This month we are honoring Gary Stallcup and his service to our country. Gary was born in Branson Missouri where he grew up and became a draftsman and railroad switchman when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in March of 1966.
His basic training was completed at Fort Leornard Wood, Missouri with a focus on light weapons. Gary shipped out over to Vietnam in September of 1966 and served the first of his three-year active duty in Pleiku, an area in the central highlands of Vietnam. Pleiku was a base camp, and his theater of operation was along the Cambodian border. It was during his first major combat battle that he earned the Bronze Star with “V” device medal.
Both the Vietcong and malaria took its toll on Gary during this time with extreme weight loss. During his three years of active duty, he was fortunate enough never to have been wounded in battle. One highlight during this challenging time was being able to attend Bob Hope’s entertainment for the troops show.
Gary started active duty as a private 1st class with the 3rd Brigade, 25th Division. As his leadership skills developed, he became platoon radio telephone operator, then squad leader and then platoon sergeant. Gary finished his three years of active duty as a staff sergeant E6. After NCO training back in Fort Carson Colorado, Gary’s second tour of combat took him to the DMZ (demilitarized zone) as a supply sergeant. His men benefitted from his skills at finding uncommon eatables which they loved.
Besides the Bronze star with “V” device, Gary also earned the Combat Infantry badge and the Good Conduct medal. Also, he was selected out of a brigade of 3,000 men for “the soldier of the week”. This honor included a three-day pass and was able to travel with his Colonel.
During a short break from duty, Gary and his sweetheart (Jann) were married stateside. They had met at a summer resort where Jann was a waitress and Gary a dishwasher. Sixty years later, Gary says with a smile “and I’m still washing dishes.”
Gary shares that after his three years of active duty when he finally shipped home, he was never mistreated for having served. He continued state-side with three more years of inactive duty. Gary is very proud of his service to his country, fellow soldiers and friends. He also is very thankful for the G.I. bill he earned from enlisting and serving.
Gary and Jann are very proud of their daughter Karli, her husband Doron Bonnie and their three grandchildren, Collin, Drew and Livia.
THANK YOU GARY FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY!