Small Town Brotherhood

Photo from The Navigator contributed by Jimmy Collard

Photo from “The Navigator” contributed by Jimmy Collard

Addison Seidel, Reporter

Jimmy Collard was 19 years old when his time came to leave with his two buddies John Garner and Ronnie Sanders. As they all began their journey in the Army, they would face many difficulties and learn many things over the three years they were enlisted. What started as only a desire was now right in front of them and coming to life. Vietnam Veteran Jimmy Collard said, “I started talking about joining my Junior year with two of my buddies and had discussed joining for over a year then we joined after high school on the buddy plan.” Jimmy stated, “My buddies and I talked about it for years and finally decided the Army was just the one for them.”

Jimmy was not interested in further education after high school, so that was what mainly sealed the deal for him joining the Army. As he left home,  he had many different feelings going through his head as he left. He was excited for the adventure ahead of him but scared, because he was the first of his friends to leave home. He spent his time in a variety of places when he was an active veteran like Long Binh, Vietnam and New Port along the Saigon River. He was stationed overseas for only eight months since the Vietnam War was slowly coming to an end. When asked what was one of the biggest lessons he learned Jimmy stated, “Living at home with parents was a whole lot easier than life in the army.” Jimmy was impacted greatly by his time in the Army. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy and it taught him to always listen to the people who had already been there knew the ropes. His job on base was to guard big ships that shipped in their supplies along with 500 lb. Napalm Bombs.  When asked if he could go back he responded with, “One-hundred percent some of my best growing up years.”  His advice to any new recruits or anyone interested in joining, “Always pay attention while you are in training, because it could save your life later on.”