Episode 2764 – John Reitzell is a tremendous representative of the Vietnam Vet Generation

John Reitzell, Vietnam Veteran News, Mack Payne

John Reitzell in Vietman

Episode 2764 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about John Reitzell and his inspiring story of service to his country in war and peace. The featured story appeared on the U.S. Department of Defense website. It was submitted by Skip Vaughn.

John Reitzell went to Vietnam in the spring of 1970 as a 23-year-old second lieutenant in the Army infantry. The year-long experience was as challenging as one would expect.

“It was not very pleasant. There’s nothing worse on Earth than a nasty gunfight, and I was in multiple combat close-quarter battles,” the now-retired colonel said.

He was a rifle platoon commander in the 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, in the central highlands, the mountain jungles. He spent the last eight months of his tour as an operations officer for N Company, a long-range reconnaissance patrol company, with the 75th Rangers, 173rd Airborne Brigade.

Besides the Purple Heart, Reitzell has three Legions of Merit, five Bronze Stars (two with “V” for valor), the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, five Army Service Medals, five Air Medals and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. During his tour, he spent three weeks in the hospital recuperating from his wounds before returning to the field. He came home in the summer of 1971.

He said he was treated “shabbily” when he returned to the United States. He didn’t get spat on, but he did get called “baby killer” by a female protester at the Seattle airport. Reitzell received a welcome reception when he got home to Monroe, Louisiana.

The son of a World War II veteran, Reitzell graduated from Northeast Louisiana State College, now called Louisiana-Monroe, in 1969 with a bachelor’s in pre-med with a specialty in chemistry. He was commissioned through the Army ROTC. He became a master parachutist in 1972

Listen to episode 2764 and discover more about John Reitzell and his inspiring story of service to his country in war and peace.

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