Gary Wayne Atchison
On December 28, 1965 Gary Wayne Atchison left for Fort Leonard Wood. On March 13, 1966 Gary was sent to Fort Sill, OK. He flew from there to Travis Air Force Base in California. End of September 1966 he was aboard the USS Barratt, which is a large troop carrying vessel. It held two battalions of Army and seven companies of Marines plus 10 105 howitzers, trucks & jeeps. Once they arrived in Vietnam they went to Benwau Air Base. It was three or four days before they saw any action and then had 36 straight hours of shooting. They moved on to BearCat Base Camp and were in the Northern Highlands. On October 6, 1967, he boarded a continental proud bird with a gold tail and began a 19-hour flight. He left at 6:30pm on October 6th and landed at Travis Air Force Base at 6pm on the same day. That ended his 12 month and 10-day tour of duty. Gary returned to Clinton where he tried to get back into the swing of farm life. He struggled. In April, 1969 he married Mary Dunning. They had three daughters, Cynthia, Angela and Christa. They divorced in December 1992. Gary was a President of the Clinton Jaycee’s and was state chairman for the handicap day at the Missouri State Fair. He was named an Outstanding Young Man of America in 1979. He donated over 20 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross while his health allowed. Gary was employed by KCP&L as a mechanic from March, 1979 until 2008. He was a member of the IBEW Local 412, CHS Alumni Association, VFW & American Legion. Gary was a proud Veteran, who went on an Honor Flight in May, 2015.