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Veterans’ Voices Ve Honoring our men and women in uniform By MARY DRENNON Special to the Tribune-Herald Last week: Eddy resident Frank W. Warren enrolled in the National Guard in the early 1960s, went to Vietnam and Dever, of Hewitt, never intended to became a en pilot in both75, civilian and military life. make a By career out of the military. But two MARY DRENNON tours to Vietnam, two tours to Germany, and Special to the Tribune-Herald some 22 years later, he retired from the U.S. rank W. Warren,colonel 80, hasinhad a life full 1988. of adventure. Army as a lieutenant November Joining the Army National Guard in the early 1960s, Dever was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in he wasVirginia deployedarea. to Vietnam and served with two the northern He attended Manassas High companies. School in Virginia and graduated when he was 18. College his mind he in enrolled in 1971 the to Warrenwas cameonback to theand States February University Fort Hoodof toRichmond a mechanicbut job.quit Theafter Armythree sentsemesters. him to Fort “I ranVirginia, out of money and Ianran out ofmaintenance grades,” he officer said. Eustis, to become aircraft At the time, school didn’t feel like the right place. So and Mohawk test pilot. He also went to Fort Ruckus and Dever went to work for the telephone company. became and learned to fly the He wasan21OH-58 years helicopter old when pilot he received a draft notice UH-1Uncle Huey.Sam. He was mechanic of them not from He adecided notontoall wait until when he was flying. drafted and joined the U.S. Army in November 1966 a chief officer 2 at Fort Hood, withNow a buddy onwarrant the “buddy plan,” Dever said.Warren The workedplan on Mohawks exclusively 1971joining to 1975.the buddy is designed to allow from a person service to serve theirwas time with their buddy. Things In 1975, Warren deployed to Seoul, South Korea, didn’t quite work out thatbut way, as both were“It was as a maintenance officer he also flewmen missions. assigned leaders different ffaerent intense,”as he platoon said. “We had toofhave planeplatoons. running They along never saw each other again. the DMZ (demilitarized zone) a full 24 hours.” B F U.S. U.S. ARMY ARMY Part 1 In some ways, Warren found it scarier than Bragg, the Vietnam After completing his basic training at Fort North Carolina, Dever was selected for Officer War. He was flying electronic surveillance over the DMZ, Candidate School the at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. September and occasionally, North Koreans wouldIn“lock” onto a 1967 while Vietnam was in full tiltif― he was plane― with a missile. “You never knew there was going to commissioned as a second lieutenant. be an international incident,” he said. “My paycheck as an officer a grand total As a maintenance officer in was Korea, Warren wasofassigned $300,” Dever said. “I asked how I could make more his own Huey to fly around South Korea to get parts. money.” To answer, get morehe flying alsoschool, volunteered The wastime, told,Warren was flight so heto serve standby Medivac helicopter takingthe off and decided to go. as Hea had to wait his turnpilot, and spent landing remoteleader places in that had no airport. Theyfor flewa at time as ainplatoon a searchlights battery couple of months before was offbefore to Mineral Wells, night and had to clear all he obstacles they could pick Texas, flight up theand patient andschool. get them to a hospital. AtAsthis point, Deverofmarried Carla Taylor in April in the summer 1976, Warren was there during the 1968 in Virginia. was two days after the assassination notorious KoreanItaxe murder incident. of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Riots were “We camewhen pretty close and to going to war with North everywhere Dever his new wife spent their Korea,” Warren said. honeymoon driving to Texas for his training. They According soldiers were trimming a poplar couldn’t drive to at reports, night due to a curfew. tree for a better view along the joint security area of the DMZ. The teamtraining of those pruning the tree was confronted Helicopter trained on the OH-23who lightordered observation byDever a group of North Koreans, the team to helicopter at Fort Wolters Mineral Wells, then he stop the pruning, which theinteam ignored. learned flywere the combat Huey at Fortwere The to men unarmed, and helicopter two U.S. officers Rucker, Alabama, even though bludgeoned to death with axes. that wasn’t what he would fly in Vietnam. Thethat’s next day, according reports, hundreds And exactly wheretohepublished went af after ter he graduated of fighters, helicopters and bombers flew in from Guam, from flight training in 1969 ― straight to Vietnam, where he was stationed in the I Corps, the northernmost and another 12,000 troopsbordering were ordered to Vietnam South Korea. region of South Vietnam, North at the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone. They took all that firepower and went in to cut the tree Devercompletely. was assigned as platoon leader for an Air down Cavalry troop: F Troop, Hissaid. job was fly “It was pretty intense8th for Cavalry. us,” Warren “We to had the “scout bird,” as they called it, or Loach, for light Cobras, Mohawks and(OH-6 U-21s Cayuse). all ready to were on observation helicopter It go. wasWe one of the dutydangerous 24 hours.”assignments in Vietnam. His job was to most After years in Korea, to Fort fly out lowtwo to the ground and Warren observereturned where the enemy may be. As Once they found theheenemy, a couple of Cobras Hood. a warrant officer, was often assigned to would come injobs. to take care of things. captain-level He tried to get promoted to captain to “I’m theHe bait,” he said. no avail. decided to get out and he went back into the The small helicopter might take fire, and a crew Reserves, serving eight years. member would throw a more smoke bomb to mark the location From 1977 to 1981, he became missile repairman of the enemy. Then they fired untilathe Cobras arrivedfor and the could Tow and they getDragon away. missile. From 1981 to 1983 he took youwhere don’the seewas anything. You’re just cutting a“Sometimes tour in Temple, flying out of Austin part holes time.in the sky,” he said. He failed a flight physical, so he reverted to staff Shot down sergeant After two he madeflying E-7, then a He was E-6. in Vietnam foryears, five months overtook the Chu warrant slot and became a chief warrant officer Lai regionofficer’s doing search-and-destroy missions over the 2 again. He retired 1989 from 49thchief Armored Division mountains. On oneinmission, thethe crew yelled, “I got one As the bird turned around, it 10 took of running!” the Texas National Guard withback a Bronze Star, small armsAir fireMedals and lost Theyofwere trying Combat andananengine. assortment medals andto get the copter to a small clearing but hit a tree on the way ribbons. down. Warren moved to Bruceville-Eddy to be near his 574 Youngblood Road, Waco, Texas, 76706 • 254.662.5571 • JRoof.com Ben Dever, of Hewitt,ofretired Frank Warren Eddy, as a lieutenant seen here in dress colonel 22his years of uniform after during service in Army service in thethe U.S. Army. 1960s, flew planes and Photo Mary Drennon helicopters inby Vietnam and Korea. “We just crashed in enemy territory,” U.S. Army photo Dever said. The crew chief and observer both were okay, but parents.had Continuing his education, both a master’s Dever compression fractures he in got his back. Two Cobras started shooting at the enemy andata and Ph.D.-ABD (All But Dissertation). He taught Huey andfor picked them up.retired “We were notHe on the Templecame College 22 years and in 1998. ground more than five minutes,” expanded his construction businesshe fullsaid. time until 2010, He he was taken toclosed an aid when formally it.station, then to an evacuation hospital in Vietnam. From he went to a pilot hospital From 1979-80, he spent 15there, months as a bush in in Japan, then to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Alaska, flying where there were no roads. He also taught D.C., effectively ffectively ending his tour. tour. Indians seventwo villages, as well as teaching at and Yukon Flats After in about months he was stabilized sent ISD. to Fort Meade, Maryland, for light duty. Right after he hospital, drove a truck for promoted 17 years. to captain. he In gotaddition, out of the he was Dever spentWarren about met a year at Fort Meade,and becoming In 1962, Carol Montrose, they will be company of the Army garrison he married 59commander years this December. Together, theybefore have four left. children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He thendon’t wentlettothe an grass advanced at Fort “I still grow training under mycourse feet,” said Sill, Oklahoma, where he geared up to go back to Warren, who is also a Mason. “I’m pro-military, but Vietnam. not with the current leadership today. Today, it’s more political. I’m pro-anybody towardand trouble, Next week: Dever serves who againruns in Vietnam goes not away from it.” directly to Germany. His military service continues with a variety of assignments, including commanding troops. “Veterans’ Voices,” featuring stories about Central Texas veterans, publishes every Sunday. “V erans’ Voices,” featuring stories about Central “Vet To suggest a story about every a Central Texas Texas veterans, publishes Sunday. Toveteran, suggest please email avoicesofvalor@wacotrib.com. a story about Central Texas veteran, please email voicesofvalor@wacotrib.com. Voices” is “Veterans’ Voices” is proudly“Veterans’ sponsored by proudly Johnsonsponsored Roofing. by Johnson Roofing. At Johnson Roofing, we believe in America and proudly stand behind the men and women of our armed forces.

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