636 – Vietnam Vet Al Cormier served as an interpreter

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Al Cormier, of Putnam, served in the U.S Army 25th Infantry Division in Cu Chi, Vietnam, as an interrogator in 1968 and 69. On the table in front of him are items he collected during his service, including items used by the Viet Cong. Francesca Kefalas/for The Bulletin

In this episode the story about another Vietnam Veteran will be featured. Al Comier of Putnam, Connecticut served with the 25th Infantry Division and he is another outstanding representative of the great Vietnam Veteran Generation. He was mentioned in a story from The Bulletin of Norwich, CT titled: MEET A VETERAN: Putnam Army vet was interrogator in Vietnam War by Francesca Kefalas.

Comier’s credentials as a great American began with his education. He worked hard in college to prepare himself to contribute to America’s greatness. He earned a degree in French. After graduation he enlisted in the US Army because he knew with the expiration of his college deferment his draft status was certain. Notice he did not run off to Canada and shirk his country’s call for help. He was assigned to the 25th Division from August 1968 to November 1969 where he served as an interrogator because of his ability to speak French. The job was both interesting and dangerous. Many times he was placed in the middle of the action so he could obtain current information from prisoners and get it to the operators as fast as possible. Comier received the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam and helped save many lives with his ability to rapidly obtain battlefield intelligence.

After his active duty in Vietnam Cormier returned home and served in the academic field and he joined the Connecticut National Guard and retired as a major in 2001. He took three years out of his academic career to help his father at his car dealership in Putnam.

Here is a quote by Cormier that is a cut the bone description of the Vietnam War: “It was the politics that stopped us from doing our jobs. It’s because of politics that we were at war. If it wasn’t for the governments and the political things you would probably be friends with the people you were blowing away.”

Al Cormier is a great American.


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