Quantcast

Vietnam War buddies bring reunion to their old Army boss - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Vietnam War buddies bring reunion to their old Army boss

Posted: Updated:
BOSSIER CITY, La -

George Gray hasn't been able to travel to reunions with the engineering battalion he led in Vietnam the last couple of years. Health reasons keep the retired Army colonel close to home in Shreveport. So his men brought the reunion to him this year.

"Well, I feel like a granddaddy," Gray laughed as he sat at the head of a table outside a Bossier City hotel, along with the men now in their 60's that he says were his "teenagers" in Vietnam.

They came to this reunion from homes far away, including the Los Angeles area, Chicago, and from Michigan came Mike Miller.

"I can't go a year without getting my fix of seeing my buddies to make sure they're okay," Miller says. "And all of that is due to George Gray and his vision."

Miller wrote a book about that vision, titled "A Terrible Beauty, the story of Task Force Builder. Col. Gray's vision followed some sage military advice.

"If you want to make war in a strange country you've got to make friends with the people that live there," Gray says.

Since the French had destroyed schools during the first Indochina war, Gray and his men set out to rebuild them. It was a risky mission as they worked and convoyed through war zones.

"I fought the Viet Cong as hard as I had to. But I still knew we should not be there, Gray says of the war. "And getting those guys down there and building those schools gave me a reason to be in Vietnam. And to this day I'm proud that we did it."

The mission of building schools not only improved the lives of the children of Vietnam, it also built a brotherhood among Gray and his men.

With tears welling in the former soldier's eyes, Miller says, "As we struggled to survive and learned to count on each other, our brotherly love developed into a love that most people will never experience."

That's why they re-connected after 40 years and began holding annual reunions with their old boss, Col. Gray.

"And the reason we're here after all of these years is because of his influence on us," Miller says.

Miller also says a Google Earth search shows that all 18 schools they built are still there, southwest of Saigon. One of them was named for one of their brothers they lost in battle.

George Gray is also a veteran of World War II and Korea.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Boil advisory issued for portion of South Claiborne Water System

    Boil advisory issued for portion of South Claiborne Water System

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:58 AM EDT2014-08-20 15:58:33 GMT
    A boil advisory has been issued for a portion of the South Claiborne Water System.
    A boil advisory has been issued for a portion of the South Claiborne Water System.
  • Patrick Williams first to file for Shreveport mayor

    Patrick Williams first to file for Shreveport mayor

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:06 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:06:55 GMT
    Caddo Parish qualifying has so far offered no surprises on this first day for candidates to file for the Nov. 4 election.State Rep. Patrick Williams, a Democrat, the first to announce his intentions last fall, filed to run for Shreveport mayor. The winner will replace term-limited Cedric Glover. Williams holds the same legislative seat once held by Glover.Also, Wednesday morning Caddo District Judge Scott Crichton filed to run for state Supreme Court and so far faces no opposition. Caddo Dist...
    Caddo Parish qualifying has so far offered no surprises on this first day for candidates to file for the Nov. 4 election.State Rep. Patrick Williams, a Democrat, the first to announce his intentions last fall, filed to run for Shreveport mayor. The winner will replace term-limited Cedric Glover. Williams holds the same legislative seat once held by Glover.Also, Wednesday morning Caddo District Judge Scott Crichton filed to run for state Supreme Court and so far faces no opposition. Caddo Dist...
  • Candidates officially file to run for November elections in Shreveport

    Candidates officially file to run for November elections in Shreveport

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:12 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:12:47 GMT
    Election season is upon us and it's time get an official tally of who is running for what office in our area.The November 4th election is a little more than 2 months away and candidates officially start qualifying today
    Election season is upon us and it's time get an official tally of who is running for what office in our area.The November 4th election is a little more than 2 months away and candidates officially start qualifying today
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File