MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — In Wednesday’s Veterans Voice, we hear from an Infantry soldier who served in the Vietnam War.
In a small town about 50 miles from Minot, Leslie King grew up in Upham.
In 1968, he was drafted into the US Army.
He says he made friends in basic training and advanced infantry training, and soon after, fought alongside those same comrades in Vietnam where he was stationed with the 101 Airborne Division.
“Which was kind of unusual because usually, you didn’t keep that many people that knew each other together, but we were glad to be together and support each other and our platoon consisted of about 18-20 people,” said Army Veteran, Leslie King.
Out of the six fellow soldiers he went to basic training and AIT with, five made it home safely.
After King served two years in the Army, he says he was proud of the work he did, but he quickly realized not everyone felt the same way.
“We did not always see a very good reunion coming back or were not appreciated very much, I was lucky at my home area everyone was very supportive,” added King.
Being drafted was a scary time in King’s life because he knew he would most likely end up in Vietnam.
Out of all of his experiences in the armed forces, he says the worst part was leaving his fellow soldiers behind.
“Losing some friends either to injuries or death, it was very hard for me. I was a squad leader at the time. Very hard for me to leave there because it felt like I was deserting the guys that I was with, that had to stay back,” said King.
Although King did not voluntarily enter into the army, he says he would still highly recommend serving your country.
And for those who are actively serving or for those who haven’t gotten a welcome home, King has a personal message.
“I’d like to thank them for what they have done for their country and I think your country appreciates you a lot more than what you really believe,” said King.
After his time in Vietnam, King realized how much the military helped him grow as a person, he currently lives in Minot with his wife.