Monday, June 5, 2017

Midland College Veterans Association receives gift commemorating Vietnam War

Front row from left to right are Wallace Craig and Kay Schipper, MC Veterans Administration Coordinator and U.S. Air Force Veteran. From left to right in the back row are Carrie Gutierrez, U. S. Army Veteran spouse; Michael Gutierrez, U.S. Army Veteran; Richard Rowland, U.S. Army Veteran; and Chase Phelps, U.S. Army Veteran.
• Wallace Craig donated framed photograph taken by Joe Galloway

By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

Midlander Wallace Craig recently donated a framed photograph to be hung in the study lounge of the Midland College (MC) Veterans Association. The photo was taken by photojournalist Joe Galloway on Day 2 of the battle at LA Xray in the la Drang Valley of Vietnam.

Galloway was a young, 24-year-old, correspondent for United Press International (UPI) when he was sent to Vietnam to cover the war. Within months he was in the Central Highlands working with the 1st Cavalry Division when he heard over the radio that they had come under attack in the Ia Drang Valley. Galloway volunteered to fly into the battle site, one of the most intense of the war, where he stayed for the next two days recording the action in words and photos for UPI.

This photo shows a Huey flown by Major Bruce Crandall landing to deliver ammo, food and water and then to take out the wounded and dead soldiers. Major Crandall and his wing man Captain Ed “Too Tall” Freeman each flew 10-12 missions under extremely hostile fire from the North Vietnamese Army. Both Crandall and Freeman were later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Joe Galloway recorded the actions of the soldiers under fire. The U.S. Army awarded him the Bronze Star with Valor for his attempt to rescue a soldier wounded by a friendly Napalm attack. Galloway is the only civilian in the entire Vietnam War to be awarded the Bronze Star. He served several more tours in Vietnam, covering the troops. He later partnered with Colonel Hal Moore, the unit commander, to write the classic book We Were Soldiers Once, and Young. From this would come the film, We Were Soldiers starring Mel Gibson as Colonel. Moore and Barry Pepper as Galloway.

“We are so proud of this photograph,” said MC Veterans Coordinator Kay Schipper. “Most of our students are younger than Vietnam-era veterans and served stateside or in conflicts in the Middle East. However, this photo commemorates the courage that all military personal possess and the danger that is faced as these young men and women defend our country. We have several MC employees who served in the Vietnam War. This photo is dedicated to them and all others who served in that war.”

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