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La Feria Man Recalls Fighting in Jungles of Vietnam

Jose Flores holds a picture showing him with a M-60 machine gun in the Vietnam jungle. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

Although the Vietnam War ended nearly four and half decades ago, a La Feria man recalls the months he spent fighting for his country.

The war comes more so to his mind every time the month of July approaches and, particularly on the anniversary of the United States’ Independence Day.

Jose Flores spent a year in Vietnam fighting the enemy on two fronts.

One front, he said, was the North Vietnamese.

The second front, Flores added, was the insects, reptiles and an occasional sighting of a Bengal tiger.

“We were deep in the jungle,” Flores, who lives in Olmito but likes to spend time in La Feria RV park he owns, said. “The bugs were unbearable.”

When he was 20, Flores received a letter from the government in 1969 saying he was drafted to fight in the war and to be ready to go to Port Polk in Louisiana.

Six months later, he flew to South Vietnam where he spent a year fighting the enemies.

“The mosquitoes were horrible,” he said. “I picked up malaria while I was there.”

Flores said his arm-de-guerre was a 27 pound, 60-caliber machine gun he carried on and off.

Once back in the states, he said he wandered like a hobo for more than a year.

He said he applied for disability but was denied.

Flores reapplied 10 years later and the application was accepted.

Asked if he would do the same today, Flores said yes but realizes he was a lot younger back then.

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One Response to La Feria Man Recalls Fighting in Jungles of Vietnam

  1. Estella Loya Reply

    July 22, 2019 at 12:42 am

    Jose
    Thank you for your service. Many Vietnam Vets do not get the acknowledgement they deserve. But I hold all of you dear to my heart.

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