DES MOINES, Iowa — Friday, May 6th will be the 15th annual Vietnam Veterans observance at the Vietnam Wall south of the Iowa Capitol. The event will take place at 11:00 a.m.

The Keynote speaker will be Col. Jim McClung, a retired Marine Corps Veteran who served two tours of duty in Vietnam. McClung is a native of Casey, Iowa.  He left Casey to go to Quantico, Virginia for training as a Marine.

“There weren’t not many people in flew much so, flying out there, I probably was one of the biggest travelers in Casey by going to Quantico, Virginia.”

Once his training was completed McClung was sent to Vietnam, where he was a platoon commander.

“I think the scariest part of all that was when we get the booby trap mines because you just never knew where they were and then when it happened here at the explosion and you knew it wasn’t going to be good,” said McClung.  “Then you go and find out that some guy tripped to drop some kind of a mine, that was the scariest part I think that you are you worried about that you were going to come home without an arm or leg.”

While his time on two tours of Vietnam could be scary parts were also rewarding. 

“I loved the challenge and being up and against the ultimate every day, doing something, real lives depended on it if you didn’t do it well, and your life depended on it, said McClung.”

McClung now attends reunions of various groups he has served with over the years. 

“If I had to do over again, I do exactly the same thing,” said McClung. “I was married, I was one of the few people that were married probably went back as Marines, and if it hadn’t been for my wife it wouldn’t have been a successful career.”

McClung said he graduated from high school on a Friday, received his commission on Saturday, and got married on Sunday before heading in to serve his country in the Marines.