Stories of Honor: Vietnam vet Dal Smilie served at Long Binh Junction

{{featured_button_text}} .tnt-restrict-img-bb96efb5-d5b5-5a5d-bc0a-d348b2f4faeb { max-width: 1171px; }

Army Sgt. Dal Smilie, circa 1972.

Photo provided CURT SYNNESS For the Independent Record

U.S. Army veteran Dal Smilie, who was shot at his first day in Vietnam, served at “Long Binh Junction” during the war’s 1972 April Easter Offensive.

Smilie grew up on a farm near Parris, Illinois, and up until the family moved into town with his grandparents, they cooked on a pot belly stove and their bathroom facilities consisted of an outhouse. His childhood years involved hard work, including bucking bales and delivering papers.

He graduated high school in 1966, and then attended Eastern Illinois University, where he majored in American history.

After finishing college, Smilie recalled being “glued to the TV” during the 1970 draft lottery.

Didn’t know big airliners could do that

“I received the low number of 133, and reported for induction into the service in Chicago on December 7, 1970, a day which will live in infamy,” Smilie, now 72, said with a grin.

He attended basic training in Fort Lewis, Washington, where two-thirds of the company were

View Source