Hoosick Township Historical Society

Local Hero No Parades

The American people are standing behind the troops in Iraq. They are receiving the respect they are so bravely earning. This is positive but was not the situation in May of 1970 when Christian Gooderrnote returned home from Vietnam.


Chris served heroically with the 101 st Airborne Division from November, 1968 through September, 1969 in Vietnam. His unit was sent out for 30 day missions into the mountains of Vietnam. They were brought in by helicopters. They acted as listening posts, looking for the enemy or military equipment caches. Each day they covered approximately 10 miles. They traveled within the base artillery range. Always on guard and in danger, they could not even take off their shoes during this time. They ate C rations all 30 days. After the month, they were brought to a rear base for 2 days of R&R. Then they were transferred to the artillery base where they relieved the men at this base who were sent up to the mountains for their 30 day hunt. At the end of this month, they rotated back up to the hills for another 30 day tour. One day when they were landing at a base by helicopter, Chris was shot out of the copter by waiting enemy. After 4 days in the hospital, he was back with the men of his unit. He took part on the assault of Hill 937 known as Hamburger Hill. This hard fought battle was well publicized in the United States newspapers.

Chris Gooderrnote received the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal, the Air Medal, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, the Vietnam Service Medal, two overseas bars, the National Defense Service Medal and the M-16 Expert Badge. Yet,when he came home he told no one about his service and went to work at a local factory. He married soon after coming home. He and his wife have three children. Chris has just completed 33 years with St.Gobain.


The American people treated the returning heros badly and punished the warrior instead of the politicians that sent them to Vietnam. I have interviewed 58 veterans on tape and only one from the Vietnam War. It was difficult finding individuals that would be willing to be interviewed from this war. Chris talked to me but would not go on tape. Attitudes have changed, but we still owe much to the brave men that served their country so well during the Vietnam Conflict.

   


Compiled for HoosickHistory - Phil Leonard