunteered for the draft. I was drafted into the U.S. Army in August 1967. I complete basic training at Fort Bliss Tx and Advanced Individual Training (Infantry) at Fort Polk La. Just prior to deployment to Viet Nam, we staged at Fort Lewis, Wa. We deployed to Viet Nam in February 1968. While in Viet Nam (1968-1969) I was assigned to “A” Company of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. Our area of operation was primarily between LZ Baldy and LZ Ross. While in this AO we encountered and battled many Viet Cong and North Viet Nam Army units. The most significant battle we were involved in was fought at Kham Duc, 10-12 May 1968. There has recently been a book published titled “Bait, the battle of Kham Duc” written by Jim McLeroy and Gregory Sanders detailing the events of this battle.

I developed some wonderful friends while serving in Viet Nam; Dennis Flores, Bill Emily, Rick Sybert, Bob Broome, and Rick Randolph to name a few. Dennis and I still have contact with each other.

My nick name while in Viet Nam was “Taz”. I got this nickname when I got tangled in some jungle vines and spun and twisted around to free myself and stumbled into the clearing. One of the members of my squad said I looked like the cartoon Tasmanian Devil spinning through the the bush. Thus the nickname of “Taz”.

After my return from Viet Nam I spend my last six months of active duty in the Army at Fort Stewart Ga. Upon my discharge I returned to Vallejo and work at Mare Island.

During my active duty Army and civil service career I received several citations and medals. I was awarded two Bronze Star medals. The first for Heroism in ground combat for actions taken during the battle at Kham Duc on 12 May 1968. The second was awarded for Meritorious Achievement in ground combat operations from February 1968 - February 1969. I was also awarded the Viet Nam Service medal and the Viet Nam Campaign medal, National Defense medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge. As a civil servant employee for the U.S. Air Force, I was awarded the Air Force Exemplary Civilian Service medal and the Outstanding Civilian Career medal. I also received the forty-year Federal Service pin,

After my discharge from the Army I returned to Vallejo and worked at Mare Island. I married my lovely wife of fifty-three years Laura. Laura and I have one daughter Kimberly and one grandson Miles
Penick. Our daughter and grandson live in Flagstaff Az.; Laura and I live in Sun River retirement community in St George Ut.

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