As part of the mission to panegyrize the Vietnam Veteran Generation as one of the greatest that ever heeded the call of duty from our country, this podcast will feature the story of another outstanding representative of that group of veterans. The story comes from The Lexington Clipper-Herald in Nebraska and is titled: Hero stories: Dick Prasch of Lexington. It was submitted by Ben Schwartz. Former US Marine Dick Prasch tells about his introduction to the military and his experiences in Vietnam.
His story was told in a series of stories presented by the Clipper-Herald based on interviews of area veterans who participated in the April Dawson County Fall Hero Flight. Prasch starts out by telling how he was drafted in 1967 just after he got married and started working for the City of Lexington. He was taken by bus along with other conscripts to the induction station at Omaha. After all were given physicals they were gathered together by the NCOIC and asked “who wanted to be in the Marines?” Prasch and another young man, Larry Langdon, stepped forward. The NCOIC pronounced those two were now in the US Marines and everyone else was in the Army now. Unfortunately Langdon was killed in Vietnam in 1968.
Prasch went through Boot Camp in San Diego and then was sent to Okinawa for fourteen days of jungle training and orientation for what was upcoming in Vietnam. He went to Vietnam aboard ship and in true Marine fashion was helicoptered off the ship into the country. He said when they issued the Marines on board who were about to be deployed live ammunition the reality of the situation hit him squarely in the face.
He was assigned to a unit stationed on the Rockpile, a foreboding firebase near the DMZ. After only ten days in country he was wounded. He soon returned to his unit after a short period of recuperation on a hospital ship. He completed his full tour without further battle injury.
When Prasch returned to Lexington after his hitch in the Marines he was welcomed and treated fairly as you would expect in a small town in the heartland of America. Hope you enjoy his story.