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Martinsburg VAMC Recognizes Own Ahead of National Vietnam Veterans Day
March 25, 2022
, WV — This commemoration of National Vietnam Veterans Day is especially significant to the Martinsburg VA Medical Center, as facility leadership takes the opportunity to recognize employee Sam Powell for his service in Vietnam.
Mr. Powell is a dedicated Facilities Management Service (FMS) employee who has worked to serve his fellow Veterans as a Senior Design Engineer for over 10 years.
Powell sat down for a special podcast to share his story, and behind his quiet exterior, he certainly has a story to tell.
He was drafted and sent to training at 23 years old, where he was selected to attend intelligence training. From here, Powell was sent to Vietnam and flew over 100 low-level reconnaissance missions to capture and read information gathered from a small, unarmed Cessna plane.
Always vulnerable to ground fire, Powell says, “The only weapon we had was surprise.” His unit’s motto was Search, Detect, Identify, and his work provided vital intelligence to U.S. commanders about enemy movements and activities.
“You’re still carrying that on your shoulders,” he says. “I knew why I was there, and the enemy knew why I was there.” His experience still affects him to this day, but looking back, Powell remarks that his time spent in Vietnam makes him appreciate everything in life a little more.
The Martinsburg VA Medical Center is forever grateful to all Vietnam-era Veterans for their service and sacrifice.