Final mission: Vietnam veteran makes fishing trip near his Point Marion home
September 10, 2017
Vietnam veteran Robert Lincoln gazed out at the scenery during a fishing trip on the Monongahela River in Point Marion Wednesday. Local veteran groups organized the trip, a fullment of his final wish. Alyssa Choiniere Herald Standard
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Robert Lincoln gave a thumbs up to his men, several many years his junior, their arms straining for a final shove as they launched the vessel for his final mission.
His last tour in Vietnam was cut short in 1970. Three months into his deployment in northern Vietnam, an explosion rocked his platoon and injured Lincoln. Nearly 50 years later, he had only one mission left — to set out onto the Monongahela River near his childhood home in Point Marion for a fishing trip.
“He said before he departs this world, he’d like to go fishing one more time in the Mon River,” said Darryl Smith of Veterans for Veterans of Western Pennsylvania, who organized the trip. “I said, ‘Buddy, we’ll get you down there if we have to carry you down.”
Lincoln set off in a power wheelchair, strapped to the back of a pontoon. His deteriorating health almost thwarted his goal. It took several months and an organized effort between several local veteran groups to fulfill. His health problems began with the explosion and compounded with age. He had lost both his legs to diabetes and much of his vision and hearing.