Freedom Fighters: Jerry Herring - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Freedom Fighters: Jerry Herring

(KLTV) -

Jerry Herring was to learn the tactics of the Vietcong firsthand when he arrived in Vietnam in 1967.

He had joined the army as a brash teenager the year before, but that was soon to change.

Herring was forced to grow up in his very first battle. The battle took place in a deep jungle. The squad's front men were cut down in an ambush, and Herring and his men didn't know which direction to fire.

“It seemed like the battle lasted hours, but about 30 minutes and it was over. They just hit and run,” Herring says.

Herring was one of many soldiers wounded, although he describes his wound as "minor.”

“I got shrapnel in my ankle at that time. I didn't notice it at that time," Herring recalls. "I didn't notice it until everything was over and I felt something stinging, got down and found I had a piece of metal in my ankle.”

Herring was to be wounded a second time just a few months later. If the powder hadn't been old, Herring would have been blown to bits

“I was blessed not to be wounded like some are...arms legs and I just got a little bit of shrapnel in my knees,” Herring says.

Like many Vietnam veterans, Herring returned home to anti-war demonstrations.

Herring says although it's been almost half a century since he was in Vietnam, it seems like yesterday. Even though Herring remembers everything about his time in Vietnam, he's glad he answered his country's call.

“Duty called and I would go back today if I had the opportunity.”

Copyright 2015 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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