Letters from Nam

Dana Johnson 1968

This is my dad, Sgt. Dana C. Johnson, 82nd Airborne in 1968.

October 16, 1967 he raised his right hand thereby pledging his life to service for our country in the Army.  He had married my mom and pledged his undying love just one month prior.

September 16, 1968 on my mom’s birthday, he arrived in Vietnam.

All I ask of all of us today while we grill out and enjoy a day off is:  REMEMBER

Freedom isn’t free.  The ultimate sacrifice has been paid… for you.


Here is an excerpt from his letters he wrote to my mom around Memorial Day 1969.  In these letters, it appears two men were kidnapped in action… they gave the ultimate sacrifice.

28 May 69 – Firebase Hardcore

We had memorial services today and yesterday for the 2 guys KIA’ed in the Hobo woods. We also had an awards ceremony to pass out Medals, I received the Bronze Star it should be in the papers as I filled out a news release.

Tomorrow we move out into the AO again, don’t know how long we’ll be out.

They’re showing movies here now every night and they have some football highlights prior to the movie. Saw highlights of Ohio State Vs Mich. in Rose bowl playoff enjoyed that.

The Battalion Sgt. Major called me aside the other day and said he needed to talk to me. I couldn’t figure it out. Then he asked me if I’d like a direct field commission to 2nd Lt., I declined! Since I’d have at least another 2 years of service and I just couldn’t see that. Probably would have at least another tour over here also.

Got a letter from Randy and Paulette they seem so proud of Angie and talked about her learning to walk etc. Amazing what can happen in 2 years. Just think I was the first of the 3 of us to get married and now both Jerry and Randy have kids, and I have none. That probably wouldn’t be if the Army hadn’t gotten me. But really it hasn’t been that bad. Many areas are a lot worse than where I’ve been and I’m grateful for all the people I’ve met and had the opportunity to work with.

Most of the old guys are rotated home now and so I’m getting to be one of the older guys in country now. Those remaining will be gone in the middle of June. Then I’ll be the oldest guy in the Company.

Need to answer some other letters so better sign.

29 May 69 – West of Saigon

Back into the field in our old AO!

They never did find the two guys from Bravo Company up in the Hobo! They’ve been given up on. All they ever found was a bloody 82nd patch nailed to a tree and a 4 inch piece of scalp, both were found in the area they were lost in. They’re having both analyzed to see if the blood or scalp either one match one of the guys. After searching for 2 to 3 days they finally gave up.

It’s getting ready to rain so better sign and get my stuff together.

_________________________________________________________________Dana & newborn Kelly

Me and my dad 1972

GRATEFUL today that my dad came home safe.

HONORED that I live in a country where many find it their calling to serve our country.

PRAYING  for those who are currently serving.

REMEMBERING those who have fallen.  May we never forget.

One thought on “Letters from Nam

  1. Kelly, what a wonderful reminder of the sacrifice made on our behalf by so many of our soldiers both in our past and current times. Thank you for sharing this.

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