Monday, September 9, 2013

Vietnam Veteran Retires after 42 Years of Service

Vietnam Veteran Retires after 42 Years of Service
by Sgt. Lori Bilyou
Sep 09, 2013

BETHANY BEACH, Del. - Delaware National Guard members witnessed history Saturday, Sept. 7, as they gathered along with family and friends to honor the retirement of Army Master Sgt. Richard Hitchens, the last active member of the Delaware Army National Guard who served in Vietnam.

Speaking to those assembled, Hitchens stated, “One day back in May of 1968 my mother and father took me to the bus station in Salisbury, Md., put me on a Trailways bus and I shipped off for the rest of my life. I committed. I committed myself to the country.”

Hitchens, the youngest of 11 children, grew up on a farm. Like seven of his brothers who joined the army before him, Hitchens was looking for a better life. So in 1968, at the age of 16, Hitchens enlisted with a doctored birth certificate.

“I remember thinking I’d made a mistake when I got to basic training,” Hitchens said.
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Last South Dakota Vietnam Veteran Retired

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