George Boyer considers himself a history buff so it was no surprise that he took a 13-day trip with his wife Muriel last summer on a tour of historical Civil War sites.
Both enjoyed the trip immensely, ending up on the same plane with former Vice President Walter Mondale as they flew from Minneapolis to Washington, D.C., to begin the tour.
But the trip ended up having more meaning than that for Boyer, a medical lab tech who served a 12-month tour in Vietnam during the early and bloody part of that war.
Boyer, in his second year as commander of the Milaca American Legion post, was born in California, grew up in Colorado, and then moved to Minnesota at age 16, graduating from Edina High School in 1962.
Two years later, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and went off to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., for basic training. He received signal training at Fort Gordon, Ga. and then had an 18-month stint in Germany.
In Germany, Boyer decided to re-enlist so he could get training in the medical field, something he originally wanted when he joined the Army, and it was that training that would define the rest of his time in the Army.
He was trained as a medical lab technician at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and then served at Valley Forge Hospital in Pennsylvania before being sent to Vietnam in October 1967.
He served there with the 44th Medical Batallion that was attached to the 101st Airborne and saw his share of time in combat zones during his 12-month tour.
For the full story, see the Thursday, Dec. 6 print edition of the Times.