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Joseph A De Frank


I was born 12/20/1944 and grew up in Bayonne, NJ. I graduated from Our Lady of Assumption, Marist High and St. Peter's College. I was drafted in October 1966, took Basic at Ft. Hood, TX, combat medic training at Ft. Sam, TX and debarked to Vietnam aboard the USNS Upshur in October 1967. My MOS was 91B20, Combat Medical Specialist. I was in Company B, 1/6 Infantry, 198th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division, as the 1st Platoon Medic. The Upshur arrived at Da Nang on 10/22/67, then an LST to Chu Lai for 3 days, then to LZ Gator, then to Duc Pho and Binh Son. The Tet Offensive began and we were Chinooked up to Da Nang and received a Valorous Unit Award for our participation in the Battle of Lo Giang on 8 Feb 1968. I earned a Purple Heart that day while patching up a soldier injured by mortar rounds. I will always cherish the camaraderie that developed among a group of soldiers who were willing to fight and die for each other. I was medevacked out on 21 Feb 1968 after being wounded by "friendly fire" from a gunship. I was on the USS Repose for surgery, then to Japan for a week, then back to the World where I spent the next 9 months at Valley Forge General Hospital, until being medically retired on 10 December 1968. I returned to my former employer, the IRS, and retired after 36 years as a Revenue Officer Group Manager, in January 2002. I have five grandchildren and one great grandchild. During the Covid pandemic, I have published two books on Amazon: "They Called Me Doc: Reflective Memoir of a Vietnam Combat Medic" and "My Life: A Journey of Self-Discovery." I am 100% Total & Permanent Disabled with the VA. I am a member of the DAV, VVA, MOPH and K of C.

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