Ron Stephen Hansell 

(The Professor)

Rank:

L/Cpl

MOS:

Year(s) in Nam:

69

Unit:

Delta 1/5

Contact Info Available?:

No

Status:

Lawyer

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Tell me about the time you found out you're going to Vietnam up to the time you left for Vietnam.

I was in Advanced Infantry Training or Jump
School. I went back home the weekend before I shipped out and said my
goodbyes, gave some thought to driving my uncle's Corvette over the border,
but caught my flight and got back for the Monday morning formation.

Tell me something about your time in Vietnam.

Got there early May
1969. It was oppressively hot. Assigned to Rifle Platoon with Delta 1/5;
Mel McKinnon was my Fire Team Leader, Tom Martin was my Squad Leader, Jim
Webb the Platoon Commander, and Mike Wyly the Company Commander. Before I
even went out to the Bush, James Clinton (Jim) "Snake Charmer" Ward, Darryl
Dombrowski, The Other McDowell, and one other had been killed (9 May, I
believe). When I first went out with the Platoon, we were out about an hour
and a half when we took some automatic weapons fire. King was behind me and
got a ti-ti scratch on his elbow or forearm from an AK-47 round. McKinnon
and another guy in my Fire team were close by and we were probably a little
too clustered and made a tempting target. I thought the first rounds were
4-6 feet over my head, but McKinnon, who was next to me and at a higher
elevation, said they were about 4-6 inches and one of those rounds grazed
King. We were hit fourteen (14) times the first twelve (12) days I was with
the Unit--usually just harassing chicoms thrown into the perimeter at night.
I figured it was only a matter of time before we bought the farm.

Tell me about your first few days back in the USA

I traded in my ticket from El Toro to Indiana for a ticket to Seattle and
went up to visit a girl I had met in the Peace Corps a mere year and a half
before (June of 1968). We went to the Vancouver Zoo and did a lot of
sight-seeing. She was wonderful.

Tell me about you today, and how Vietnam has influenced what you do and how you live today..

I am married and have a daughter who had an orthopaedic
condition which I suspect may have been induced by Agent Orange. She
appears to have overcome that early condition and is a healthy, happy,
brilliant, and beautiful 23 year old. I have a 20% disability rating from
my shell fragment wounds--mainly to my right leg, but I exercised to
overcome the limitations and hold a 1st Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwan Do. I am
a practicing lawyer, a Patent Attorney, an Arbitrator, a Registered
Professional (Civil) Engineer in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, a Land
Surveyor (Ohio and Indiana), and a member of the Academy of Malt Scotch
Whiskys and a Defender of the Malt. I work out of my home, temporarily for
the past 14+ years, and enjoy genealogical research, bicycling, and choral
music with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and the Catholic Choir of
Indianapolis--and occasionally as a ringer with other area choirs and
choruses.

Give me a 1 or 2 liner about anything you want to say.

It truly has been a miracle to me that those of us who have reestablished
contact over the past few years have been able to do so and have felt so
comfortable with each other and ourselves. I particularly appreciate the
fantastic efforts by Q and Jose Cruz in keeping the fires burning. God bless
you all, and Semper fi!
The Professor

 

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