Episode 2447 – Three North Dakota Vietnam Vets Prove a Point

North Dakota Vietnam Vets, vietam veteran news, mack payne

Vietnam War veterans, from left: Sen. David Clemens, R-West Fargo; Rep. Dennis Johnson, R-Devils Lake, and Rep. Lawrence Klemen, R-Bismarck.
NDNA photo

Episode 2447 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about the three North Dakota Vietnam Veterans who are making a difference in the North Dakota Legislature. The featured story comes from News North Dakota and is titled: Vietnam War veterans share how their experience translates to work in North Dakota Legislature. It was submitted by Isabelle Ballalatak, a reporting intern with the North Dakota Newspaper Association.

In her story, Ballalatak interviewed North Dakota Vietnam Veterans Rep. Dennis Johnson, R-Devils Lake,; Rep. Lawrence Klemin, R-Bismarck, and Sen. David Clemens, R-West Fargo, who reflected recently on serving in the war and how it shapes them today.

Dennis Johnson says he served in Vietnam until 1972. “It was a war zone. I watched many refugees live in shacks with roofs made out of the ends of aluminum beer cans attached together,” he said. “Until you see these other parts of the world, you don’t realize how nice we have it in the United States.”

Klemin says he served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969, with the 101st Airborne Division. He reported that he served in Vietnam for a full year besides three months he spent recovering from a wound he suffered in the field. He said “I have a greater appreciation for life,” as he reflected on his time in Vietnam. “I like things to be orderly like the military does, and I believe in following the rule of law.”

Clemens says he was in Vietnam for 11 months. Originally sent to Vietnam as an infantryman, he was selected during processing to work in a reenlistment office. He said he was drafted in 1969 and discharged in 1971. “The military itself has made me a much more patriotic American. I have no regrets serving, and I’m glad I got the opportunity to.”

All three of these North Dakota Vietnam Veterans have been issued an official Vietnam Veteran News Podcast Salute for their service to their county in Vietnam and after they came home.

Listen to episode 2447 and discover more about the three North Dakota Vietnam Veterans who are making a difference in the North Dakota Legislature.

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