Flowers: ‘You were glad to get back home’

Jimmy Flowers in Vietnam. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Jimmy Flowers in the present day. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Jimmy Flowers, 69, said he has spent virtually his entire life in Darlington, but it was in Vietnam that he suffered the wounds for which he received two Purple Hearts. Flowers was drafted into the Army Infantry when he was 19, and spent a year as an infantryman in Vietnam. He arrived there in September 1970. Not very long after turning 20, he suffered two battle wounds in 1971. In one case, he was shot in the leg. In the other, he was hit by shrapnel from a fragmentation grenade. “It’s nothing that has really interfered with me over my lifetime,” Flowers said of the wounds. The war “was a learning experience for anybody who went through it,” he said. “ …A lot of people clam up and won’t talk about it. … You were glad to get back home” at the end of your tour. Flowers said he would spend 30-40 days at a stretch in the jungle, sleeping on the ground at night and plowing through dense foliage during the day. “It was a paranoid (experience), 365 days,” he said. “You were the one getting shot at.” Flowers also was awarded two Bronze Stars, among other citations.

Author: Rachel Howell

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