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James I. Hedgebeth

“It was hard that year, but that’s life. Vietnam made me a better man.” Dates in Vietnam: 1968–1969 Branch of Service: U.S. Army Rank During Active Duty: Specialist 5

Hedgebeth says he liked the Army and felt great when he volunteered with friends at age 19. He enjoyed the training and felt that it prepared him for Vietnam, although as a clerk for the 196th Light Infantry Division, he did not see combat. He received letters from home about three times a week and obtained employment with the Post Office when he returned to the United States.

Artie Johnson

“For good luck, I carried a small Bible that I read every day.” Dates in Vietnam: 1965–1966 Branch of Service: U.S. Army Rank During Active Duty: Specialist 4

Johnson had a good feeling about going into the military and wanted to be a paratrooper when he volunteered at age 18. He joined with his cousin on the “buddy plan” and remembers support from his family on his decision. He credits Basic Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and his additional military experiences with transforming him from boy to man. In Vietnam, he was a heavy weapons crewman and saw combat while assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. One of his most unfortunate memorable experiences is losing four of his buddies.

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Salt • March 2015

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Profile for Salt

March Salt 2015  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

March Salt 2015  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

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