838 – Truckers in Vietnam – the unsung heroes

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Jim Baird, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Jim Baird recalls Vietnam days – Courtesy photo

There is a certain group of Vietnam Veterans who do not get nearly enough respect and admiration for the job they did in that war. In this episode that group of veterans will be recognized and cited for their valuable service. Without the truckers the war could not have lasted longer than a week. In Vietnam everything last thing that was used in that war was at one time or another moved by truck. Those trucks were driven by a brave and highly resourceful group of people.

In addition to the efforts of your humble podcast host, the Smithsonian Channel TV Channel is helping out with its national TV series “The Weapon Hunter,” which follows Paul Shull, “a man on a mission to put history back in action.” They added an episode to the series titled: “Vietnam Road Warrior” that features a Vietnam Veteran, Pat Baird, who served as a truck convoy commander in one of the most dangerous areas of the country. It was aired on Sunday but will be shown again 5 p.m. Monday, 9 p.m. and midnight Tuesday, noon Wednesday, 10 p.m. Thursday and 1 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday

There was a story in Pat Baird’s hometown about his appearance on the TV show. It was in The Banner Graphic of Greencastle, Indiana titled: Baird owes life to gun trucks, shares story on TV series submitted by Eric Bernsee, Editor. In the show interview Baird reluctantly told about his duty running convoys only a few miles from the DMZ. He told about how his life was saved when his convoy heading out of Khe Sanh was ambushed on Highway 9. Had it not been for the gun trucks that came to his rescue he would have been a goner. Baird lost an arm in the ambush and that was his ticket home.

In 2012, Baird’s unit, the 523rd Transportation Company, was inducted into the U.S. Army Transportation Company Hall of Fame. Baird was honored to be chosen to accept the award for his country.

Baird is another outstanding representative of the Vietnam Veteran Generation. After his service to his country in Vietnam he came home and continued serving his country as a farmer, an ag agent, Putnam County commissioner and state legislator.

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