Minden Press-Herald

Tuesday
Sep 30th

Doctor shares time in ‘Nam

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A standing-room-only crowd saw a different side of "Dr. Feelgood" Monday night from the one they may have previously known.

Dr. Richard Campbell addressed the Night for the Museum group with stories of his family's move to Minden from Marceline, Missouri. He talked of how his parents followed his uncle to Louisiana and how his father liked Minden better than Shreveport so they settled here.

He also talked of his mother, Thomas Lorraine Campbell, who was Webster's first Parish historian.

But then he talked of the time he spent in Vietnam in the 1st Calvary Division from 1970 to 1971.

"I was in two different battalions," Campbell said. "I was a line platoon leader and later a recon platoon leader."

Men in his platoon carried packs weighing 90 pounds, in addition to a M-16 U.S. rifle and SKS Chinese community carbine.

"It's a semi-automatic version of the AK-47," Campbell said. "The AK-47 is actually the most recognized weapon – and perhaps symbol – in the world."

Campbell said the 90-pound packs he and his men carried, consisted of 13 quarts of water, 400 rounds of M-16 ammunition, C-4 explosives, M-60 machine gun rounds, five fragmentation grenades, five smoke rounds, an air mattress, ponchos, five days of food rations, toiletries, toilet paper, extra socks, an entrenching tool (shovel) and a Machete.

"The toilet paper, bug spray and foot powder were among the most important things," said Campbell, who also admitted he carried a 9mm pistol and 30 rounds for it.

Night for the Museum events are held once a month at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, 116 Pearl Street. Admission is free with donations accepted.

For more information about the museum, contact Schelley Brown Francis at 377-3002.

 

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