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Interview conducted with Terry Richard Johnson, born 11/25/50 in Onslow County, NC, as part of the Nash County Oral Histories Project. Johnson was an active duty Army Ranger at the time of the interview. He speaks about serving in combat roles during the Vietnam War and Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada. Johnson enlisted in 1970; had basic training at Ft. Bragg, NC, advanced infantry training at Ft. Jackson, SC, and Airborne school at Ft. Benning, GA. He was flown to Vietnam and assigned to the 173rd Airborne near LZ (Landing Zone) English in Bong Son. Johnson says he spent 7-8 months in Vietnam; details his units tasks while on patrol: ambushes, setting up and checking booby traps, etc. He explains difference in North Vietnamese Army (NVA) soldiers and Viet Cong operatives. Discusses importance of keeping weapon and radio nearby at all times, and speaks about reliability and speed in which a unit comes together during a combat scenario. Following the war, Johnson was assigned to the 82nd Airborne in Ft. Bragg, and got out of the service in 1973. He then moved to Rocky Mount, NC where he worked in law enforcement and as a repo man; discusses meeting his wife, Olivia, during this time. In 1980, he again enlisted in the Army, and was sent to Ft. Benning for basic training. He mentions his training during the Vietnam War being more intense than his training during peace time. He speaks on the level of discipline and training required to be a Ranger; describes their role as experts in hostage situations, raids, ambushes, infiltration, and evade and escape tactics. Johnson reflects on being sent to Grenada with no notice; details the equipment carried and the pre-dawn parachute jump. He mentions their duties while on the ground in Grenada and speaks about the reason for the mission. He talks about the various immunizations required annually by the military; mentions cholera and malaria shots. Johnson discusses how the military is changing with modern technology; talks about his impending retirement and wanting to be a Ranger since he was a child.

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