Marine Corps & Vietnam Veteran talks about his time of service and what the 4th of July means to him
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Wayne Starcher is a Marine Corps and Vietnam Veteran who spent 13 months in Vietnam during the war in 1966 and 1967.
After graduating from Parkersburg High School in May of 1965, Starcher enlisted in the Marine Corps and went to Parris Island for bootcamp before being sent to Vietnam.
Starcher spoke about how connecting with family was tough to think about during his time away.
“Well letters from home and stuff like that is how you connected but really you didn’t have time to really think about it a whole lot because you are out in the field most of the time. Actually your family was the guys beside of you,” Starcher said.
During his time in Vietnam he was an infantryman carrying radios and he was also a tunnel rat checking out the tunnels for enemies.
After his time in Vietnam, Starcher returned to the United States in 1967 and was stationed at the Norfalk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia working in security detail before being discharged in April 1969.
Starcher talked about a memory that sticks out to him during his time of service.
“Well I had that one time in Vietnam, I was carrying a radio at the time. A friend of mine from Bald Knob, West Virginia was standing beside of me and the sniper shot him. I’ll never forget that day it was August the 13th 1966,” Starcher recalled.
Starcher says if he had the opportunity to serve again he absolutely would because this country needs people to protect their freedom.
He shared what independence day means to him.
“Now, you look back to see what the veterans are doing to keep this country free. We gained our independence from England and now we have men and women all over the world trying to keep us free. We want to remember them,” Starcher said.
Starcher is a lifetime member at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Blennerhassett Post 1212 in Parkersburg.
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