In Honor of those who serve - Ted EricksonTed Erickson served in the Army’s 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta during 1968 and 1969. The Wrenshall man was drafted by the draft board in Hawaii, because he’d registered for the draft there when he had moved to Hawaii to help his sister.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Ted Erickson served in the Army’s 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta during 1968 and 1969. The Wrenshall man was drafted by the draft board in Hawaii, because he’d registered for the draft there when he had moved to Hawaii to help his sister.
“Then my mother got sick, so I came back here to help her and finished my senior year of high school,” he said. “In the meantime, my draft board in Hawaii decided to send me. I got the notice before I even graduated from high school, but they held off until the following April. My mother had also passed away during that time.”
When he first got to Vietnam, Erickson carried a machine gun but after about two or three months he carried the radio.
“It wasn’t one of the best jobs,” he said. “I guess I made it through, that was the
He has good and bad memories of
“The good times were spent with friends, but we lost some of them – they were killed,” he said, adding that he served with people from all over the United States.
Now Erickson is the commander of the Cloquet VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Post 3979.
He said people treat veterans and active service military better now than when he served.
“When we first came back from Vietnam, we landed in California for what was supposed to be a 30-day leave,” he said. “It was late in the day. The lieutenant said if we were planning to go home he advised us to get some regular clothes and not wear our Army clothes. He also advised us to go home in the middle of the night instead of in the daytime. A lot of us took that advice.
“I guess we did [get some hostile treatment from civilians], but we didn’t understand why.
“When I got back to Minneapolis – in the middle of the night – my sister picked me up. Then I borrowed her car so I could take my buddy home to southern Minnesota. I was there about a week before she called me and said she kind of needed her car. I remember I did buy some regular skivvies.”