From: Michael Van Hoedt

I was drafted 28 May 69 and
went through twenty-two
weeks of basic training at
Fort Polk. NAM was next.
When I arrived in country I got
into Huey and was shipped up
north to a mountain Cav which
was being heavily hit.

I spent 8 Oct 69 to Dec 3 69
as a grunt doing guard duty in
tower at Bien Hoa where we
took small arms fire. A
122mm Katyusha Artillery
Rocket hit the tower and I
was thrown over 2 KIA’s in
the tower. I woke up in
hospital with spinal injury;
vertebras 5, 7 & L1 broken.
The general stated, “You are
now an E-4 with 3 purple
hearts and a Combat Infantry
Badge (CIB).” I was awarded
the CIB, but it was with the
wrong unit. I only was
awarded one Purple Heart
although I had 3 injuries.

I punched E-9 Nickerson in
the face for trading United
States dollars at the rate of
$1 = $5 and sending money
orders back home. His wife
sent him money daily. After
that incident, I was shipped to
the field in Phuc Ben, with a
P-3 profile.

After my brother was shot (at
home) I was sent to the rear.
When it was found out I had
been with HQTRS for a month
I was put in charge of the S-1
shop. I remained at Phuc Ben
until I was wounded with
shrapnel during an attachment
with the unit.

I went on leave and took
R&R. Since I was a short-
timer, I extended 57 days until
my brothers unit was
activated. I was promoted to
an E-5 in 11 months. The
Major put me in for E6 with a
Bronze Star for going to the
LZs daily; also for getting
shot once; and each day to
get mail and pick up and
return people for 41 days in a
row. (Air Medal) awarded.
CAPT Martinez put me in for
it and it was approved by
Major General Peyton. Before
being discharged, I was
offered E-7, with a year in
Germany, after that I would
be shipped back to NAM and
I said, “NO WAY.” I had gone
on three POW raids in
Cambodia with a special unit.
I was discharged from the
Army on 3 Dec 1970.

I then served twenty-two
years in the Air Force and
retired in 2004 as a LTCOL
(0-5) GS-13/Step 9.

Posted: April 2013/JB
Michael Van Hoedt NAM 69-70
From: Michael Van Hoedt's DD 214/Line Item 24:
Decorations, Medals, Commendations, Citations, and
Campaign Ribbons:
Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal w/1ST OLC,
Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Purple
Heart w/1ST OLC, Vietnam Campaign Medal w/60
Device, Bronze Star Medal w/1ST OLC.
Michael Van Hoedt
A/2-7 Cav
NAM 69-70
Click on photo to enlarge