May’s Veteran Of The Month: Chris Sauro
A native of St Paul, Minn., Christy “Chris” W. Sauro, Jr. enlisted in the United States Marines at the age of 17, under the 120 day delayed entry program. Shortly thereafter he received a letter from the Marine Corps informing him that the Minnesota Twins baseball team was sponsoring his unit and they would be sworn in on TV at a pre-game ceremony on June 28, 1967. Dubbed the “Twins Platoon”, the new recruits were hustled off the field before the game ended and were on their way to MCRD for Marine Boot Camp. By the end of the year he was in Phu Bai, Vietnam assigned to helicopter squadron HMM362, as the embarkation NCO. He served his 13 month Tour of Duty from December 1967 to January`1969. Some of the toughest combat of the war occurred during his tour of duty: TET 1968, the siege of Khe Sanh, the battle for Hue City and Dai Do.
Chris was honorably discharged as a Sergeant (E-5) in November 1970. He was awarded with: the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (5 star), Vietnam Campaign Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Action Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Commendation, RVN Cross of Gallantry and a Good Conduct Medal.
He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973 and became an Insurance Agent for Mutual Service Insurance “MSI” which later became Country Insurance and Financial Services. His successful insurance career spans over 41 years.
Chris married to JoAnn Schwab. They have three children: Chris III, Angie & Sharon and 2 grandchildren: Tucker Hentges & Jackson Leslie.
In 2006, after 15 years of research and writing, the nonfiction book he had been working on, “The Twins Platoon”, was published by Zenith Press. In 2011 “The Twins Platoon” was a national winner in the prestigious Stars & Flags Book Awards competition. In 2007, a television special “Spotlight – The Twins Platoon” aired. It went on to win a regional Emmy for “Outstanding Documentary” and the Hatch Award for “Outstanding Marine Corps Documentary.” The military stories in the documentary are taken from the book by Sauro. In 2011 “The Twins Platoon” received the National Winner in the prestigious Stars and Flags Book Awards competition.
When asked for any thoughts he’d like to share about the war or what he learned or about life? Chris replied, “War should be the last resort to resolving conflicts. My military service gave me a tremendous appreciation for life. I rarely, if ever have a bad day, because on those rare occasions I do feel like I am having a bad day, I think of all my fallen comrades. I owe it to them to enjoy every day of my freedom in this great County – the United States of America.”