On May 26th, 1967 my father, 2nd Lt. Richard Daerr, was severely injured in Vietnam following the detonation of a mine. Following the explosion, Richard had lost sight in both of his eyes (one permanent, one temporary) and had to feel around to find a radio to call in for support.
After being transported out of the hot zone, he was eventually sent to a hospital ship and then on to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. What had originally been planned as a short layover turned into a longer one as he had several surgeries following numerous complications.
Finally, after a few weeks, we was able to be transported back to the U.S. and was sent to a hospital at Carswell AFB in Ft, Worth Texas. He was treated at the Carswell Hospital from June 1967 until March 1968 when he was transferred to the Naval Hospital at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The picture that accompanies this post shows Richard posing with a nurse from the United Way in September 1967, less than one month after his 23rd birthday.
In June of 1967, Richard's Company Commander, Captain Troy T. Shirley, wrote to Richard's sister, my Aunt Missy, with the following transcript:
"I am thankful that (Richard) is still alive. From the initial blast of the claymore I had my doubts. It was a real blow to all of us when it occurred… …(Richard) did an excellent to outstanding job for me and was my best platoon leader. I placed him in the hot spots because I knew that he would 'carry the ball.' He always did his very best. You should be proud of him. His men and brother officers are."
I had never seen the written transcript above until a few days ago when my mother sent it to me. It was an emotional moment for me to say the least.
Many great men and women sacrifice so much for us in the service of our country. This is the second year I have joined efforts with the Wounded Warrior Project to help raise money for our wounded veterans.
You can help by making a donation through the following link:
Thank you for your continued support,