“I arrived in Vietnam in July 1969 and I was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division located at Phuoc Vinh located north of Saigon. Upon arrival at my assigned unit, 11th Aviation Group, and before I could put my duffle bag down, we started receiving incoming mortar rounds as a welcome from Charlie (aka the VC).
“September the 5 1969 at 0200, Charlie started shooting rockets into the compound. We all had to rush to our defense position. The attack lasted until 0800.
“Can anyone else tell me that on their 26th Birthday, that they had rockets exploding around them 360 degrees to celebrate the big day? That was one birthday that I will never forget. No cake, but lots of rockets bursting in air.
“When I joined the Army, I had a big surprise. It seems the doctor who filled out my birth certificate misspelled my last name. Instead of QUILLIN, he wrote QUILLEN. So from that day forth, I’ve been Robert T. Quillen.”
Quillen lived on Old Garner Road and graduated from Garner High in 1962. He served in the Army for 30 years and now lives in Germany.