In less than five minutes, eight Currahees were killed and more than 20 were wounded in an ambush during the 1968 Tet Offensive. As a tribute and penance for a young blunder he can never undo, Flint makes wooden eagles for everyone in the battalion who comes to the wall. “A lot of guys didn’t make it, and they have to be remembered,” Trant said.

Throughout the year, the calendar continues punctuating dates men were lost in combat, marking days until the next winter’s journey to remember together. “I’m very proud to have been a part of the unit.”. Instead of celebrating a day of birth, this brotherhood assembles to observe a solemn anniversary. For Ralph Burdett, former Currahee team leader, there is no better way to make a trip he considers necessary, than among his brothers. We have some of the devoted supporters attending, but many are not. The story of one military family's returns to a battlefield to live military history. 1st Class Thomas “Patrick” Payne served as an assistant team leader deployed to Iraq as part of a... Have you ever wondered what helicopter pilots carry on them? “I come here because the guys on the wall can’t come here,” said Gary “Flint” Purcell, a former Currahee grenadier. Army Sgt. Bassista said the Currahees knew they could count on each other, from their own fire team to the battalion as a whole.

Every February 19, the day of their worst battle, any number of Currahees can be seen at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial during a pilgrimage honoring their fallen. They may appear as simply a group of old veterans congregating in a hotel lobby somewhere outside of Washington, D.C., laughing, joking and telling stories.

For Flint it means everything to come to the wall. About 2 hours outside of Atlanta, this volunteered run, donation funded museum is well put together with important artifacts from back in the day, including original barracks shipped piece by piece from England. Please check the homepage for temporary limited operating hours for the museum starting, CLOSED: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Currahee Military Museum offers FREE ADMISSION to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Using single minesweepers to clear a road took too long.

“After a while in Vietnam it wasn’t so much about God and Country, it was more about keeping my men alive as a squad leader,” Bassista added. When the wall was dedicated, he was here.”. For Mike Trant, a Currahee infantryman, the trip to the wall is just the right thing to do. I did … None are better than my guys. Leg Tuck Challenge: Gen. Michael X. Garrett, U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), issues a challenge to all #Soldiers and... Army Sgt. It works out that way … by these reunions and these gatherings we have become much closer friends and know each other better than we did in combat.”.

“Only we can come here, and we must come here … there must be somebody here. “We were all like 19 years old.”. “When we did our company picture before we left Fort Campbell I was a (smart), (wise), little punk and I was easily persuaded,” Flint remembered.

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So U.S. troops used tanks instead. Though they seem light hearted and smile greeting each other at the wall, some of their eyes sparkle with tears during a moment of silence honoring and remembering the Currahees who never made it home. Most of the returning Currahees were assigned to A Co., and trained together for the better part of a year before heading to war in late 1967 aboard the USS General William Weigel.

Test your knowledge! This year, the 50th anniversary marked Bassista’s 20th trip to the wall, though the tradition is attributed to another Currahee, Lou “Louie” Oswald. Maj. Thomas Payne Medal of Honor, Actual Footage: Soldiers Rescue Prisoners from ISIS Clutches in Kirkuk, Iraq, The 1st Living Delta Force Member to Get the Medal of Honor: The Full Story, British Apache Pilot Reveals What’s in His Backpack on Missions. “I’m the only one who gave the finger in the company picture … After it was all over I felt so ashamed. Overall 176 names on the wall belong to Currahee Soldiers, Bassista added. Copyright © 2004–2020 Yelp Inc. Yelp, , and related marks are registered trademarks of Yelp. Currahee Military Museum offers FREE ADMISSION to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. All free or discounted military tickets require identification to be presented in person, PHONE: (706) 282-5055EMAIL: contact@toccoahistory.comADDRESS: 160 Alexander St. Toccoa, GA 30577 USA, Copyright © 2016 Currahee Military Museum, Toccoa, GASite Design: i6 Graphics, ADMISSIONSTORECONTACTEVENTSCAMP TOCCOA AT CURRAHEE PROJECT.

I’m proud of them.”. Maj. Thomas “Patrick” Payne has... Then-Sgt.