Washington Co., WI – Washington County veterans and those who have participated in the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight will be in attendance Saturday, Sept. 14 during the Shred Day event at Horicon Bank, 1535 W. Paradise Drive, in West Bend.
Shred Day is free at Horicon Bank. Volunteers will be on hand to help transport boxes and bags and transport them to the on-site shredder.
Horicon Bank staff will be collecting donations for the Honor Flight from 10 a.m. – noon and veterans will be on hand to answer questions and tell their stories of service and the impact the Honor Flight had on their lives.
Vietnam Army veteran Irving Marsh of West Bend took part in the September 7 Honor Flight to Washington D.C.
His son Craig was his guardian.
Marsh returned to Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport on Saturday and received a heroes welcome home. “It was so good. There were so many people,” he said. “If people haven’t seen the welcome home yet for the Honor Flight they should just go down there once and see it.”
Marsh is originally from Milwaukee. A 1967 graduate of Custer High School he went to work at Cutler Hammer. In October 1968 when he was just shy of 19 years old he enlisted in the Army. “I was assigned to an armored cavalry unit and I was on an armored personnel carrier. We did some building, mine sweeping and blowing up of buildings,” he said.
Marsh did his basic training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, went to AIT training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri where he learned about explosives.
“I came home for a bit, just a couple weeks and then got on a plane and flew out to Vietnam,” said Marsh. “We flew out of Travis Air Force Base in San Francisco. We stopped in Hawaii to refuel and stopped in the Philippines to refuel and then flew into southern Vietnam.”
Marsh’s assignment began by building “little houses for the South Vietnamese Army.”
Black Horse Base Camp was his headquarters. “The environment was mostly jungle and rubber trees,” he said.
Marsh had been in service for 112 days when he was injured in an ambush that took the lives of four of his comrades.
Marsh took shrapnel to his head and severely injured his hand.
His story, with his permission, is below. (warning: some of the content in the video below is graphic)
“A black fella from South Carolina came to my rescue. I don’t remember his name,” said Marsh.
“Then they take you by helicopter to a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH unit) and they bandaged me up and gave me a shot of morphine. I was then transferred to a bigger hospital where they cut your clothes off and do what they think is best and plop you back into a bed.”
“I spent three days in Vietnam, went to Japan for another surgery and from there I went to Travis Air Force Base in California and finally to an Air Force hospital in Denver,” he said.
Marsh was in service for one year, five months and 21 days. He returned home with little fanfare and went back to work at Cutler Hammer before spending 38 years with the U.S. Postal Service.
Marsh will be one of the veterans in attendance Saturday at Shred Day. He encourages parents to come and bring their kids.
“Let them ask me about my arm. I’m OK with it; I want them to feel comfortable talking to me,” he said.