In this episode we pay tribute to a brave Vietnam Veteran who recently passed away in Leesburg, FL. His name was Clark Welch and he served in the US Army for 31 years. I was first attracted to this story because I was born in Leesburg, FL. After learning more about this Vietnam Veteran and what an outstanding soldier he was for our country it became even more significant. The announcement of his passing comes from an article in the Orlando Sentinel titled: Vietnam War hero dies in Leesburg by Lauren Ritchie -Contact Reporter.
He was born in Dover, N.H., and was a 1957 graduate of Oyster River High School and president of the senior class. He enlisted in the Army two days after graduating. He went on to become an Army Ranger and a jumper. In Vietnam he was seriously wounded in a battle with the Viet Cong at Ong Thanh. His 70 man unit walked into a three sided ambush and when it was over 60 of him men lay dead. Even though he was badly wounded he continued to fight.
Welch was shot three times more in the chest and once in the leg. During the six-hour battle, he would black out, come to, and fight again, taking suicide risks by running through the thick of the battle to rescue his soldiers, despite a second tourniquet around his leg. For his courageous part in the battle, Welch was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest medal America awards for heroism in combat.
Welch served as an Airborne Ranger in the 1st Infantry Division and Special Forces. He spent 31 years in the service and was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame. In addition to the Distinguished Service Cross, Welch was awarded three Silver Stars with “V” device signaling valor in combat, two Purple Hearts and the Legion of Merit, among others.
Clark Welch will be buried with full military honors at the Arlington National Cemetery.
Clark Welch rest in peace.