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Marvin McCoy Ledgerwood


I was born in Fort Smith, AR and graduated from Fort Smith High School. I then went directly to the University of Arkansas and graduated with a BS in Mathematics. I accepted a position in scientific software development for Phillips Petroleum Company in 1967. I was drafted in 1969, but fortunately Phillips held my job for me and I returned there after serving in the Army. In Vietnam, I was part of HHQ Cam Rahn. The time there was relatively quiet, with a few scares mixed in. We supported computer operations there and I also did duty as the NCOIC on tractor-trailer runs to transport Vietnamese working on base back and forth from their villages. We also got to go act as a "skirmish line" for suspected infiltrations by VC sappers. About a year after Vietnam and back in the states, I married in 1972 and restarted my life. Today, I am retired from Lockheed Martin (2000) and living in Washington state. And this summer, I will turn 79. Vietnam will always be a big part of my life. I'm so happy to have returned in one piece and alive; unfortunately, I lost my brother-in-law, Lt Col Garland Brian King in Vietnam and my university roommate who won a Purple Heart and a Silver Star, but developed a drug problem from his wounds and spiraled out of control. Today, I value my time in the Army and my service in Vietnam because I think it gave me essential experiences for dealing with crises in life. For that reason, I wish the US had mandatory service requirements for young people, say, either in the Armed Forces or organizations like the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps.

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