Episode 1617 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about two outstanding Vietnam Veterans who served with the 101st Airborne Division. The story appeared in the Venice, Florida Gondolier and was titled: Venice man spent two years in Vietnam. It was submitted by Don Moore who is a Sun Correspondent.
One of the Vietnam Veterans was Howard Catley who went to Vietnam in 1969 immediately after his graduation from the University of Rhode Island. He was assigned to the 3rd of the 187 Infantry as a platoon leader.
In the story he described his experiences in the field engaging the enemy in I Corps. He tells about the time he was wounded badly enough to be medevaced back to the base camp. On that notable flight his crossed path crossed with a wounded infantryman who had lost both his legs in an enemy attack.
On the flight back to the base camp the wounded soldier told Catley he was going to be a professional basketball player when he got home. The two did not see each other again until twenty years later. The wounded soldier was Bill Demby who not only survived that day in Vietnam but went on to play basketball and become an inspirational speaker.
The Celebrity Talent International website says this about Bill Demby:
“Bill Demby serves as proof that a major disability doesn’t mean the end of the line in athletics. Demby lost both his legs from the knee down when the truck he was driving in Vietnam was hit by a rocket. An avid competitor before his injury, he found that participation in sports gave him the self confidence he needed to move on in other areas as well. Demby joined the Achilles Track Club, an organization of physically disabled athletes, and was soon competing as a wheelchair athlete in marathons and 10K races. In field events, Demby holds the national amputee record in the shot put, discus, and javelin, has competed with the U.S. Amputee Athletic Association. He is a certified ski instructor for the National Handicapped Sports and Recreation Association and regularly teaches at its Handicapped Learn to Ski Clinics. Demby became one of the original testers of a new artificial limb called the Seattle Foot, originally developed for the U.S. Veterans Administration.“
CLICK HERE for more information about Bill Demby.
After his service in the US Army, Howard Catley returned home to Rhode Island and served as a teacher and football coach at Lincoln High School. He spent 31 years teaching and 27 years as head football coach at the school.
Listen to episode 1617 and discover more about two outstanding Vietnam Veterans who served in the 101st Airborne Division.