Stories of Service: Joe Mendoza


By Joe Mendoza, who served August 1967-July 1969, in the Army.

I volunteered for the Draft as I felt that I needed to do my part and duty for our country.  I was trained as a radio operator at Fort Huachuca after my Basic Training at Fort Bliss, Texas.  I continued my training at Fort Gordon, Georgia as a radio-teletype operator at the Southeastern Signal School.  I received orders for the 7th Army at the 7th Army Group Headquarters. I was there only for a short time as I  volunteered and received my orders to serve in Vietnam. I landed in  Vietnam in august of 1968 in Cu Chi, the home of the 25th Infantry in the third corps of South Vietnam.  I was the Communication Sergeant as I was promoted to   E-5 once I arrived. I was there during the second  phase of the TET Offensive, and we experienced various assaults as we were within 150 yards from the Cu Chi jungle on the perimeter of the camp. I was the communications sergeant during the attacks and they were at night and all out assaults.  I did make it and left Vietnam in July 1969 and went back to the states through Fort Lewis Washington. I used my GI Bill to put myself through college and I have worked in higher education from 1977 to the present.  I am now close to retirement and do consider myself to be fortunate as many of my Vietnam brothers are struggling.  I feel very proud to have served and would do it all over again.

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