East Texan Among First U.S. Sailors to Dock in Vietnam in 30 Years

On the high seas, an East Texas sailor was part of an historic mission -- a mission of goodwill.

"It was a wonderful experience for him to get away from home, so the most exciting thing that he really enjoyed the most is that he had to go on the ship back to Vietnam," says Edward House's aunt Linda.

"Back to Vietnam."  It's a strange thing for a new sailor to hear.

"He was so anxious to tell us so he called several days [and spoke of] how proud he was to go over there," she says.

Seaman House's home these days -- the USS Vandergrift -- was the first American ship to drop anchor in Vietnam in thirty years.

"I'm very proud of him because I wanted him to go somewhere, see something, and make something out of himself," says grandfather Frank House.

Pride runs in the House family. Grandparents Frank and Cora, and Aunt Linda miss Edward, but know his job on the guided missile frigate helps keep America safe.

The 20-year-old John Tyler high graduate was excited to see the world and serve. He writes the Vandergrift is one of the finest ships in the fleet.

"He was kind of nervous going over there and leaving us at home, but once he got in there and the paperwork and everything was signed, he was ready to take that mission," Linda says.

His Navy career started with advice from his grandmother -- advice we could all learn from.

"When you go in there, you have to obey and do what they tell you to do," Cora House recalls.

This holiday season, they pray for Edward, proud of his commitment, though they wish he could be back home, away from any danger for just a while.

"He wasn't here for Thankgiving, so it won't be any different, I don't guess. We'll miss him," Cora says.

While Edward won't be home for Christmas, he hopes to visit in February or March. By the way, his grandfather, an aunt, and an uncle are all military veterans.