In this episode number 600 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast we will celebrate that milestone of broadcasting by featuring the story of Kevin Byrnes. It comes from an article in The Redstone Rocket titled: Retired lieutenant general saw Soldiers give their all submitted by Skip Vaughn, the Rocket editor. It was easy to ascertain Kevin Byrnes was an outstanding Army officer because he served in the Field Artillery, the king of battle.
Vaughn’s article follows Byrnes career beginning with his entrance into the US Army in 1968. He had just graduated from high school and followed through on the advice of a fellow worker at the gas station where he was employed at the time. He was encouraged to get into the Field Artillery branch of the Army. He did so were on his aptitude tests he was able to go to officer candidate school and become an office in the Field Artillery. He went to Vietnam in 1969 and served as an artillery forward observer, aerial observer and Fire Direction Center Officer in one of the hottest areas in Vietnam, only a mile or so from the DMZ. He went on to serve in the Army for 37 years and rose to the rank of Lieutenant General, no small feat. Today he works for Raytheon Huntsville as vice president and center executive.
He said this about the Vietnam War “It’s been documented we had some issues (in Vietnam) and many bad decisions were made by elected officials and senior military leaders. We should always remember that the impact of those decisions is always carried on the back of young Soldiers and the young NCOs.” That statement among other things shows the high regard he had for the NCO corps in the Army. That fits into my conclusion after many years of Army service, the officer corps is the conscience of the Army, the NCOs are the backbone of the Army and the enlisted personnel are the muscle of the Army.
Hope you listen to and enjoy the episode about another tremendous representative of the Great Vietnam Veteran Generation.