April’s Veteran Of The Month: Tim Sather
On June 28 1967, Minneapolis native Tim Sather was 18-years-old when he and 150 men and a few young ladies, were sworn in as United States Marine Recruits, preceding a Twins game at the old Met stadium. After watching four innings of the game, they flew out from Minneapolis to the Recruit Depot in San Diego for basic training. Their entire story is in the book, “The Twins Platoon,” written by fellow Marine Christy Sauro. It is a must read because you can feel the stress, being scared, bald heads and being yelled at like no other time in your life. His part of the story is called Happy Valley (not real happy though).
He later landed Christmas Day 1967 in Da Nang South Vietnam and was immediately sent to an artillery unit called Golf Battery 3rd Bn. 11th Marines, 1st Marine Div. This was located in what they called I Corp. We were based on hill 10 which was north – Northwest of Da Nang. He was assigned temporary duty in communications as a Radio operator/forward observer with a Marine rifle squad called Charlie Company 1st Bn. 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division at the same location hill 10.
Tim received his first Purple Heart when the artillery unit he was with received mortar fire and a piece a metal from the shell hit him in the left upper arm during the TET offensive in February 1968. His second Purple Heart was in May 1968, when he was hit in the right knee area. It took out his knee cap, ligaments and cartilage. It also took a few days for the medivacs to get them out.
After the war Tim married his wife Ronni in 1982. They have three children and will be grandparents for the first time in April 2014.
Tim worked for Northwestern Bell which became U.S. West, then Qwest, for a total of 34.5 years. He was also a Volunteer Fire Fighter for the City of Eden Prairie, Minn. for 18 years.
When asked to share any thoughts about the war, Tim responded, “I am glad the war ended. Each day I realize how lucky I am that I came home.”
Tim rarely talks about The Vietnam War except in the book “Twins Platoon” or when he’s with his fellow Marines.