ELM GROVE, La. -- Dale Hubbard was part of a band of brothers who joined the Marines. His older brother went in before him. Two younger brothers followed Dale.
"They're the best. And I wanted to be the best," Dale says.
Dale joined right out of high school as part of the last graduating class at Ouachita High School in Monroe in 1958. He served two tours in the Vietnam War.
When he returned for his second tour in 1969 as a platoon sergeant, he helped load Marines out of the country in some of the first troop withdrawals. But the enemy would not let them go easy.
"Luckily we didn't lose anybody," Dale said.
That’s even though there was enemy fire on convoys, mines in water ways, and attacks on camps. They almost caught Dale with his pants down.
"When I first got in country they blew the shower point up. When the sirens went off we headed to a bunker. I looked back. It hit the shower that I had just come out of. I hit the bunker naked -- me and two or three others,” Dale said with a hearty laugh. "I still had soap on me but I didn't care. I got out of there.
"They'd hit us all hours of the night. Luckily they never hit one of the hooches where guys were sleeping at," Dale continued on the enemy attacks.
Dale worked as a recruiter in Jackson, Mississippi in between his tours. He’d helped build air strips in his first tour in Vietnam in 1965, when there were fewer encounters with the enemy.
That enemy would eventually drive the US out, along with political forces back home.
"We were there to do a job. And basically we fought the war different than we'd ever fought. We've never been a defensive force before. We'd always been kick butt and take names. But that changed in Vietnam, seriously," Dale said.
"Looking back, knowing what I know, I'd do it again. I enjoyed it. But the biggest reason is my country. I'm a firm believer in the military supporting this country."
Retiring after 23 years as a Master Sergeant, Dale later helped keep buses running for the Bossier Parish School District for more the two decades.