Edwin J. Batchelor, Jr.
U. S. Army
Dates of Service: 04/01/1969 - 04/04/1971
Infantryman, Alpha Co 4th Bn, 31st Infantry, 196th LIB

Edwin J. Batchelor, Jr. was born in Newport News, Virginia in 1949 to Edwin J. and Geraldine Rogers Batchelor. He has one sister and one brother. His father served in the Marine Corps during WWII at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Ed graduated from high school in 1967 and was drafted into the Marines in April of 1969 undergoing training at Fort Polk, Leesville, Louisiana. He flew to Okinawa and landed in Da Nang then took a C-130 to Chu Lai where they helicoptered into Alpha Company, 4th Battalion 31st Infantry, 196th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. The companies would be in the field for three weeks at a time, moving from site to site. with Ed walking point many times. In May, they were five days without rations and he learned to find, boil and eat snails. After the battle at Hiep Duc he went to Hawaii on R&R but came right back into battle. On June 4th, they set up a night laager in a bad spot with jungle all around. In subsequent fighting he and ten other soldiers were wounded and were taken out by chopper while still under fire. He was taken to the 91st Evac in Chu Lai then to Cam Ranh Bay then to Japan for medical treatment finally getting to McDonald Army Hospital at Fort Eustis, Virginia. From there, after recovering, he was assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington where he served until discharge. Ed worked for the government for 30 . years before retiring. He and Lily have one daughter and he has two sons by a previous marriage. Ed thinks that his tour in Vietnam made him more compassionate to citizens of third world countries and makes him appreciate what he has in the United States. When things are bad, he looks at the picture of himself in the rice paddy and thinks "things could be a whole lot worse."