Indian Wells Luxury Homes And Estates agent, Jim Fry remembers his Vietnam years like they were yesterday.
Jim enlisted in the Army on June 14th, 1968 (flag day). Basic Training took place at Ft. Ord, then he went on to Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Lee Virginia. Upon completion of AIT, orders sent him to Vietnam.
He says he departed Travis AFB on Friday, December 13, 1968, sat in row 13 on the airplane and upon arrival he was assigned to the 13th Combat Avaition Group. For Jim, 13 turned out to be a lucky number. “Even my parents were married on the 13th, in 1940, but not on a Friday,” he adds.
When Jim returned home in December 1970, Vietnam Veterans were not a very popular group of returning Vets, but his family was glad to welcome him home. Following a 30 day leave, his next stop was Ft. Benning, Georgia. “I still think of the song “A Rainy Night in Georgia” (a popular song in 1970). Not liking the cold dampness of a Georgia winter I soon found myself on orders to Germany for the remaining 15 months of my enlistment,” he recalls.
“Decades later when discussing our past lives, Frank Montiforte (an agent from the Palm Desert Office) and I learned that we were stationed at the same base in Germany, seperated by a number of years. Probably 13.
Another odd coincidence occured once he settled in his base in Germany. He sent a post card home to his parents with his new address. A postal worker in his hometown noticed his return address and called his parents that evening to say that she and her husband had been stationed at the same place in Germany. When her son joined the Army, he was sent to Vietnam and stationed at the same place Jim was stationed in 1968. The two families became good friends and have remained in contact to this day.
Like many of his fellow Windermere agents, Jim was one of the lucky ones and looks back fondly on his military service.
Photo: (1969) in Vietnam, and (1970) stateside.