Jim enlisted in the Army for Military Police after
receiving his draft notice. While at MP School he was made a Squad Leader
for his training class. Upon graduation he was assigned as a driver
for Colonel Brandenberg, the Commanding Officer of the MP School at
Fort Gordon, Georgia. When the Colonel went to Vietnam Jim also volunteered.
After arriving in Vietnam he was assigned to B Company where he discovered his friend and former Assistant Squad Leader from MP School, PFC Robert Alicea had also just arrived from Germany.
Both were assigned to Outpost #1 in the Village of An Xuan in the B Company Tactical Area Of Responsibility (TAOR).
On 1 October 1968 Jim and PFC Alicea were finishing one of several uneventful routine supply runs between Outpost #1 and Outpost #2 which was located on the outskirts of Long Hung Village. While returning to Outpost #1 down the long narrow dirt roadway separating the rice paddies, their jeep ran over a powerful Viet Cong land mine. Jim was severely wounded lousing both legs, part of his left arm and was blinded in one eye, PFC Alicea died at the scene.
Since the war Jim has involved himself in providing
support and guidance to others who have suffered from severe physical
disabilities and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, and won national recognition
for his efforts.
Jim still continues to remain active in assisting Veterans through the Point Man Ministries.
Among the many honors were: Handicapped Coloradoan of the year in 1971; Disabled American Veteran 1975; Handicapped Californian 1976; and Handicapped American of the year 1979, presented by President Jimmy Carter.
In June of 1995 Jim returned to Vietnam to visit the Tactical Area of Responsibility, particularly, An Xuan Village where he served in Outpost #1. During the trip he was fortunate enough to meet with a former and well respected B Company, Popular Forces Soldier, CPL Lee Van Moun who worked with the ambush teams for B Company. While there his group also provided much needed assistance with Vietnamese language Bibles and much needed materials for a Leper Colony hospital.
|2002 Reunion at Fort Hood, Texas
"If I can show them (other Vietnam Veterans
and people with disabilities) where the answer is, I wouldn't hesitate
going down that road again."..... Jim Brunotte