Robert W. Parrish, E-8
U. S. A. F.
Dates of Service: 08/05/1970 - 04/30/1974
Aeromedical Medic, 6498 USAF Dispensary & 37th Air Rescue
Mr. Parrish, of White Oak, Texas, served as a medic in the 37th Air Rescue late in the conflict, in which he rescued crews of aircraft that had ditched on land and at sea. He also performed other medical duties for both servicemen and Vietnam civilians. He recalls the strong bond of the men with whom he served: "The people that I hung out with in Vietnam for the most part were like family. Theres a special bond that we developed that I think the crazy thing is people dont understand whats that like. Even if we didnt serve together. Band of brothers so to speak or something like that. The people that I was with you know its one thing when you work with somebody on a job site for a year. I get to develop some friendships and things like that. But you face mortality. You face the possibility that something will happen to you. Like I said, the first 30 days you dont really pay that much attention. Youre scared to death. Then after that its like, Okay, if they get me they get me. If they dont, they dont. Then that last 30 days its like, Oh, now I just might actually get to go home. So you know now Im concerned about surviving this because Ive done it for 11 months. But you have your people and theyre like family. You may never see them again but you got a bond. But then on the other hand you know Ive got Jim who its been 40 years since weve been back. Hes my best friend. Hes my closest friend. He knows things about me and I know things about him that aint nobody ever going to know."