Gary L. Huber
l Lt. Infantry
I joined the Army in January, 1966, and took Basic Training at Fort Knox, KY. Upon completion of Basic, I went to Fort Dix, NJ, for AIT Infantry. When I finished AIT, I spent 2 months as an Assistant Drill Instructor, while waiting for orders to Fort Benning, GA, for OCS. I attended Infantry OCS, graduating from OC 12-67, on February 21, 1967.
Upon receiving my Gold Bar as a Second Lieutenant, I was assigned to a Basic Training Company back at Fort Knox. I started my service in Co. E, 14th Battalion, 4th Training Brigade. When it was closed down, I was transferred to Co. D, 13th Battalion, 4th Training Brigade.
I spent the last couple of months prior to going to Vietnam on TDY to Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, PA, working with an ROTC Summer Camp Company.
On September 26, 1967, I was assigned to Co. A, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. I spent the next five days attending the Lightning Replacement Training Center, before joining the company at Duc Hoa. I was assigned to command the Weapons Platoon by Capt. Peter Gleszer, the CO. His philosophy was that new LT's needed to observe, before they commanded. I spent the next several days following SSG. Lyle, and observing any and all things which happened, asking questions, and paying close attention to the answers given to me. I really feel that those days were well spent. I was able to be involved, but had no command responsibility. It was a chance to see what was going on, before assuming the command of a rifle platoon. I will always be grateful to Capt. Gleszer for that opportunity to learn.
On the night of Oct. 4-5, something happened which changed the course of events. An unexploded LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon, like a rocket) was brought back into the Battalion Base Camp. The rumor was that someone at Battalion ordered that it be brought back in, instead of blowing it in place, which was SOP (or should have been) in a situation like that. In the evening 1st Platoon members were called together to try to figure why the LAW didn't go off. (Big Mistake!) The LAW finally exploded, and killed the Platoon Leader, 2Lt. Francis Miduski, Sgt. Nathan Rivers, and Nevada Ellison. That night proved to be my introduction into the world of wounds. People were calling in-coming and running for shelter. When it was realized that it wasn't in-coming, everyone settled down and went back to what their duties. I went to see if there was anything I could do to help. I ended up holding the light for the medic who was working on Sgt. Rivers. I didn't know then that he was going to die, but I knew that what had happened to him wasn't good.
Gary L. Huber
Ho Bo/Bo Loi Woods
The next morning I was assigned to command 3rd Platoon, their platoon leader having been transferred to 1st Platoon. I stayed with 3rd Platoon until December 4. We went to such exotic places as the Ho Bo Woods, the Bo Loi Woods, the Iron Triangle, Trang Bang, Go Du Ha, Song Be, and Bu Dop, among others.
On December 4, I was reassigned as XO. Capt. Gleszer left the Co., and went on TDY to Hong Kong. I was XO until January 16, when I assumed command of 1st Platoon.
I was in command of 1st Platoon on February 6, 1968, when we ran into a real mess in Hoc Mon. That day my Platoon went through a meat grinder. I had 5 killed and 10 of us wounded. Near the end of the battle, as we were trying to break contact to bring in the jets, I was shot through the neck and shoulder. After recovering from my wounds, I returned to the field and assumed command of Weapons Platoon, again.
On March 23, 1968, I was transferred to the Lightning Replacement Training Center, where I stayed until I went back to the World on November 16, 1968.
When I returned to the U.S., I enrolled at Central Michigan University, and received a BS in 1972, and a MS in 1975.
I have been teaching High School since 1973, at Kearsley High School, located near Flint, Mich.
I returned to Vietnam in March of 1995, with Channel One News. Channel One is a company which puts a news program into about 12,000 schools across the country. They were doing a show about the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, and I was selected to go with them and be featured in the show. I was only there for four days, not long, but I got to see the Tunnels, including COSVN's bunker. We were allowed to drive onto the old Division Base Camp at Cu Chi, but there wasn't much left from the time we were there. I also was able to get back to the battlefield where I was wounded on Feb. 6, 1968, at Hoc Mon. I saw the Temple which we saw about an hour before we made contact. The people were very friendly and wanted to talk to us. When our chaperone was around, we were able to communicate with the locals, but when he wasn't there, it was a lot like it was in 1967-68. You used what hand gestures or whatever to try and communicate, not very satisfactory.
Retired from teaching with 31 years, on June 30, 2004.
I am a life member of the following organizations:
27th Infantry Regiment Historical Society (The Wolfhound Pack) and President, 2006, 2007 and 2008.
25th Infantry Division Association (Tropic Lightning) and President 2014-2016
Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 175, Genesee County, (Flint) Michigan
Disabled American Veterans
Military Order of the Purple Heart
Veterans of Foreign Wars