Keith A. Rogers is a freelance writer and 40-year career journalist who worked as a senior staff writer for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and The Valley Times in the San Francisco Bay Area. He covered national defense, nuclear policy and veterans affairs issues. He attended Michigan State University before being drafted for the U.S. Army in 1972. He served in the 561st Military Police Detachment, Fort McNair, Military District of Washington. He is the author of Freshwater Fishing — The Secrets of Successful Angling, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from California State University, Hayward.
Robert L. Foust, a Southern California baseball pitching prospect, went from throwing fast balls to lobbing hand grenades. “I had three draft interests in 1966: the White Sox, the Red Sox and the Army. And the Army won.” In South Vietnam's central highlands in 1969, he served with a long-range reconnaissance team, Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment. After the war he probably has the most compelling story of combat veterans in pursuit of a professional baseball career, appearing in spring training with the California Angels in 1986 after spending four years in a federal penitentiary for smuggling marijuana to Canada.
Willie McTear graduated in 1961 from Tensas Rosenwald High School in Saint Joseph, Louisiana. He attended Southern University every-other-semester, from 1962 to 1966, until he was drafted into the U.S. Army, on May 16, 1966. He served exactly two years until his honorable discharge on May 16, 1968. He was sent to Vietnam in January 1967, assigned to the 9th Infantry Division, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, Charlie Company, 2nd platoon. After many battles and heavy casualties — only half the original company returned to U.S. soil in January 1968 — the soldiers felt broken and rejected with invisible wounds untreated. After his honorable discharge, he attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a community college from 1969 to 1972, when he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He worked for Clark County Juvenile Court Services from 1972 to 1985 but as he puts it, “those unresolved issues and those invisible wounds began to manifest at a rapid rate.” In 1992, he began a new career at Starting Point Hospital in Costa Mesa. He enrolled at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California and went on to graduate at the top of his class in 1998 with Chemical Dependency and a Behavioral Health degree.
Larry Keller, an outdoor enthusiast from Northern California who survived the 1968 Tet offensive, served 10 months in Vietnam as a combat infantryman with the 25th Division Wolfhounds. He was sent home from the battlefield because his father was dying. The next day June 6, 1968 he found out his best friend, Stan Davis, had been killed at Hoc Mon bridge.
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