Kenneth Rucker (Kenny) served with the U.S. Navy in Vietnam from November of 1967 to October 1968 and again from February 1969-1970. Kenny served aboard the U.S. Valley Forge, a landing platform helicopter (LPH) aircraft carrier named after General George Washington’s winter encampment (1777-1778). When all hands were aboard, the Valley Forge was home to 2,000 individuals. The ship was contacted when soldiers were wounded in combat and made amphibious landings to retrieve them for treatment. Kenny says that the ship worked as a floating hospital which landed in daylight and rescued soldiers under the cover of night. It was his job to disarm the wounded soldiers en route.
His second tour in Vietnam was in Deng where he put in grueling 12-hour shifts seven days a week working to establish internal security in the area. Between his tour aboard the Valley Forge and time in Deng, Kenny experienced the cost of freedom up close and personal. Upon returning from war, Kenny put his hands to work running a farm and starting several small businesses. When he had the desire to travel more, he hopped in an 18-wheeler and drove a truck cross-country. Kenny is father to three children who all live in northern Missouri. Thank you Kenny for your service!