TOPEKA (KSNT) – A machine gunner, Michael Huston fought overseas in Vietnam. His time with the 26 Marines would cement his dedication to comradery that he still upholds to this day.
Serving as a combat soldier, Huston joined the military to make his way through higher education. His journey overseas was quite the interesting one.
“We didn’t know at the time, but we were getting ready to go and be a part of the first amphibious assault team in Vietnam, off the USS Iwo Jima,” Huston said. “That was our firebase, the USS IWO Jima. Unlike a lot of guys, their firebase was on the top of a hill or next to a river, ours was on a ship.”
From that ship, Huston’s squad would deploy alongside other companies, like Delta or Bravo, or would run missions on their own.
“We would leave on an operation by different names,” Huston said. “Daring rebel, bull pursuit, pipestone canon. They would chopper us right into the middle of what was going on, and there we were.”
Serving in Vietnam brought unique situations and challenges compared to other military conflicts.
“Unlike a lot of wars, like WWII, you went in as a unit,” Huston said. “In Vietnam, we went in as an individual. Those were big differences. We left to come back home as an individual too, not as a unit.”
That didn’t stop Huston from making connections overseas or keeping up with those he fought with. Reuniting with a fellow soldier, decades after serving.
“One of my squad leaders, George Adams, from Altoona, Pennsylvania, called me up,” Huston said. “He’d been trying to get a hold of me for years. He wanted to make sure I was the Michael Huston that was assigned to his squad. I about fell over when he said, ‘yeah this is George Adams. Do you remember me? Were you in Vietnam?’ I said, ‘yeah’, and it went from there.”
Staying connected with fellow veterans is incredibly important to Huston. He’s involved with the local American Legion and the VFW. He also keeps in touch with others who served.
TO NOMINATE A VETERAN – EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org WITH THE SUBJECT LINE “Veteran Salute Nomination”