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4th of July Parade

Posted on: February 11, 2021

2020 Veteran of the Year

DAVID T. SARGENT

BORN BRYN MAWR PA IN 1945 AND RAISED IN BEVERLY FARMS, MA 

GRADUATE OF MILTON ACADEMY ’63 AND WASHINGTON & JEFFERSON COLLEGE ’67 BA ENG…WAS BASEBALL CAPTAIN AND MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AT EACH.  

SETTLED IN HINGHAM IN 1973 AND RAISED 3 SONS WHILE HE CONTINUED HIS BANKING CAREER, WHICH SPANNED OVER 35 YEARS, INCLUDING POSITIONS IN SENIOR MANAGEMENT OF LOCAL FINANCIAL ORGANIZATIONS.  HE WAS A FOUNDER AND THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE PLYMOUTH & AND NORFOLK COUNTY ESTATE PLANNING COUNCIL. 

RECEIVED HIS COMMISSION AS A 2nd LIEUTENANT IN THE ARMY RESERVE UPON GRADUATION FROM COLLEGE…REPORTED TO FT BENNING GEORGIA IN NOVEMBER OF 1967 AND WAS ASSIGNED TO the 5TH INFANTRY DIVISION, FT CARSON COLORADO IN MARCH OF 1968 TO ASSUME COMMAND OF AN INFANTRY PLATOON. DEPLOYED TO VIETNAM IN JULY 1968 WITH THE  1ST BRIGADE IN THE 2CD  LARGEST AIRLIFT IN MILITARY HISTORY.  

SUBSEQUENT TO THE UNIT’S ARRIVAL IN VIETNAM, THE UNIT MOVED TO THE DEMILITARIZED ZONE TO COMMENCE COMBAT OPERATIONS…HE COMMANDED HIS PLATOON FOR 9 MONTHS PRIOR TO ASSUMING THE DUTIES OF THE BATTALION’S AIR OPERATIONS OFFICER, REPLACING A SENIOR OFFICER  WHO WAS  WOUNDED DURING HEAVY ENGAGEMENT WITH THE NORTH VIETNAMESE.  HE CONTINUED IN THAT ROLE UNTIL AUGUST 30TH  1969 , WHEN HIS TOUR ENDED. DURING HIS ACTIVE RESERVE HE SERVED AS THE AIDE TO THE COMMANDING GENERAL OF THE 187TH INFANTRY BRIGADE IN BOSTON. 

HIS DECORATIONS WHILE SERVING INCLUDE the: 

    BRONZE STAR FOR MERITORIOUS ACHIEVEMENT IN GROUND OPERATIONS AGAINST HOSTILE FORCES IN THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM 

    AIR MEDAL WITH 3 OAK LEAF CLUSTERS AND “V” DEVICE 

    ARMY COMMENDATION MEDAL FOR MERITORIOUS ACHIEVEMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM 

    NATIONAL DEFENSE MEDAL 

    VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL 

    VIETNAM CAMPAIGN MEDAL REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM GALLANTRY CROSS UNIT CITATION  

 THE BEFORE MENTIONED AIR MEDAL DECORATION CITES, IN PART THAT SARGENT “…DISTINGUISHED HIMSELF BY VALOROUS ACTIONS … WHILE SERVING AS AN AERIAL OBSERVER ON A UH-1H HELICOPTER IN SUPPORT OF HIS UNIT. WHILE RESUPPLYING UNITS, ONE COMPANY RECEIVED NUMEROUS CASUALTIES FROM SMALL ARMS, AUTOMATIC WEAPONS FIRE, AND INDIRECT FIRE. THE LANDING AREA IMMEDIATELY WAS DETERMINED TO BE A “HOT LZ” RESTRICTING ANY AIRCRAFT FROM LANDING OR BEING IN THE AREA. DUE TO THE SERIOUSNESS OF  THE INJURIES, AN EMERGENCY MEDICAL EVACUATION (MEDIVAC) WAS REQUESTED.  WHILE OTHER AIRCRAFT MAINTAINED THE DISCIPLINE OF AVOIDING THE AREA, SARGENT VOLUNTEERED TO GO ON THE MISSION.  

 A NORTH VIETNAMESE BATTALION (APPROX 500 MEN) WAS 

APPROXIMATELY 150 METERS FROM THE LANDING ZONE WHICH WAS ON THE TOP OF A HILL COVERED WITH DEAD TREES AND STUMPS. AS THE HELICOPTER BEGAN ITS APPROACH, THE ENEMY OPENED FIRE, CENTERING THE BARRAGE ON THE AIRCRAFT.  

WITH COMPLETE DISREGARD FOR HIS OWN SAFETY, HE EXPOSED HIMSELF TO THE BARRAGE, USING HIS OWN M-16 RIFLE TO LAY DOWN SUPPRESSIVE FIRE.  

THE HELICOPTER DESCENDED AND HOVERED THREE FEET FROM THE GROUND, UNABLE TO LAND COMPLETELY BECAUSE OF THE OBSTACLES.  

HE LEAPT FROM THE AIRCRAFT AND RENDERED ASSISTANCE IN TRANSPORTING THE WOUNDED TO THE HELICOPTER. DURING THE LOADING PROCESS, ENEMY MORTAR ROUNDS EXPLODED CLOSE TO THE AIRCRAFT, ACCOMPANIED BY SMALL ARMS FIRE. AS THE AIRCRAFT LIFTED OFF, HE AGAIN LAID DOWN SUPPRESSIVE FIRE ON THE ENEMY.  

BECAUSE OF THE CASUALTIES, SARGENT VOLUNTEERED TO ACCOMPANY THE MISSION TWO MORE TIMES INTO THE AREA”. 

THIS VETERAN’S AFFILIATIONS AND ACTIVITIES INCLUDE MEMBERSHIPS IN: 

    HINGHAM’S VFW POST SERVING AS ITS PAST COMMANDER FOR 4 YEARS AND NOW AS A TRUSTEE, 

    THE AMERICAN LEGION HINGHAM POST 

    THE DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS, QUINCY POST 

    THE 5TH INFANTRY DIVISION SOCIETY 

    HINGHAM VETERAN’S COUNCIL FORMER MEMBER AND A PAST CHAIRMAN 

HE PARTICIPATES ANNUALLY AS A PRESENTER AT THE HINGHAM HIGH SCHOOL HISTORY FIELD DAY AND FREQUENTLY WRITES ARTICLES CONCERNING VETERAN MATTERS OR MILITARY HISTORY FOR  THE HINGHAM JOURNAL ANDTHE QUINCY PATRIOT LEDGER.  

OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, HE HAS HONORED HIS LONG- STANDING COMMITMENT OF SUPPORTING DISABLED OR ELDERLY VETERANS THROUGH PERSONAL VISITS  EITHER IN THEIR HOMES OR AT ACCOMMODATING FACILITIES IN HINGHAM AND RECENTLY STARTING EFFORTS TO INSURE THAT VETERANS AT THOSE LOCATIONS HAVE RESOURCES TO ATTEND VETERAN ACTIVITIES IN HINGHAM SO THAT “NO MAN IS LEFT BEHIND” SUCH AS THE CASE CITED EARLIER. 

 


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