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Welcome, my name is John Bumbul
I served my time with the
172nd Preventive Medicine Unit
in Danang and with the
Phouc Tuy Training Battalion,
Forces Armee' Nationale Khmere Training Command
Phouc Tuy Viet Nam '71-'72 as a Preventive Medicine Specialist and Medic.

War is an external and internal hell that every veteran, male or female, has experienced. Vietnam is no exception. The only difference is that Vietnam was an unpopular war. No one wants to hear about it or even cares. It's in the past so let's forget it. I never even got a "Welcome Home" except from my wife and family. So many stories have gone untold because people don't have the time to listen or really don't care. It happens so many times in our lives. Don't these people realize how much we hurt! Our stories must be told so no one ever forgets the horrors of war.
So many men and women did not come back to share their story, and others came back with outward signs of the horrors of war. I was one of the lucky ones, I bear no outward signs of the war, but that does not mean I have no wounds, not all wounds are physical. Many wounds and battles are fought from within, and some are still being fought today. All Vets have a story, but not all have someone to listen to them. Even when we do, sometimes it hurts just too much to talk about that we keep it inside and let it eat at us. I have a story to be told, and yes it does hurt, it may not hurt you, but it does hurt me. It hurts just because it was war. It hurts because of friends lost in the war, and it hurts when people don't care.
This site is a healing process for me. I can begin to tell my story without the hurt of rejection.
But this is only a beginning, a small portion of my story.  Some stories will never be told.
It is my hope that through these pages the healing process can begin for all those who are still in need of healing.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, who salutes the flag, serves under the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.




Received with Honor - Displayed with Pride

Top Medic award 10-14-98

Please visit my Awards Pages for All Awards Honoring this site

The Welcome Home Graphic below is reserved for display by
Military on Active Duty, a Veteran, or a family member of one!!

Thank You
Thank You - Graphics by Doc and Ron Fleischer

My Story - In the beginning

My story begins in the summer of 1970. Someone got the bright idea to change the Selective Service Draft System, from now on it's going to be a lottery. All birthdays were put in a hat and picked one at a time assigning numbers to each day. The lower the number the better chance of being drafted. I remember the day of that first lottery. I was in my car coming home and the drawing was live on the radio. I didn't have to wait very long for my number. Over the radio came, number 13.. July 8. I new that I was going to be drafted sooner or later, so I turned in my 2S student differment and took a 1A status. A month didn't pass when I got the letter. began.

I reported in February for my physical and indoctrination. Groups of us filled into a small room and were sworn into service. Then we waited for our basic training assignments. Lucky me again, I was assigned to Fort Polk Louisiana, also known as "little Vietnam" because it was closed in the '50s and reopened for the Vietnam War. The weather and conditions were very similar and they even had a simulated village for us to go through. So far my luck told me I was going to Nam. I graduated 2nd in my class from basic, missing the written and physical exams along with hand to hand and weapons by 1 point, a 99 out of a 100.

I was then given a 15 day pass before reporting to Fort Sam Houston Texas for training as a medic and preventive medicine specialist. I graduated from that class number "13". I waited for orders...and then they came..."VIETNAM".
I went to town, bought 2 bottle of Boones Farm Strawberry Hill (99 cents each) and got drunk.

The next day I called my fiancee, Judy, and told her...not an easy task. I asked her not to tell anyone else because my sister was getting married and I didn't want to spoil her day. Two week later, and 25 pounds lighter, I went home for a 30 day leave before shipping out. When I got home I told everyone I was stationed in Washington State not to ruin the wedding. Judy and I took a drive and stopped on an isolated street so that we could talk. I put my head in her arms and we both cried. We then talked about marriage and decided that we would get married before I left. Then we drove back to my parents and everyone knew about Nam. My mother unpacked my duffel bag for me and found my orders. It put a little damper on my sisters wedding. Judy and I proceeded with our plans, everything was organized and ready, dresses, invitations, hall, music, food, church, day and time, everything done in 2 weeks!
We married August 7, 1971...2 weeks later I left for Vietnam.

My Tour of Duty - Vietnam

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As of July 1, 1998