Vietnam War Oral Histories

1969 in Vietnam

Mary "Edie" Meeks

Mary “Edie”  Meeks was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and graduated from St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Rochester, Minnesota.  She joined the Army Nurse Corps in early 1968 and worked in the Intensive Care Units of the 3rd Field Hospital in Saigon and the 71st Evac Hospital in Pleiku.  In 1970 she left Vietnam and began work in the operating room in Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, New York where she still works today.



Bill Payne

William Payne enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, New York on July 24, 1968.   After jungle training at Camp Pendleton, he was assigned to the 1st Marine Air Wing providing data processing support for aviation operations in 1969.  He also served additional duty as a Rifleman in the Contingency/Reaction Platoon. Payne returned to the United States in July, 1970. He received four battle stars to the Vietnam Service Medal and two unit citations from the Republic of Vietnam; the Cross of Gallantry with Palm and the Civic Actions Medal 1st class with Palm.



John Brownrigg

After graduating from Cornell University, John Brownrigg was commissioned as an infantry second lieutenant in 1967. His first tour was with the 101st Airborne Division as a rifle platoon leader.  After attending schools for Advisors and Military Language, he returned to Vietnam as a multinational advisory team leader, training the South Vietnamese army.  He went back for a third tour of duty in 1970 to look for POWs.  Brownrigg earned a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, three Army Commendation Medals, a Combat Infantry Badge, a Parachute Badge, five Unit Citation Medals, two Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry and a New York State Conspicuous Service Medal. 

A Watershed Year