James was one of a few US Army Radio operators in his company. Stationed in Germany and sent to An Khe Vietnam from December 1966 through 1967 and got out of the Army in December 1977.As an RTO, he said was responsible for reporting war time issue or firefights to headquarters which he would then give support whether air or ground to units that were in battle. He said where the platoon leaders and commanders went, I went. He said I stayed glued to their hips He said that probably what kept me alive.
He said the RTO’s life expectancy was like six seconds, so I am happy that I made it out alive. He said we would go out on patrol at 30 days at a time before coming in to rotate out and every time he was able to knock one day off of the 30 days, he was happy. He said I wouldn’t wish that conflict or war on anyone but for anyone who serves and goes to war God Speed. James now lives on the Boston streets and is permitted to stay in a local shelter during the daytime to stay out of the cold. As we talked, he told me that he was originally from Alabama and tried to go back home to live but some of the same bad things that were going on before he enlisted were still going on when he got out. He said now all I like to do is cheer for my Boston sports teams.