U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran Airborne Infantry Purple Heart Recipient
Hi, My name is Ronny Dale Wagner (Ron). I was born Oct 17th, 1947. I graduated from High school in 1965. Upon graduation my Dad wanted me to go to college, I told him that was too much for him to pay for me (he was an electrician), I wanted to join the Army and when I got out I would be able to pay for college myself, with the Army's help. So on the 22nd of June 1965 I enlisted and went on to become Airborne Infantry.
I had made good scores during my entrance exams and was offered a chance to go to O.C.S. The Army even had my parents come up to try and talk me into it. I told tell I wanted to serve as an enlisted man first, then after that I would go to O.C.S., if possible. I think I had watched too many war movies as a child and had always heard those made the best Officers. After jump school I was assigned to the !73rd Airborne in Viet Nam.
I think I arrived in V.N. in April of 66. I went thru many battles and received two Purple Hearts but was wounded three times. The first time it was a simple gunshot that just grazed my leg, I just bandaged it up myself and went on. The second time and the first Purple Heart, I was hit in the arm by shrapnel, there was a part of it sticking out and the medic was afraid to remove it there on patrol so he put a bandage on it and waited till we got back to where the rest of the guys were set up. The third and Final time I was in a jeep when it hit a landmine. I survived because there was a chopper going by to pick up someone else and it dropped down and picked me up and the small world that it is, the medic on the chopper was from my home town and had talked to my sister before he shipped out and she told told him she hoped he could see me when he got in country, the list of my injuries is long.
I got out of the Army and went to college and went into business and learned to walk on my old wooden legs quite well and did so for years. Several years back my one remaining knee gave out and and I have to use a wheelchair all the time. The V.A. provides me a wheelchair for around the house and in the yard, but I needed a chair that I can use working with my animals and just to enjoy life; with as old as I am, I like the woods or beach and being active.