PIQUA — Lt. Dave Norman, Miami County Sheriff’s Office, will be featured in “Out of Saigon” for the May 11 YWCA Monthly Luncheon Series. The program, which is free and open to the public, begins at 11 a.m., followed by a noon luncheon ($6/person).
Norman enlisted in the Marine Corps delayed entry program in March 1972, completing basic training and infantry training and was later sent to the Marine Security Guard School. After completing training in June 1974 he was assigned to MSG duties at the American Embassy in Saigon, RVN.
“At this point in the war, the world was seeing the largest evacuation of all time by helicopter of Vietnam citizens who had become friends of the U.S. I was the last of the military personnel guarding Ambassador Martin at the Embassy in Vietnam,” said Norman.
“I knew the war was ending when word came to evacuate the Ambassador,” he continued. “After the ambassador was taken to safety, two CH46 helicopters came to the roof and evacuated all of the remaining Marines that they could hold. I found myself to be one of 11 left behind because they had no more room.
“I feared for my life, but we all vowed to fight till the end and not be taken prisoner. The next day we saw our rescue coming in the form of a helicopter. After being rescued from the roof and heading toward the fleet, we realized that we were being escorted by gunship helicopters and fighter jets. It was a very scary feeling, but also one of relief.”
After the war, Norman was assigned to the American Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, until September 1976, when he left the Marine Corps and returned home to Fairborn. “I was proud to be able to serve my country and know that we were part of the last Marines to help with the rescue in Vietnam,” he said.
Reservations for the program and luncheon must be made by Monday, May 9. To make reservations or for more information, stop at the YWCA at 418 N. Wayne St., Piqua, or call (937) 773-6626. The YWCA is handicapped-accessible.