Tan Sun Hnut Reunion at Choo Choo

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Reported by: Harrison Pirtle
Reported by: David Moore
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Updated: 6/13/2013 11:44 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) - One of the most important events during the long Vietnam war is what was called "The Tet Offensive" in 1968.
North Vietnamese attacked American and South Vietnamese Forces and delayed the U-S withdrawal.
In the middle of that fighting was Tan Son Hnut air base.
Many of those who fought there are at the Choo Choo in Chattanooga this week for a reunion.

What do you know about about Vietnam----one of America's longest wars?
If you went to school in the last 30 years, probably not much.
But some of the people who fought there don't want Vietnam forgotten.

GEORGE PLUNKETT "You talk about the bases you were stationed at, the jobs you did...there are no strangers here."

George Plunkett was in Vietnam during the Tet offensive.
He knows that hundreds of American soldiers died trying to stop the all-out attack.
He's here for a reunion of the Tan Son Hnut airbase veterans.

GEORGE PLUNKETT, TAN SON HNUT ASSOC. "I have yet to meet anyone who I served with in Vietnam, during 62-63-64-6 and 7. I've yet to meet anyone who had the same job that I had. But when you come to a reunion like this and you sit down, you have instant friends."

Plunkett says there are a lot of stories being told this weekend, and some of them are true.

COLIN WINCHESTER, GRANDFATHER SERVED IN VIETNAM "You don't really learn about it I guess in school...and when you talk about the Vietnam War they don't tell you the stories and the day to day personal activities and stuff like that."

Veterans like Jimmy Smith fought a different kind of war at Tan Son Hnut, and some of their names are on the Vietnam wall in Washington.

JIMMY SMITH, VIETNAM VETERAN "A lot of people don't know that..that there's 111 names on that wall ..Air police and security police that were killed over there."

Larry Fry was a busy chaplain's assistant.

LARRY FRY, CHAPLAIN'S ASSISTANT "Chaplain Kilpatrick was busy all morning with the C-123 plane crash. He visits various units within the Ranch Hand organization and made arrangements for a memorial service."
The veterans are here through Saturday.

More than 58-thousand Americans died during the Vietnam war.
1681 Americans are still listed as MIA.



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