“It made me proud to be an American and gave me a lot of confidence in our military.” Buddy Anthony presented scholarships to UNC Charlotte Air Force ROTC cadets in honor of his brother, Paul, who died in the Vietnam War.
America’s future military leaders are in college classrooms … like the Air Force ROTC cadets, Detachment 592, at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. Youthful and unseasoned, the cadets had military aspirations on their faces.
The cadets were joined by three Vietnam Veterans of the 6924th Security Squadron in Da Nang: Paul Deshaies, Ralph Jones and Al Forbes. Experienced in the military matters of war, they had stories to tell.
Rocket Attack on Da Nang
Ralph Jones was the last one to see Paul Wayne Anthony alive on April 8th, 1970.
“I came on for the midnight shift. It was a slow night; we were shooting the breeze … getting to know each other. We heard a big explosion. The first round hit down the road from us. The second round hit; I was on my way to the floor. The third exploded about 12 feet away from us.”
Paul was killed in the rocket attack. Jones was taken to a nearby naval hospital, then medivaced to the states. Jones received the Purple Heart for his injuries sustained in this attack.
Buddy Anthony, of Concord, says it was thirty years before he learned about the details of his brother’s death. “It was a big relief to find out. I thank the good Lord.”
To learn more about the 6924th Heritage Association, go here http://www.6924th.org.
Boon In ROTC Growth
UNC Charlotte Air Force ROTC is experiencing a boon in growth. Commander Lt. Col. Christopher Rogers says, “I currently have 135 cadets enrolled. At the start of Fall 2011 semester, I expect that number will rise to almost 200. Next Friday, I’ll be commissioning 11 seniors into the active duty force.”
This summer, 19 cadets (sophomores) will attend “field training.” When the cadets return in the fall with field training completed, Rogers says they will be “contracted” into the enlisted force, until they complete the ROTC program.
Addressing the cadets, Commander Rogers said, “You guys have come together in a way that every commander dreams about. You’ve melted; you’ve bonded.”
Scholarship awards included:
Paul Wayne Anthony Scholarship:
- Cadet Stephen Timms
- Cadet Ian Lindstrom
Major Ray Jones presented scholarships to:
- Cadet Colin C. Wilcox
- Cadet Joel W. Winkler
American Legion Post 523 in Harrisburg, NC presented the Military Excellence Award:
- Cadet Sara Savage
UNCC Chancellor Scholarships of $1,000 each:
- Cadet Destiny Stutts
- Cadet Andrew Bills
- Cadet Robert Tompkins
- Cadet William Rollins
- Cadet Rachael Layne