Vietnam Vets Meet for First Time in 44 Years - KMSP-TV

Vietnam Vets Meet for First Time in 44 Years

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It had been more than 44 years since Michael “Dutch” Gude of Riverside had seen any of the men he served with in Vietnam. In October 1969, Gude was seriously wounded by a booby trap as he and Howard Hunt, Jr., Bob Bodemann and Grady Fox – all members of a LRRP team attached to the 173rd Airborne --- were searching for American POWs in the jungles of Vietnam. Gude suffered massive blood loss and his leg was severed. Hunt was also injured, but he, Bodemann and Fox acted quickly and saved Gude’s life.  As Gude tells it, “the blood was streaming like you open a water tap.” His fellow servicemen helped stop the bleeding by using a headband that Bodemann was wearing as a tourniquet. The four were airlifted out of the field and to a hospital. They never saw each other again.

Until today.

44 years and six months after the incident in Vietnam, Gude and the three other members of the unit came face to face in a joyous and tearful reunion at Ontario Airport Thursday afternoon. The four found each other through postings on a website dedicated to those who served in the 173rd. Bodemann, Hunt and Fox thought Gude didn’t survive his injuries. The three had been looking for each other all these years. Then one day, they all connected. Gude says “When I found out they were alive, I was crying.” At the reunion, they were all crying.

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