Part 2 on local veteran Grant Carter: In Vietnam – WIA and wave after wave of VC, then finally home is here

Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 of an article by local military veteran Paul Butler, who writes periodic articles about Clinton County veterans for the News Journal.

Between December 1966 and April 1967…

On his first patrol, Grant Carter had bullets hitting the ground inches in front of his feet, and on another occasion he heard the sound of a bullet as it whistled past his head – c was what he thought. Later that day, when he removed his helmet, he found a gash the bullet had made in his helmet.

Sadly, Grant Carter became one of more than 153,000 American soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who were wounded in action (WIA) in Vietnam.

In April 1967, he was hit in the lower abdomen by shrapnel and suffered a serious injury. In severe pain and fatally ill, he was evacuated to a field hospital where he was stabilized before being airlifted to a Navy hospital ship, USS Sanctuary, AH 17.

Grant, however, has no recollection of the flight. The shrine had just arrived in Da Nang on April 10, 1967, and had treated a total of 379 combat casualties, including Grant, by the end of the month.

Due to severe infection, doctors left the wound open for six weeks, before removing the damaged part of his large intestine, on their return trip to Vietnam from Subic Bay in the Philippines, where they had gone to redo the full.

Aboard the Sanctuary, Grant underwent three surgeries. At that time, the nurses called him their primary patient – not because of his rank, but rather because of his tenure.

Grant spent a total of 69 days on the USS Sanctuary before being placed on a hospital plane. He was flown from Vietnam to Philadelphia via Japan and Alaska, to the Naval Hospital there, with the sutures from his last operation still in place. From the day of his injuries until the day he was admitted to Naval Hospital, Grant had lost 73 pounds, dropping from 190 to 117.

After a relatively short stay in the hospital and with 30 days off work, he returned home to cook for mum and the lost pounds returned.

You wouldn’t think Grant would consider what he just went through a blessing, but he does. If asked, he will tell you emphatically, “If I hadn’t been injured, I most certainly would have been killed in action (KIA).”

He will then tell you why it is such a certainty in his mind. …

wave after wave

Grant’s full year-long tour of Vietnam was scheduled to run through December 1967. On November 2, 1967, Mike Company was overrun by the Viet Cong (VC), resulting in 10 Mike Company KIA Marines and nine other WIAs.

Mike Company fought hard despite losses and overwhelming VC numbers. They sent wave after wave of soldiers on them, but Mike Company took a heavy toll on them, killing around 150 VC soldiers.

Additionally, Mike Company was caught up in the preparations for the brutal Tet Offensive that began in early December 1967. Sadly, the names of 172 young Marines from Mike Company are inscribed on the Black Granite Wall in Washington D.C., commemorating these men and these women. who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country in Vietnam.

Mike Company has only been in Vietnam for five of the 20 years the United States has been involved. Additionally, among the 57,939{1} names originally carved on the wall was another close friend of Grant’s, Second Lieutenant Mike Hootz, who lost his life just 14 days after landing in Vietnam.

When the 30 days of leave expired, Grant checked into Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, where he would spend the rest of his enlistment teaching a gunnery course. Straight out of boot camp he had been trained in artillery, but when he arrived in Vietnam he was assigned to an infantry company.

Back to Ohio

Released from active duty in June 1968, he returned to the Dayton area, resumed the job he had before enlisting, lived with his parents for a short time, and then Grant and his friend Mike Puckett found a square.

Grant’s old job with the City of Dayton, Department of Parks, working on a Time and Financial Resources Review Committee was OK, but he was looking for more, so he took a job with NCR in as a study analyst at the time, but after three years he, along with many others, was fired.

Grant knew it was time to finish what he started years ago. He got a job as a bus driver, enrolled at Wright State University, and a year later earned his bachelor’s degree in urban studies.

Grant became deputy city manager of Vandalia. Unfortunately, he was unprepared for, and more importantly didn’t care for, the politics that came with the job, so after three years he felt he had to make a change. He saw this change at Stauder Hospital in Troy as the personnel manager.

During his 10 years there, he rose to vice president and felt like he had found his job forever. Consolidation talks with three other Miami Valley hospitals and the ramifications of such a move made things untenable for Grant, so it was a return to square one for the husband of a registered nurse and father of four. .

It didn’t take long for this friendly, soft-spoken sailor to find a home with Aetna Financial Services. During his years in financial sales with the company, the name changed to ING and finally Voya. The company’s name changed, but its position was consistent regardless of the name Grant retired from Voya.

mike meeting

While reading DAV (Disabled American Veterans) magazine, Grant learned of a Mike Company meeting and attended the first meeting at the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in November 1982, after a week of salute to all those who served in Vietnam. war. Since then, he has attended six more meetings in various locations around the country, including Branson, Missouri.

Grant had married the former Sharon Michael in 1969 and they are the proud parents of four children, Mathew, Gillian, Zachary and Allison. Both boys have followed in dad’s footsteps and both are in financial sales for Voya and the girls have closely followed in their mother’s footsteps – a retired registered nurse – as Gillian is a speech therapist and Allison is an occupational therapist.

home is here

Thirty-five years ago, Grant, Sharon and their family lived in Troy, but wanted to find a quiet, comfortable place with a small plot. They found a beautiful house nestled in the trees in the Wilmington area on SR 380. They have since called it home.

Grant and his son, Mathew, have a house in Norris Lake, Tennessee, which they rent out for about half the year. When not rented they are there to do house and yard maintenance or relax on a boat or enjoy some quiet time on what he calls the best boat dock on the Norris Lake.

Grant is a member of the Wilmington Veterans Post 49, American Legion, and he is an active member of the Post 49 Honor Guard.

The writer, Paul Butler, is a Wilmington resident, United States Navy veteran, and an inductee of the Class of 2020 into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.

In September 2020, Clinton County recognized Paul for his “dedication and commitment to military service as well as his outstanding post-military advocacy and volunteerism for the veteran community.” A 2020 News Journal article called him “the voice and fountain pen of Clinton County veterans organizations and related projects”.

A display case in Grant Carter’s home office. The case includes his Purple Heart.

Grant Carter today, in his honor guard uniform.

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