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Wilkes County Veterans History Project: Bud Vailes


Base Camp - Kuwait 2004

Having some down time.

FOB Caldwell - Iraq 2004

Inside a CHEW (Lwing quarters) with my platoon sargent

My Family

My children after coming home, along with my mother, Ora, and father, George Vailes

To My Darling Wife -

Wish I were with you at all times. Will be soon. I am writing a letter to you [in this photo]. Love you very much.

Love & Kisses, Bud

Red Cross Jeep

Jan. 19, 1969 Taken in area where I sleep. Just took a shower. "LOVE" You!

Fort Mead - Maryland 2002

Parking lot looking at HSA building

To My Wife Here is the side of ___. Have the radio mike in hand. Wish I were home with you instead of here. Love You much, Your Husband, Bud.

Inside medic truck 44

Nov. 10, 1968 Sun

South America

In a Humvee on patrol

South America

Getting ready to sit down and enjoy coconut milk

FOB Caldwell - Iraq 2004

Spent time working in a hospital

FOB Caldwell - Iraq 2004

Working in hospital, waiting for patients

Bud Vailes' s Story

I was drafted in March of 1967 was flown to Fort Pope Louisiana to undergo my infantry training. After this regular Advanced Individual Training (AIT), for everyone slotted for Vietnam, was held over two extra weeks for jungle training. We were then sent home for thirty days leave before reporting to Fort Lewis, Washington. I was there for three days and the night of the third day we boarded a Flying Tiger airplane for Cam Rahn Bay where we were inducted in the country. We received our weapon, jungle fatigues and everything we were going to need for our one-year tour in Vietnam. After a day there we flew C-130 to Bearcat where we got more actual jungle combat training. The first week of my life in Vietnam was scary! We'd leave camp at night on patrol. Stay in the jungle for two days then back to camp learning how to survive in the country. 

After this week we were assigned our units and flown by helicopter. I was taken to Camp Evans. After one day there was flown again into the delta to hook up with my unit. Six months into my tour there on a patrol my squad came under an ambush, and I showed the ability to take care of wounded, so company commander decided I'd make a good medic. I figured since I had been in the country six months, that when I got to Fort Sam Houston and completed my medical training I would be staying in the U.S., but that's not how it went. With no leave it was back to Vietnam and the 9th Infantry this time 3/5th Cav. as a combat medic. 

I stayed with them the next year and leaving country in August of 1969. I was assigned to Martin Army Hospital there finishing my time with the Regular Army. I stayed away from the military for 12-14 years. Then joined the National Guard serving in it for 20 years. At 17 years in guard my unit was deployed to Fort Mead, Maryland for one year.  After returning home from that deployment in September of 2003. The following November I received my alert that I was to deploy with the 130th Medical Battalion, serving with them in Iraq, from 2004 to 2005. I was stationed in Foward Operating Base (FOB) Caldwell, providing medical support on convoys and the area around us and the other FOBs. After returning home from this deployment, I served until 2010 at which time I retired as a staff Sergeant.

The ribbons I received while serving are Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation, Army Achievement, Army Good Conduct, Army Reserve Component Achievement, National Defense Service, Vietnam Service Ribbon, Humanitarian Service, Armed Forces Reserve, Army NCO, Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training, RVN Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, N.C. Achievement Medical Ribbon, N.C. State Active Duty Ribbon, N.C. Service Ribbon.

Highest Rank: E6, SSG

Service Dates: 1967-1970, 1989-2010

Wars: Vietnam, Iraq

Unit: 9th infantry 3/5 Calvary, COA 505th Engineer Battalion