Veteran of the Month – March 2013

Print Friendly

Chet Lancaster – Spec. 4/US Army

Chet hitchiked to Muskegon and enlisted in the Army on July 29, 1968. That got him on a bus to Detroit and another bus to Ft. Knox for basic training. Following that, Lancaster was sent to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma for Artilliary Training before being sent to Vietnam. He flew out of Seattle on Tiger Airlines and landed in Tay—Ninh where he joined the 25th Mechanized Infantry Unity. The Unit’s job was firing lO5rnrn and 155mm canons and Chet’s job was driving the big ammo truck to deliver ammo to the fire support bases. The Tet Offensive was just getting staited and they were under ex- treme pressure. Spec. 4 Lancaster continued in his position until his Tour of Duty was over and the 25th MIU was flown back to Seattle.

Spec. 4 Lancaster’s next TOD was at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska where he again drove ammo tnicks for 17 months. While there, the 25th MIU was out on maneuvers, living in a troop tent, when they endured one of the coldest nights on record - 81° below zero.

When Chet’s three year obligation was completed, he flew back to Seattle where he was discharged on July 29, 1971 and was awarded a Vietnam Service medal, Vietnam Campaign medal, US Accomodation medal, 2 Overseas Bars, and the Good Conduct medal. He flew to Grand Rapids and took a cab to Grant and has been there ever since. Chet’s first job was in Bailey, driving trucks for Duffy-Mott Fruit Suppliers. He then got into road construction and worked for Wyatt Construction in Cedar Springs, ROHR gas equipment in Byron Center as well as other construction companies.

Chet Lancaster married Mary Powell on Valentine’s Day in 1975 and they have two children, Terry Lancaster and Kristin Tran, both living in Grand Rapids. Chet is a life- time member of VFW Post 4249.

To nominate someone for the Newaygo VFW Post’s Veteran of the Month honor, ' submit written information to Newaygo VFW Post 4249, Attn: Carol Riehl, 9075 Mason Dr., Newaygo, MI 49337.