My Vietnam Story by Kerry Blette
My biography would naturally start at birth in January 1944, born in Queens, NYC. As a young child of six my family moved out to the suburbs of NYC to the town of Valley Stream which like many such towns of Long Island was exhibiting explosive post war growth. Growing up in the 1950’s was an innocent time of school sports, Sunday school, morality and patriotism. I graduated Valley Stream Central High School in 1962 and not being able to afford college decided to join the Army. My specialty would be microwave radio repair MOS 281.1. Basic Training was at Fort Dix, NJ and my MOS Training, a 26 week course at Fort Monmouth, NJ. My orders after that gave me a hint as to where I would eventually be heading, they specified I go to Keisler Air Force Base in Mississippi for Tropospheric Scatter Radio training. With that completed my orders sent me to Vietnam in August 1963 where I landed at Tan Son Nhut Air. Base in Saigon, South Vietnam. From there I was flown to the Ban Me Thuot airstrip where we would operate two Trac 90 Tropospheric Scatter Radio systems. We were a platoon of the 362nd Signal Company, 39th Signal Battalion which provided the backbone of long distance telecommunications throughout Vietnam. Our two tropo links connected to Pleiku and Ghia Nhia. The principle users of our communications were the MAAG Vietnam US Advisory Detachment to the 23rd ARVN Infantry Division and the 5th US Special Forces in the area working with the Rhade Montaguard people. I served in Ban Me Thuot through the assassinations of JFK and Ngo Dinh Diem and the Gulf of Tonkin incident all trying transitional times for the USA and Vietnam. I rotated home to the States in September 1964. Once I was young but now am old but I don’t forget those times. I have since come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and thank Him for guiding me through it all.