Keith A. "Okie" Watkins
I did my basic training & AIT at Ft. Polk, LA during the summer of 1969. I would like to locate any of the guys that I was in Basic with or any that remember me from Vietnam. I have no pictures of my tour to Nam, I didn't make it home with any of my personal effects.
I was sent to Vietnam November 1969. My unit was B Co. 1st Btn.
12th Cavalry, Air Mobile. We were walking patrol around a
corps group building a road through the jungle near Tay Ninh on Dec 7, 1969. I was hit with
shrapnel from a Rocket Propelled grenade during an ambush.
Many of our guys were wounded or killed. When the choppers
came to pick up the wounded they filled up pretty fast. There
was no room inside for me and they thought I was probably
dead or would be very soon, so they wired me onto the outside
of the chopper and carried me back to an evac hospital.
After a few days in Vietnam they sent me to Japan and then on
to Fitzsimmons Hospital in Denver, CO. The shrapnel had cut
across my right eye, entered in the inside corner of my right
eye, cut off the back of my nose, severed the left eye and
exited in front of my left
ear. Causing brain
damage which resulted
in seizures and memory
loss. Loss of sight in left
eye and 10 percent
vision left in right eye.
Hearing loss in left ear.
After being home for a
few weeks I developed
Spinal Meningitis and
was in a coma for 72
hours. The doctors told
my family that I would
not live through the
night. A man came to the hospital and asked my family if it would be alright if he came in and prayed
for me. After he left, I woke up, pulled my IV's out, climbed over the bed rail, straddled the IV pole
and took a stroll down the hall. To this day I believe God has had a hand in my life and has kept me
alive when I should have been dead many times.
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