By DAVE COLLINS
NEW LONDON, Conn
Nov 9, 2015
"I didn't realize how much trauma I had buried inside," Carr said about finally opening up about his war experiences. "I was honored to be in Vietnam. It changed my life."
Fires were raging and ammunition supplies were exploding during an enemy attack on a Navy base in Vietnam when William Carr ordered his Coast Guard patrol boat ashore to respond to the mayhem on March 10, 1968.In this Friday, Nov. 6, 2015 photo, Coast Guard veteran William Carr, of Davenport, Iowa
"This is stupid. You are going to die," Carr remembered thinking about that day he ran into the ammunition storage area amid the blazes looking for a missing Navy man, whom he would not find.
Carr was a 24-year-old lieutenant junior grade at the time, commanding the 82-foot patrol boat Point Arden and a crew of 10 other Coast Guardsmen. He led efforts to put out the fires, secure ammunition stockpiles and get medical assistance to the scene, where six to nine servicemen died and 98 others injured. He would be awarded the Bronze Star for his actions.
For 47 years, Carr, 72, never uttered a word about what happened that day — not even to his wife Judy, as he suffered what he believes was post-traumatic stress disorder. He finally started telling people about it in May, after officials at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, told him they were honoring him for his bravery and service.
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