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Vietnam War veteran prepares for Freedom Honor Flight

Vietnam War veteran prepares for Freedom Honor Flight

Posted: May 04, 2018 6:44 PM CDTUpdated: May 04, 2018 10:25 PM CDT

Michael RichardsonMichael Richardson

BLAINE, MN (WXOW) – –The Freedom Honor Flight is just one week away.

Ninety one veterans from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War will fly to Washington D.C. on Saturday, May 12 to see the memorials built in their honor.

Michael Richardson keeps albums filled with pictures, news clippings, even medical logs as reminders of his three decades of military service.

“My draft number was 21 my senior year in high school,” Richardson said. “So, I went in the Navy with a buddy of mine, and the second week of boot camp, I got my draft notice. So, it was inevitable.”

Chosen to be a hospital corpsman, after a brief training period, Richardson found himself in Vietnam serving with the Marines.

“When I went to Vietnam, what I knew about Vietnam was what I seen in movies or TV,” he said.

However, it quickly became his reality.

“They dropped me off with a platoon, and said, ‘We’ll see you when your tour’s up,'” Richardson said.

He was part of a small squad. Their mission was to defend small farm villages. The included harvesting crops, digging wells, and rebuilding schools.

“My training wasn’t that great, but I took care of the people medically,” he said. “A lot of skin lesions. I delivered six babies over there.”

While defending the villages, Richardson was injured in the line of duty.

“We were taking RPGs, rocket propelled grenades, and there was two or three of them come in,” he said. “I just knew the next one was going to be in my foxhole. So, I got up and ran toward the building behind me. Well, a rocket hit the house. We got the ricochet.”

Luckily, Richardson was able to treat himself and his fellow Marines, surviving the incident without being evacuated and earning a Purple Heart medal.

He finished out his tour in 1971, returning to Wisconsin briefly before deciding to re-enlist. It was a decision he says he believes saved his life.

“You see, the guys that come back have deep depression and drinking, hiding in a bottle,” Richardson said. “I would have been there if I hadn’t gone back in. It took my mind off of it. Kept me busy, had a mission, had a purpose.”

Richardson is now a retired, decorated veteran. His medals represent years of traveling around the world to serve our country. However, he stays humble.

“It’s two dozen years,” he said.

He responds to people who thank him for his service with one simple phrase: “You were worth it.”

Richardson is just one person in a family legacy of patriots. His uncle served in the Korean War, his dad served in World War II, his grandfather served in World War I, and his great-grandfather served in the Civil War.

News 19 will go with Richardson on the Freedom Honor Flight, following his experience not only traveling himself but with his father and his uncle.

May 2018 Department Convention

  DEPARTMENT OF MN CONVENTION
                        MAY 18TH & MAY 19TH 2018
                   HOLIDAY INN BLOOMINGTON AIRPORT SOUTH
                     1201 WEST 94TH STREET BLOOMINGTON, MN.55431
                            PHONE #  ( 952 ) 884-8211
Cost of lunch. $ 20.00
Cost of dinner $ 30.00
Cost for both.   $ 50.00
        FRIDAY 18TH  5:00 PM   EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETS
        SATURDAY 19TH  8:15 AM   FIRST RESPONDER AWARDS
                                       9:00 AM  JOINT GROUP SERVICES
                                       9:30 AM – NOON  MEETING
                                                  NOON – 1:PM  LUNCH
                                       1 PM- 3:30 PM   AFTERNOON  MEETING
                                       4:00 PM EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING
                                       4:45 PM – 6:30 PM  CASUAL TIME
                                       6:45:PM – 7:00 PM  EVENING DINNER SERVED
                                       8:00 PM  AWARDS AND GUEST SPEAKER
THERE WIII BE A BLOCK OF ( 12 ) ROOMS BLOOKED OFF AND INDIVIDULE
  WILL CALL THE HOTEL AND RESERVE THEIR OWN ROOM.
              SATURDAY LUNCH   PASTA BUFFET  TWO ( 2 ) CHOICES
             BANQUET MEALS
                                1.   KABEELO LODGE WALLEYE
                                2.   ABSOLUTELY VODKA  CHICKEN
                EITHER MEAL COMES WITH SALAD, HOMEMADE BREAD, BUTTER,
                WATER AND COFFEE STATION
                                DESSERT—CHERRY COBLER WITH VANELLA ICE CREAM
                    COSTS— $ 5.00   REGISTRATION
           SATURDAY LUNCH & BANQUET MEAL  $ 50.00  FOR EACH INDIVIDULE
                             OTHERWISE $ 30.OO EACH
ALL MEAL RESERVATIONS ( CHOICES ) ARE TO BE CALLED TO
                 WALLY / DIANE LIND @  ( 952 )469-1526
    CHOICE OF MEALS AND RESERVATIONS FOR ROOMS HAVE TO BE CALLED
IN BY  MONDAY 14TH OF MAY 2018    AFTER THAT DATE, ROOMS WILL BE AT
REGULAR PRICES.
Price for rooms at Holiday Inn is $ 99.00 plus tax
ANY OTHER QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS CALL CHUCK @ ( 763 ) 607-0245