Stars and Stripes
By Corey Dickstein
Published: May 19, 2016
1 minute ago
They’ve bonded like family in the years since, said Bob Dye, who at 19 was drafted and sent to Vietnam in 1968 to drive an 18-wheel fuel truck with the 359th.WASHINGTON — Ronald Mallory eyed the name before him, carefully reading the letters etched permanently into the smooth black marble alongside 58,000 others.
For him, this one was special. This was his friend — the “comical” soldier who even on the toughest days running supply convoys through the Vietnamese jungles “was always smiling. Always happy.”
“Larry G Dahl” — Mallory ran his eyes over the name once more, recalling the day Dahl jumped on a grenade, saving Mallory and the other soldiers serving on the gun truck Brutus — an act for which Dahl would posthumously receive the Medal of Honor.
And then, after a few moments, the 66-year-old Mallory turned away.
It was his first visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial — “the Wall” — and like so many of the 35 veterans of the 359th Transportation Company who joined him May 11, the experience left him speechless.
“It’s hard,” said Ron Kendall, who served with the 359th between 1967 and 1968. “We all have brothers-in-arms on that wall. It’s such a sad place.
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