Vietnam Vet Was a Hero on the Battlefield, and a Hero at Home

Published 01/22 2014 12:08PM

Updated 01/22 2014 09:50PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Douglas Plowman describes a hero, and while looking through some old photographs, knows who his hero is.

"My father has always been my hero," he said.  "He was drafted into the Army.  And he served in Vietnam from 1967 to January of 1968."

Specialist 5 Gordon Plowman was a member of the 9th Infantry Division - "The Old Reliables."

Plowman's son says it was in Vietnam that his father first became a hero to his fellow soldiers.

"He was walking point for his squad one day through a rice paddy," Plowman said.  "He heard a small voice say 'Stop.  Don't go any further.'  He stopped and leaned down, and put his hand in the water and found a trip wire."

In the midst of a rice paddy, in the hellish countryside of Vietnam, Gordon Plowman had found a booby trapped ammo dump ready to explode.

"He let his squad know what was going on," Plowman retells.  "They went back and he saved his entire squad that day.  That's one of the reasons I think he's a hero. He's a Purple Heart recipient.  He was injured in Vietnam.  But when he came home he became more of a hero than anyone ever could."

Young Douglas idolized his father, who instilled a set of values learned from the U.S. Army.

There's a photo of a five-year-old Douglas, standing in front of his father while wearing a pint-sized replica of his father's uniform.

"My father's been a great influence on my life," Plowman said.  "He's a very moral individual.  He raised me in the church.  He taught me family values.  He's very well respected and well thought of in the community."

A hero on the battlefield and a hero at home, Douglas Plowman is sure that his father is the very definition of a hometown hero.

Douglas himself followed his father's example and enlisted in the Air Force in 1981.

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