Vietnam Veteran Honored - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Vietnam Veteran Honored

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ESLER FIELD - A special fly over Saturday for a special man: the last Vietnam veteran of army aviation in Louisiana.

Sgt. Mike Gunnels flew his last military helicopter Saturday afternoon, landing to a special salute from his comrades at Esler air field.

Sgt. Gunnels was drafted for Vietnam in 1970 and has served ever since.

He's retiring with 30 decorations from the army, including a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his time in Vietnam.

He has also provided relief during hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and other natural disasters in the Louisiana.

As for all this new free time, he says he'll spend it with his wife.

"She's the one that had to put up with me being gone all the time," Sgt. Gunnels says. "Especially with the hurricanes and stuff. But I guess I belong to her now. Bittersweet. I'm going to miss all these guys. Time to turn the page to the next chapter."

Sgt. Gunnels is retiring at age 62.

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