TOPEKA (KSNT) – Dennis Paul served in the first C Company, First Med Battalion Ambulance Brigade. He still remembers the first piece of advice he received from a sergeant when he arrived in Asia.

“He said when you’re on that road don’t stop,” Paul said. “Somebody gets sick in the back, flat tire, don’t stop. It was all basically jungle.” 

In Vietnam, Paul helped transport critically injured soldiers. Another important duty of his position was heading into the field as a stretcher-bearer.

“It wasn’t nice,” Paul said. “We’d have to unload the helicopters, they came in in big groups, they’d get as many of these banged up and bruised and wounded on the choppers, and then they’d bring them in. We’d get them off the choppers and lift them out of there.”

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During his time in Vietnam, he remembers helping as many injured soldiers as possible.

“We didn’t even think about it,” Paul said. “It was just in us to do the job, get it done, we had to get those guys out so that chopper could get back and get more of them. Some of our operations we had hundreds of casualties and I don’t know how many KIA’s.” 

Even through the tough scenarios Dennis and his crew were in, they never lost sight of how integral their position was.

“When we were out in the field those choppers just came in a dozen at a time one after another,” Paul said. “We could hardly keep up with them. You didn’t think about anything. Your job was to get those poor guys messed up into where they could get help.” 

Today, Dennis is enjoying retirement in Emporia. He continued to serve his community after returning to the state, teaching middle school art for 30 years and working as a school bus driver for 12.