3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 4th/47th Battalion, 2nd Brigade
Introduction: I graduated from Adams High School in the spring of 1963 in Adams, Minnesota. When I graduated from high school I began working in construction and also helped out on my Dad’s farm until I received my draft notice. On May 17th, 1966 I left home and was inducted into the U.S. Army and I was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. After the first week and after receiving too many shots to count and all of our clothes, we boarded a bus and were taken to Fort Riley, Kansas for Basic Training and Advanced Infantry Training. On January 6, 1967 we loaded on a train and headed for Oakland, California where we then boarded a troop ship and headed for Vietnam on January 10th. Our ship was the USS General John Pope and we arrived in South Vietnam on January 28th.
I served with Bravo Company, 4th/47th Battalion, 9th Infantry Division stationed at Camp Bearcat. Several months later we moved to Dong Tam in the Mekong Delta and began searching the jungles, swamps and rice paddies for Viet Cong enemy forces in earnest. Our worst day in Vietnam was the battle on June 19, 1967 during Operation Concordia 1 near Can Ciuoc south of Saigon. We lost 47 men that day, with many more wounded � we took out over 250 Viet Cong fighters and it will be a day that I will never forget. In September I was transferred to 2nd/60th at Tan Tru and there we patrolled a seven mile road from Tan An to Tan Tru in one quarter ton jeeps with M60 machine guns mounted on the back.
On January 6, 1968 my tour of duty in Vietnam ended and I was sent home for a one month leave of absence before reporting to Fort Campbell, Kentucky for my remaining few months of service in the U.S. Army. I was promoted to Sergeant E-5 when I left Vietnam. When I finally was discharged on April 17, 1968, I resumed farming with my Dad and ultimately bought our family farm in 1976. I have been diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes from Agent Orange, Tinnitus and PTSD. On May 7, 1970 my only brother Richard celebrated his 20th birthday and the very next day he was killed in Cambodia while serving with the 4th Infantry Division. It breaks my heart to think about that. I am married to my wonderful wife Carol and we have three children and nine grandchildren.
Jerry Matheis – January 2012