DALLAS -- In 1966, Paul Reed from Dallas joined the U.S. Army right out of high school.
“Vietnam was coming on the TV about that time when I became cognizant of everything. You know, as a 17-year-old does,” Reed said.
During his time in Vietnam, Reed saw the horror of war as soldiers were shot around him.
“The one I remember the most was a guy named Daniel Burr. Daniel got hit that evening by a sniper. He took a round right through the chest. I was on the ground with him. I was trying to express my sorrow that he took this round, and he said, 'Don't worry about me. ' He said, 'I'm worried about you.' I said, 'Why?' He said, 'Cause you got to stay here, I'm getting to go home.' And he was happy."
Reed called in a helicopter to get Burr to safety.
“That chopper called us, and he said he took a round in the foot, and his command told him to come back to the base. But he said, 'I'm not going to it. I’m going to get this guy out!' And so he kept flying, and every time that bird came near the top of this hill, he took rounds," Reed said. “So finally, Captain Davis developed a strategy. When the bird gets near, we’re going to return suppressing fire. We got Daniel loaded on that bird, and he was in the air about five minutes and he called back. He said Daniel had expired, he didn’t make it."
For Reed, the Vietnam War Memorial is hard to visit.
"I tried to stay away from it," he said. "It represented a lot of wounding. But these guys, they made me proud to be an American. Sometimes, I heard them volunteer to die. I was proud to be with these guys.”