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DeForest Legion Member Pledges to Retire for Service and Showbiz | Local

For many of those who did their military service at the end of the Vietnam War, by the time they completed their training, the troops were returning home. But the world had many missions for the Marines to accomplish.

Terry Walker, seeing that the scoreboard was approaching his number, enlisted in October 1972. He came from a military family, his father serving on the Navy destroyer Montpelier between WWII and WWII. Korea. His father wanted to see him in the Navy, but Walker opted for the Marine Corps.

Walker was a late arrival compared to many rookies and rookies. After graduating from Minerva High School in east-central Ohio, Walker married in 1969 and spent the next two years at Minnesota Bible College, preparing to minister in the Church of Christ. . In 1971 he obtained an Associate Arts degree in the Ministry.

“I had a ministry in Augusta, Ohio for almost six months and I was working 40 hours a week at a regular job and I was trying to keep the ministry in place and I couldn’t do it. It was too much, ”Walker said.

After enlisting, Walker traveled to Parris Island, South Carolina for basic training, then to Camp Pendleton, just north of San Diego, where they prepared for deployment to Vietnam.

On October 27, 1972, National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger held a press conference providing updates on the Vietnam ceasefire agreement that had been part of discussions that year to end the the war.

“We were training to go to Vietnam – early in ’73,” Walker said, “and the week we were due to leave they said,” We’re withdrawing the troops, so you’re not going to Vietnam; we’ll put you on the ship.

Open hostility between the United States and Vietnam ended in early 1973, although the war continued for another two years, leading to the fall of Saigon in 1975.

Meanwhile, Walker was sent to Norfolk and put to sea aboard the aircraft carrier USS America, CV-66.

“We are talking about 5,000 men. It’s almost like a small town, ”Walker said. “We’ve been put on duty and things like that in certain areas of the ship.”

The ship was near France when Turkey invaded the Greek island of Cyprus in July 1974, overthrowing the ruling military junta and taking control of a third of the island’s territory. The USS America was brought in to assist in the evacuation of Americans during the conflict.

“We kind of helped wherever the Navy needed us – we were a complement to the Navy,” Walker said, listing tasks and activities, including infantry exercises on board, ship safety and the management of a large part of the brig. “We worked together and did everything that needed to be done when we were called to do it. “

In particular, Walker came to enjoy the exercise with everyone coming together on a task in the blink of an eye: “No orders, no nothing. We just figured out that everyone was doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing.

During official visits by foreign dignitaries, Walker and the other Marines would also perform color guard duties.

After seven months at sea, Walker returned to the United States at Fort Benning, Georgia. There, Walker was in charge of logistics operations as a supply non-commissioned officer (non-commissioned officer), overseeing the supply of approximately 100 Marines.

“I had to have it on time, and if they were doing any maneuvers, make sure they had all the equipment they needed for whatever they were doing,” Walker said. “So that was a big responsibility, and I kept records so that when the inspection took place, they could look at my records and make sure we got everything right.”

After about two years, according to Walker, the inspectors would basically come to check on him, knowing he had things under control.

Towards the end of his four years in the Marines, Walker became the human resources instructor for all incoming Marines, then left the service on October 26, 1976.

Walker returned to the ministry, as a pastor in a church in Black River Falls. While on the move, he stumbled upon a life-changing discovery in the window of a Montgomery neighborhood.

“I ended up seeing Danny at Montgomery Ward’s and he waved me over, and I bought him for $ 20 and just got him,” Walker said.

The idea of ​​ventriloquism first came to Walker at the age of 10, seeing an artist in his church. In 1976, Walker took over “Danny” and has performed with him ever since.

Now retired, Walker has performed full time doing 45- to 90-minute acts that have included Danny and sung which started with gospel music, and spread to country and oldies. He took up the law in the state as well as in Illinois.

On August 28, Walker and Danny performed for the DeForest American Legion Centennial Celebration at Olson-Grinde Post. This event married two passions for him, performance and support for the American Legion.

Although Walker lives in Lodi, a good friend and racquetball partner invited him to join the American Legion in DeForest. Walker went to DeForest Post meetings and, after two meetings, was convinced to become a member.

“Our American Legion in DeForest is reaching out and helping other people and reaching out to the public and trying to meet the needs of the public and the needs of our military,” Walker said. “Whenever we hear about something, we try to do what we can.”

According to Walker, examples of projects undertaken by the post are helping hospitalized veterans in need of help or others in need of help, also showing public support for veterans and the military, and scholarships for students. local.

The Post also handed Walker, in front of a crowd, as a member of the Color Guard, a familiar post, but not without complications. The July 4th DeForest parade ended with a few light bulbs and a broken flag stand.

“All of a sudden it came off, so the pole slipped, and I was trying to hang on to it and keep pace and finally one of the other flag guys said,” Terry, put on – it on your shoulder, “” he said. noted. “So I just put it on my shoulder and walked the parade. I was embarrassed and I said, ‘Dude, people probably have pictures of me trying to hold him and trying to do everything to that time.”

Walker finished the parade as best he could, saying “Marines don’t start something they’re not going to finish”. They have since made the necessary repairs and Walker is back on the parade roads.

“I don’t think people looked at me very well, but I think most of the time we wore the American flag and the American Legion flag and we were proud to be veterans,” Walker said. “We were happy to be a part of the service and want to continue in any way to continue serving the public, showing them that we were proud to serve and live in a free country.”


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