Army Recon Jerry Edelman Vietnam was a bump in the road. He had his college degree and was itching to use it.
Jerry was a guy who was a thinker, cerebral and just knew the Army had made a mistake, he shouldn’t have been drafted!
Once he worked out in his head he carried his own load. He carried the M-60 machine gun on missions. That was a big responsibility. That weapon provided the units maximum firepower. The rest of the men including myself carried an M-16. We also included hand grenades, an M-79 grenade launcher and depending on our mission Claymore mines.
Jerry earned the nickname “Professor” because of his college education. He would have one drink to many and tell us why he shouldn’t be in our unit. He was college educated.
Jerry was one of the guys you could count on. The heat of Vietnam was difficult for
Jerry but he make the best of it. Jerry enjoyed listening to music and reflecting. He used the odds or statistical reviews to come up with probable outcomes when we were given missions. It was based on how well we knew the target, the area and intelligence reports of recent activity. He was good at it too.
Jerry finished his tour of service and came home to the US and found employment as a plant manager for a large manufacturing company in Missouri.
He also married and is doing fine the last we talked.
Jerry never looked back at Vietnam other than it had changed him without his knowledge. Army Recon Jerry Edelman Vietnam wasn’t supposed to happen, but Jerry made sure to the best of his ability to keep himself safe and those in his platoon safe.
Sometimes our plans that feel wrong turn out right. I can’t think of anyone better to be in control of M60 machine gun firepower, in our unit, than Jerry Edelman. He was always there when you needed him. He carried 400 rounds of ammunition and each member on the mission would carry an addition 200 rounds for him, just in case we
needed the extra firepower.
Jerry spent his whole tour of duty with the 25th Infantry Division Wolfhound Recon unit at Bao Trai and the “Sugar Mill” Duc Hue along the Cambodian border.
We have a saying, “Once a Wolfhound Always a Wolfhound.”