Mike Ortega


I joined the Army in June 1969, took boot camp at Ft Polk, Louisiana ( North Fort). After boot camp went to Fort Gordan, Ga. for 31m20 course. From there I was assigned to Germany. I was with the 1/81st Arty. for 14 months, I then volunteered for Vietnam. 

I arrived in Vietnam in May of 71 ( a week before my 20th Birthday). Landed in Cam Rhan Bay spent a night in which sappers came in and blew up the ammo dump (what a start to my tour) . The next afternoon I was on a C130 to Bien Hoa. In the 90th Replacement center I was assigned to the 269th sig co. which was assigned to the 1st Cav. And like other 31m20,s my M O S was over abundant. So I spent most of my tour riding shotgun on convoys. I also spent a lot of time with a prc-25 back pack calling in Chinooks. The convoys were used to carry equipment to set up temporary commo sites in isolated sites for Cav commo. 

I spent a lot of time on Hueys also going to sites all over III Corp I have been from the Cambodian border to the South China Sea. Most of these were isolated compounds. While in III Corp we were ambushed on convoys, took fire on choppers and also gotten over run at An Loc by N V A. Not all of the 269th was this way, most of the guys were also assigned to other areas in which they performed their duties as 31m20's. 

In Jan. 72 the 269th was deactivated and I was sent to Plantation for 3 months and then went to Long Bin for my last month. I got a 30 day early out from Vietnam and arrived at Fort Lewis, Washington were I got my discharge. I was discharged as a Buck Sgt (E-5). And as a conclusion to this, I traveled to Hartford, Conn. in October of 2000 to visit my best friend in Nam, we haven't seen each other since Nam, but we had kept contact all these years by phoning each other once a month for all these years. 

The reason for my story is to let others know, that the Signal Corp. played a major role in Combat support for the Army in Vietnam, that without commo, the infantry, Artillery, and other units would have been in a bind, and that the Signal Corp did see it's side of combat and that we took our share of the danger to provide commo. A lot of times we did not have the conveniences of company size units, that we were small, but provided commo at any cost. 

So. Welcome home to all the Signal Groups, we did our jobs with Honor


1st Signal Brigade
United States Army
Republic of Viet Nam
Updated 05/26/2003

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