BILLINGS, Mont. - A Montana veteran shared his experiences serving in Vietnam.
Jerry Hudson enlisted in the Air Force right out of high school. His dad served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, so the Air Force seemed right. He was deployed to Vietnam for 13 months, August 1969 through September 1970.
"First time you get shot at, you hear shots all around you," Hudson said. "You see rockets coming in, sirens going off. Adrenaline flows. I was scared. I'll admit it. But you gotta do what you gotta do. You're there for a reason."
He was exposed to Agent Orange and has since had cancer twice. He also described an incident where his base was attacked:
"Our base was hit. We grabbed our M16s, went out on the front line. There were rockets firing all around us. One happened to hit close by. It burned my forearm, burned the skin right off my forearm. We just wrapped it up, put some gauze on it and some lotion and kept fighting. That's what you do."
In spite of the challenges, he was glad he served.
"Yeah, I'd do it over again," he said. "I'd do it all over."
"I tell the school kids when I talk to them, I did this for you guys," he added. "I want you to have the same freedoms I did."
Hudson became a sergeant and earned the Air Force Commendation Award while in Vietnam.