Alex joined the U. S. Air Force in 1960 and spent 750 days in the rice paddies of Vietnam. He had top secret clearance for keeping the T.A.C.A.N., GCA, and radar sites in hostel forward areas in working order to allow the airplanes to land and take off. He was with the 1st MOB in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Philippines from 1961 to 1963. When he returned from Vietnam, he was with SAC wings in Florida and Indiana.
Pilot with helmet is LUAN VAN TRAN and his nickname with Special Forces was “Cowboy”. His fellow helicopter pilot DZUONG VUONG saw this brochure 10/19/16 at Grapevine Rotary and recognized his dear friend. Alex was thrilled 53 years later to know Luan’s actual name thanks to this chance meeting.
Alex shared for 12 years some of his personal stories and military experiences about the Country of Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. He tells of the children, cultures and animals to all the second graders at Keller Harvel Elementary School on Veteran’s Day. They are riveted to the power point presentation and they remember so much. The children are amazing and love the four page brochure they receive. There is also a treasure hunt list with the items displayed in the brochure. The thank you letters Alex receives from each child is priceless. They ask questions and then Alex personally answers by hand each letter. Covid 19 interrupted this yearly event as well as Alex’s health concerns.
Alex proudly displays the United States flag at home, Vietnam veteran plates on his 1991 Cadillac and is “Proud To Be An American” as the song lyrics say! As of March 2023, Alex is officially listed as an “in country” Vietnam veteran with 100% disability from agent orange exposure.
2020 The 1st MOB young men formed a bond that is remembered and revered today. Alex, Mike Allred and Ed Graham were three such Air Force soldiers as pictured here. In 2012 Alex asked Ed Graham if he knew where Mike Allred lived. Ed called back and said he found Mike in Irving, Texas. Did Alex know where that was. Yes, Alex said. It is right next to Grapevine where I live. Mike and Alex had a great reunion and their friendship continued.
It is with great sadness as we say that Mike heard the Lord call his name 3 July, 2020. Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Jean, and their family. It was with great respect that we attended Mike’s service as well as the gathering at the Dallas National Cemetery. Alex said a few words about his friend Mike and a family member captured it on video. It was very heartfelt listening to a Vietnam in-country veteran as Alex honors Mike and then salutes the casket. Mike’s grandson created a beautiful photo for the family.
Alex is proud to have our American flag displayed in our front yard. January 2022: Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne honored Vietnam veterans. She was essential in Alex’s quest to have his 60% VA disability upgraded to 100%. Thank you to Beth and to Larry Morris in her Coppel office.