"Friends for life" were words from Captain Larry Taylor to SGT David Hill Monday night at the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 203 meeting. The local veterans group welcomed SGT Hill from Dayton, Nevada by giving him a lifetime membership. SGT Hill was one of four men rescued by CPT Taylor on June 18, 1968 in South Vietnam. The three others are deceased.
CPT Taylor was pilot of a cobra helicopter and went back to rescue his men who were in trouble. “Freedom Sings” has written and produced a song about CPT Taylor’s mission titled, “No Man Left Behind.” CPT Taylor’s Silver Star is under consideration to be upgraded to the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions. The highly decorated officer lives on Signal Mountain and awaits word from the Pentagon about being approved for the Congressional Medal of Honor.
SGT Hill worked as a trade negotiator for the U.S. Department of Commerce and retired in 2005. He has maintained a close friendship with CPT Taylor since the end of the war. SGT Hill said CPT Taylor was one of the bravest soldiers he ever came in contact with, and is very deserving of the highest award - the Medal of Honor.
"The captain saved my life and I am eternally grateful," SGT Hill said.
SGT Hill and Staff SGT Mike Holden were given “Quilts of Valor” by Fran Randolph with the QOV Belles. Nearly 260,000 quilts have been presented nationwide to American heroes since the organization was founded in 2003. Mrs. Randolph said the quilts are made by mothers of soldiers and ladies who are concerned about sending a message of comfort to those who have served. “These heroes are just some of those making a difference," Mrs. Randolph said. More information is available at QOVF.org.
SSGT Holden was drafted and sent to Vietnam in 1968. Nearly 17,000 soldiers were killed that year. SSGT Holden received two bronze stars and the combat infantry badge. He has written a book about his time in Vietnam titled, “Told to Go.”
“The book is about being drafted and told to go, and the two-year journey that followed," SSGT Holden said.
SSGT Holden served under Col. George S. Patten, V as commander of the 11th Armored Calvary. SSGT Holden said he’s done extensive research since 2003 that’s includes a lengthy conversation with Col. Patten. SSGT Holden is retired as a vice president from La-Z-Boy in Dayton.
Charlie Hobbs is president of VVA Chapter 203, which meets the third Monday of the month at the Temple Baptist Church off Rossville Boulevard. The organization welcomes any veteran who served during the Vietnam War era.