Rod Willis

Del Rio, Texas

I lived in Del Rio, Texas. My Father was stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base. I graduated from Del Rio High School in 1967. Several days after my graduation, I joined the Army. I went to Ft Polk, La for Basic Training. While at Ft Polk I was selected to attend Infantry Officer Candidate School in Ft Benning, Ga. After graduating from OCS and now a 2nd Lt in the US Army, I was transferred to the Ranger Department. After 5 months I was selected to attend flight school at Ft Walters, Texas. After graduating from flight school, I reported to D Trp, 1-4 Cav (Darkhorse) in the Republic of Vietnam. I served 12 months, was wounded twice and awarded two Silver Stars.

I came home to the US but quickly got bored and volunteered to return to Vietnam. I returned to Darkhorse in Nov 1971 and stayed till the truce was signed in Jan 1973.

While in Vietnam I received 2 Silver Stars, 4 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 2 Bronze Stars, 2 Purple Hearts, 73 Air Medals and 4 Crosses of Gallantry. I stayed in the Army for 22 years and retired as a LTC. I have never regretted my time in Vietnam and still think we did the right thing. My unit Darkhorse became highly decorated in Vietnam. At least two books have been written about Darkhorse and the young men who served…Low Level Hell and Gun Slingers in Action.

I loved the Army and I miss those days. I have now a 100% combat disability rating and some days are difficult but I would not change a thing. I met some great people and we have all been friends for the past 45 years. I was 20 my 1st tour in Vietnam and 22 my 2nd tour.

Stats for Rod Willis

Hometown: Del Rio
 Army; D Troop, 1-4 Darkhorse Armed Scout Pilot
Rank: Captain
Years Served: 1969, 1971-1973

Rod Willis Photo Gallery