War on Terrorism

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Face of Defense: Vietnam Veteran Re-enlists in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

July 23, 2009 - Army Sgt. 1st Class Hershel L. Mayfield is a Vietnam veteran with 39 years of service. But when he re-enlisted here earlier this month, his mind was on the future and the young people he serves with. The Tallassee, Ala., native has served 37 years with the 158th Maintenance Company of the Alabama Army National Guard. He recently decided it was time to continue to serve his country for two more years.

"Everything I do today is done with the next generation in mind and how I can influence them to do the same for their nation," Mayfield said.

After serving on active duty in the Army for two years as an infantry soldier, Mayfield joined the Guard and reclassified as a light-wheel vehicle mechanic with a desire to continue serving his country. He said he appreciates the support he's received throughout his military career from his wife of 30 years and his children.

"It is a way of life, and they've learned to live in it," he said, noting his family has dealt with his absence during three deployments and numerous training events. He was deployed to Vietnam in 1969, Kosovo in 1996, and to Mosul, Iraq, in 2008.

"I joined the military because the base was adjacent to my home, and in order to have freedom, someone has to do the job," he said. "It also provided me with benefits that no other civilian job has."

(From a 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command news release.)

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