KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WFRV) – “There’s not a day that goes by, where as a Veteran, we do not think of Vietnam.”
Marty Huss has thought about Vietnam every day, since he was drafted into the Army 50 years ago.
Huss left Kaukauna for Fort Sill in Oklahoma, where he learned to be a Field Artillery Mechanic.
“I had to maintain those guns, maintain sites, breach blocks, whatever had to be done on those guns,” said Huss.
Huss was based near Saigon Vietnam, but his unit was air-mobile, allowing them to move around often.
“Things weren’t as bad as they were in ‘68 when the Tet Offensive actually occurred, but we did have firefights and we did have missions where we protected our infantry out in the field,” said Huss. “But, it wasn’t as bad as ‘68 and I’m so happy I missed that part of the Vietnam war,” he said.
The war may have calmed down slightly during Huss’s time there in 1971-72, but it was after the War when he struggled to find peace.
“When we came home, we didn’t say much about our service in Vietnam. It was an unpopular war and we didn’t say much about it,” Huss recalled. “I worked with guys for many years who were Vietnam veterans, who were there, but we didn’t talk about it,” he said.
That all changed in 2010, LZ Lambeau, an event that brought civilians and veterans together at Lambeau field.
“LZ Lambeau was the change,” Huss said. “I found out that I wasn’t alone, there were many, many other veterans that felt the same way I did. We needed the camaraderie of LZ Lambeau and what it did, is it brought me out of my cocoon,” said Huss.
Huss’s wife Carol watched her husband find his peace right before her eyes in the form of education and volunteer work with local veterans groups.
“It was hard for me because he sent me so many pictures home from Vietnam, so you kind of knew what he was going through but then he’d come home and he wouldn’t talk about it,” she said. “Then he did start talking about it and pictures come out now, you just have that feeling like he’s come around,” said Carol.
Not a day goes by that Huss doesn’t think about Vietnam, and not a day goes by that forgets to continue his service.
“I’m very happy, like I said before, that I served my country and that I’ve served my fellow veterans and continue to serve my fellow veterans and they continue to serve me,” said Huss.
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