On Thursday, Fort Carson honored and remembered heroes who died more than five decades ago during the Battle of Suoi Tre.
It was a search and destroy mission that suffered heavy losses, but the resilience of our heroes prevailed.
“It’s a ceremony to recognize the sacrifices of the soldiers who fought in the battle of Suoi Tre,” Lt. Col. Aaron M. Thomas said. “The main battle was on March 21, 1967.”
The 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Infantry is now stationed at Fort Carson. That unit was on the front line 52 years ago.
“We broke through the woodline, we could hear the massive gunfire and explosions,” Bill King, who survived the battle, said. “Us infantrymen were told to dismount and fix bayonets. And when we heard that, we knew, ‘wow, this could get really personal.'”
While the bloody battle isn’t widely known outside of the ranks, it’s one the U.S. has learned from.
“It’s important for soldiers to understand what their legacy is, understand the lessons learned from the past, and understand what’s really required in service to our nation,” Thomas said.
Thursday’s ceremony was also personal for the survivors of the battle.
“We all came back injured, if you will,” Paige Lanier, who survived the battle, said. “Maybe not with a bullet wound, but we’re all wounded at heart. Without a doubt.”
“And we just did what our country asked us to do,” King said.
Ceremonies were also held in Vietnam and in Minnesota Thursday to honor the lives lost in the battle.