Stan “Doc” Sellers
Stan Sellers of Bandera had a single mission in Vietnam: to save the lives of wounded U.S. Marines. As a United States Navy Corpsman assigned to the 3rd Marines, Sellars was responsible for providing both preventative and emergency healthcare to the Marines in his patrol. From checking for foot problems to treating insect bites and routine illness to wrapping a severed limb with a tourniquet, the Navy Corpsman was the “Doc” on patrol. As the first line of care in battle, his job was to provide emergency medical treatment until the wounded could be moved to a Battalion Aid Station or Field Hospital, usually by helicopter.
It was one of the most dangerous jobs in combat. Corpsman (and their Army equivalent, the “medic”) were often targeted by the enemy, and in chaotic firefights these courageous first responders did not lay low when the wounded called for them. More than 600 Navy Corpsmen were Killed In Action in the war.
Stan Sellars was almost one of them. As the Corpsman assigned to the Third Marines “Team Dallas Girl” reconnaissance patrol, he was part of a small unit sent to find information about enemy positions. On April 5, 1968, Team Dallas Girl came upon an overwhelming enemy force. Within minutes, every member of the platoon was shot. The Lieutenant, Texan Donald Matocha, was killed. Sellers tried to reach the wounded Marines, but was rendered unconscious by his own injuries. Fortunately for Team Dallas Girl, a nearby Marine helicopter crew heard their frantic radio calls and went in under fire to rescue them. Every member of Team Dallas Girl was seriously wounded. Matocha’s body would not be found for more than 30 years.
Sellars knows he is lucky to be alive, and he relishes every day as a dedicated husband, father and grandfather in San Antonio, where he now makes his home. Read Stan’s recount of April 5, 1968.