Magazine article VFW Magazine

Two Wars, Two Generations

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Two Wars, Two Generations

Article excerpt

James Hardesty

Hometown: Frankfort, Ind.

Hardesty was wounded and lost his left leg below the knee on May 27, 1968, in Quang Tri Province, near the village of Nhi Ha, Vietnam, while serving as a squad leader with E Co., 2nd Bn., 4th Marines, 4th Marine Div.

"We were assaulting a village when the NVA began walking mortars at us," he said. "I instructed my squad to move back, and we took cover in a ditch. A 60mm shell landed about six feet behind me and blew me in the air. Two other Marines were killed."

Hardesty brought down an antelope with a 140-yard shot and plans to add the trophy to a collection of "five or six" deer heads at his house.

"We had good camaraderie out at Russ's place," said the member of VFW Post 1110 in Frankfort. "I had long talks with the two Iraq vets. I tried to explain that losing a limb is not the end of the world."


Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.

Serving with B Co., 1st Bn., 1st Marines, 1st Marine Div., Picha lost his right leg when he was wounded in February 1969 at Dodge City near Da Nang, Vietnam.

"I was in a foxhole with three other Marines," he recalls. "The NVA were lobbing grenades or 'tricoms' (homemade pipe bombs) at us, which we would avoid by jumping out of our hole. When the next grenade dropped into our fox-hole, I was a second slower than the other two guys. The explosion blew me completely out of the foxhole. I don't remember where my leg ended up."

Picha, of VFW Post 1635 in St. Paul, says he appreciates what VFW and Russ Greenwood did for him: "I've only been hunting for three years, and this was my first deer or antelope."

Joel Klobnak

Hometown: Norwalk, Iowa

Klobnak served with D Co., 1st Light Armored Recon Bn., 1st Marines, 1st Marine Div., at Korean Village (northwest of Baghdad), Iraq. He was wounded while cleaning weapons on March 7,2006, losing his left leg below the knee.

"I loved the trip," the 20-year-old said. …

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