HOME

S.E. Michigan
Vets List

Library of Congress
Vets Web Site

Richard Wagner
War: Vietnam
Branch: U.S. Army
Unit: 82nd Airborne
Birth Year: 1947
Place of Birth: Harbor Beach, MI

Richard Wagner was born in Harbor Beach, Michigan on September 1, 1947. His father was a Marine Fighter Pilot during World War ll. When he returned to civilian life he had a job as Air Traffic Controller until the President fired everyone. He then went on to work at State Farm Insurance Company. Richard completed high school in Detroit and went attended community college briefly. At 19 he joined the Army. After extensive basic and specialized training, he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne. Richard mentioned that he only jumped five times.

At 20, Richard, when given a choice, volunteered for Vietnam where he spent 11 months, 22 days. Although he was involved in action about a dozen times, his main responsibility was to set up ambushes and booby-traps. He related several fascinating incidents while in Vietnam that are too numerous to include in this summary - see the DVD interview.

Richard received a degree in Parks and Recreation. He married his wife the day after she graduated from her basic nursing training. She wanted to become a Nurse Practictioner, and in route obtained three degrees. When the Wagner’s moved back to Michigan Richard took a number of different jobs until he finally joined State Farm and retired after 35 years with them. Mrs. Wagner also retired. They have three sons, all of whom are doing well.

Richard has two Bronze Stars; Combat Infantryman Badge; Army Commendation; Air Medal; and National Defense Service Medal.